2008-03-14 - Lenten and Easter Traditions
Installment 4 ~ Palm Sunday
In a few days, many churches will celebrate Palm Sunday, which commemorates Christ's ride into Jerusalem. In some ways, Palm Sunday is my favorite of the church holidays, for a couple reasons. It focuses solely on the worship of Christ, and there are no distractions that detract from the purpose of the holy day. It's simple, and is less stressful for those of us who are worship leaders than Easter, Christmas Eve etc.
In many churches, palm fronds are presented to each worshipper, as a symbol of the branches strewn across the road in front of our Lord (see Matthew 21:8). Some choirs form a processional to reenact this event. Palm Sunday can be a glorious focus on the worship of our Savior. But let's not let it stop there. Let's make every day a Palm Sunday.
How can we focus on worship every day? Some suggestions: Starting the day with a Psalm of praise, or singing a verse of a praise song (or reading it outloud if you are tone deaf). Using a selected reading form the Lectionary or a Taize reading can be worshipful. Many Christians, including myself, have found that even though we are Protestant, we can be drawn closer to God via the use of Taize resources. For example, yesterday's simple Taize prayer was:
Bless us, Christ Jesus; though we have never seen you, we love you.
I would love to hear your own ideas - practices that have made your devotional times more worshipful.
I hope you all have a wonderful Palm Sunday, that brings you closer to God.