Update: In the original post, I neglected to mention some important information! This blog post is part of a link-up for faith, art and life. To find other blogs that are participating, logon to Twitter and search the Twitter hashtag #faithartlife. There are bound to be a lot of great posts, and I think you’ll be encouraged to discover new bloggers for whom faith is an intricate part of life and art.
My family and I go to a large church in a northern suburb of the Twin Cities. I mean LARGE. And they’ve got great, dynamic, creative kids programming that all my children love being a part of.
But they don’t have Palm Sunday.
At least, they don’t have Palm Sunday the way I had it as a child.
Do you remember?
Remember finally getting to wear the special shoes your mom wouldn’t let you wear unless you were on a rug or carpeted area, even though they were so pretty with their little strap and tiny latch and shiny gold lining?
Remember the fancy dress you got to wear with the lace trim that made it extra-specially special? Maybe it had a petticoat or crinoline if you were really lucky? And you didn’t mind the buttons and how long you had to stand still while someone else buttoned them, as if you were doing them a favor by holding still for so long, rather than seeing what an act of love their buttoning was.
And remember the palm branches the kids all got to wave as they walked through the sanctuary?
“Hosanna, hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”
You got to sing
and walk down the aisles
and be the center of attention
and wave your palm branch
and wave at your parents
and hit your neighbor in the eye with your palm branch,
then try to explain how it was an accident,
then get pushed away by the injured party,
then forget the self control you promised your mother you’d remember and push the one-eyed kid back, just a little bit,
then wave your palm branch vigorously to cover the rude faces you and the kids were now making at each other while standing on the platform in front of the entire congregation.
Afterwards, you’d get to bring your palm branch home, a small piece of greenery to get your through the rest of the Minnesota snowscape, which may or may not be gone by the time you want to look for your Easter basket seven days later. Nothin’ says spring like going on an Easter egg hunt in your parka and snow pants.
Remind me why my church doesn’t do Palm Sunday like we used to when I was little? Oh that’s right, because the grown-ups finally came to their senses.
Disclaimer: Even though it doesn’t sound like it in this post, I really do miss Palm Sunday for the kids. It was a great part of the rhythm of church life, and even though it was sometimes disorderly and had potential for chaos to break out at any moment, it was a time when the adults and children in the church got to share a moment together. And those moments are precious…even if they are messy.