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Palm Sunday inventive and popular

by Michael Ford last modified 09 Apr, 2020 06:35 AM

With coronavirus restrictions in place, Palm Sunday was still celebrated across our Diocese in the most inventive ways.

Palm Sunday inventive and popular

The Revd Stephen Partridge broadcasts from his shed

Churches also saw the numbers tuning in to worship doubling - and in some cases, even quadrupling - normal Sunday congregations as people tuned in to sing, pray and wave makeshift palms.

Palm Sunday commemorates the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1–9), when palm branches were placed in his path, before his arrest on Holy Thursday and his crucifixion on Good Friday. It marks the beginning of Holy Week and has always been a popular celebration with churches marking it with the blessing of palms and processions often with donkeys.

But with everyone staying at home to save the NHS, here are just some examples of how Palm Sunday worship still took place around our Diocese.

The Chalke Valley Benefice held a virtual Palm Sunday procession via YouTube.

The video featured a "procession" using stills and moving footage through the whole Benefice and was accompanied by hymns on the piano journey through the benefice.

The Revd Catherine Blundell explained:

"It is a Palm Sunday procession with a difference (52 mile bike ride, 191 photos to sort through, an afternoon pleading with the computer and no encounters... with anyone... not even a donkey)."

St Mary's Church Lytchett Matravers had congregation members processing around their gardens, living rooms and bedrooms singing 'All glory laud and honour'.

With the church closed as part of the ongoing guidance, some very clever computer generation and a 'green screen' allowed the Revd Stephen Partridge to look like he was in the church while he was actually in the shed on the vicarage lawn.

And Palm Sunday worship in the Nadder Valley Churches even included a donkey - well, actually 2.

The worshipping community were encouraged to cut greenery from their gardens or from around the lanes to hold up during the Liturgy of the Palms, which was streamed online and included 2 donkeys, one being Zephyr who was bred to be a "Palm Sunday donkey", who were "processed" around their field live during the Zoom feed.

All over the Diocese the doors of rectories, vicarages and homes were decorated with makeshift palm crosses and many posted pictures of their crosses, on doors and on hands on social media.

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