I love Passion Sunday. This is such a great day at St. Mark’s by-the-Lake. I remember my first Palm Sunday in this parish. It was a shock to me how many people were out. It is a big Sunday. Every year ever since has been the same, except each year we grow and as a result each year there are even more people.
Today was no different. The place was pretty full. We had nearly 50 people at 8 AM and over 160 at 10:30 AM. This year we had the liturgy of the palms in the Wellwood hall (attached to the church) and we paraded out the front door of the hall to the front door of the church all the while singing “Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in excelsis…repeat. It was quite a wonderful parade of God’s children of all ages. It was a brilliant sunny day here and that added to the joy of it all. Our liturgy was alive and wonderful. The choir was magnificent and offered an unbelievable anthem. Take a look at the photos to see the joy and celebration that today was for all of us.
It was exciting to have such great participation from all of the congregants. I love this liturgy because it begins the event of the year for us as Christians – Holy Week. If Holy week is our liturgy of the passion the today’s service is an invocation for the week. We have such great liturgy ahead of us this week and I invite all of you who are in the area to join us at St. Mark’s by-the-Lake.
We will gather on Monday and Wednesday at 7 Pm for a quiet Eucharistic celebration. We will gather on Holy Thursday at 7:30 PM to commemorate the Last Supper as well as Jesus’ display of service – foot washing. On Friday at 10:30 AM we will celebrate the solemn Good Friday Liturgy. Perhaps, the most meaningful liturgy in the BAS. It is a wonderfully written liturgy. On Saturday evening after sundown at 9 Pm we will celebrate the great Easter Vigil. This liturgy is rich with tradition and offers so much in symbol and ritual. Plan to be there.
All of these liturgies afford us the opportunity to relive the last footsteps of Jesus as retold today in the passion narrative. I love Palm Sunday as I am so excited about the week we have ahead of us. We will live suspense, anticipation, celebration, service, suffering, pain, rejection, triumph, victory and explosive love. We will journey from the cross to the grave, from the grave to the resurrection of joy and light. Join in the activities taking place in your parish communities this week. It is by far the greatest time in the church’s year.