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Post, Wave and Sing for Palm Sunday

by Michael Ford last modified 03 Apr, 2020 10:11 AM

After a Sunday of live-streaming from vicarages and homes across the Diocese, this Sunday poses a new challenge for worshipping communities - but we are ready for it!

This Sunday is Palm Sunday, when we recall the triumphal entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem.

The crowds that met Jesus laid palms at his feet and shouted Hosanna, and so on this Sunday crosses made from palm fronds would be blessed and waved aloft, often along with palm branches, as part of a procession in or around the church or through the streets of the wider community. And sometimes even led by a donkey.

For many Christian churches, Palm Sunday, often referred to as Passion Sunday, marks the beginning of Holy Week, which concludes on Easter Sunday, the the most important celebration in the Christian calendar.

As part of Sunday's worship, churches would tell the Passion narrative in readings and plays.

So, how can we mark Palm Sunday this year with our church buildings closed?

Well, Church is changing during this unprecedented period - many of our churches have gone online and are planning to stream the Passion Narrative, while others are offering copies to people to read at home.

But what about those palms and Hosannas, and for that matter the popular hymns sung on Palm Sunday like 'All Glory, Laud and Honour'?

Well, some churches are still blessing their palm crosses and leaving them for collection in church porches. Of course, warning those who collect them to disinfect them thoroughly when they get them home and wash their hands well after collection.

But social media has some great ideas too.

The Missionaries of the Holy Spirit posted this idea on their Facebook page:

"What if everyone on Sunday April 5 in the morning, puts a branch on the door of their house or on the window, to celebrate Palm Sunday? It could be any green branch you can get. This would help, despite the social distancing, to be connected as we enter into the Holiest of Weeks. Want to join? We may be physically isolated, but not separated. We are united as the body of Christ. We are the Church."

And how about making the sign of the cross on your hand?

The Ongar MMU has invented 2020 ‘palm’ crosses to wave on Palm Sunday. They want to encourage all virtual congregations to wave theirs on social media, using the hashtag #palmcrosses20.

Post, Wave and Sing for Palm Sunday- #palmcrosses20

Or you could make your own palm cross at home.

And if you do then why not write across the horizontal limb 'CHANGING CHURCH' and down the vertical limb whatever you choose. For example: 'UNCHANGING GOD' or 'FAITHFUL GOD' or 'JESUS SAVES'.

If you are able, post it on social media at 5pm on Palm Sunday and tag it #dosalchurchischanging, so that all the posts can be collected together.

You might also like to put your cross in your window where people can see it.

During the following week, turn the cross over and decorate it brightly - you might want to add the words 'He is risen'. Take another selfie and post at 5pm on Easter Day and tag us again!

And whatever you do, social media is encouraging you to 'Sing Resurrection', from your gardens, your windows, your balconies and in your homes - the words are below so there is no excuse!

1 All glory, laud, and honor
to you, Redeemer, King,
to whom the lips of children
made sweet hosannas ring.
You are the King of Israel
and David's royal Son,
now in the Lord's name coming,
the King and Blessed One.

2 The company of angels
is praising you on high;
and we with all creation
in chorus make reply.
The people of the Hebrews
with palms before you went;
our praise and prayer and anthems
before you we present.
3 To you before your passion
they sang their hymns of praise;
to you, now high exalted,
our melody we raise.
As you received their praises,
accept the prayers we bring,
for you delight in goodness,
O good and gracious King!
Psalter Hymnal, (Gray)

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