Sunday, April 14, was Palm Sunday, defined as the Sunday next before Easter, celebrated in commemoration of Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem. Bishop Hartley noted that this is a special day in liturgical churches such as ours as we begin the service with the blessing of palms ritual in which participants kneel at the altar to receive a palm branch blessed by the priest, then follow the processional cross in a procession around the church while singing the hymn “All glory, laud and honor to thee redeemer king…” This ceremony has been a part of Christian worship since the fourth century and is a Christianized version of the Roman triumphal march made into the city of Rome by a general who had conquered land and people for Rome; the palm was a symbol of victory in ancient times. In our ritual we symbolically connect with Christ and spiritually take part in His triumph, the ultimate triumph over death. Time falls away and we are spiritually with Him in Jerusalem and take our place in the crowd that welcomed Him. The Bishop also noted that there is no particular doctrine connected with this day, it is a purely spiritual experience as we welcome Him into our lives.
Palm Sunday ends Lent and begins Holy Week, commemorating Christ’s final days leading up to His death & resurrection. Holy Week willl continue with Maunday Thursday service at 6:30 April 18, followed by Good Friday service April 19 at 6:30 at which time we do the Stations of the Cross and finally Easter Sunday April 21. Everyone is invited to worship with us on these special holy days.