Some of you may remember that last year I broke the resource lists for Holy week into four lists – Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Stations of the Cross and Easter Sunday. As the list continues to grow I have done the same thing this year and am adding another list for Holy Week with kids.
Holy week beings with Palm Sunday, this year April 7th. It celebrates Jesus procession into Jerusalem where people threw down palm fronds to celebrate his entry into the holy city. Many churches process around their churches waving palm fronds and crosses as a symbol of this triumphal event.
What we often don’t realize is that this was a very subversive event, symbolizing the in breaking of God’s kingdom with its upside down values and countercultural ways. Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem may have begun with crowds shouting Hosanna but it ends with Good Friday and the apparent triumph of the powers of the Roman Empire and of Satan. It does not end with a gold crown but with a crown of thorns. Jesus triumphal entry ends with his willingness to take into himself all the pain and suffering of our world so that together we can celebrate the beginning of a new procession on Easter Sunday – a procession that leads us into God’s banquet feast and the wonder of God’s eternal world. I talk about that in a previous post I wrote Palm Sunday 2012 – Which Procession Will We Join? which contrasts Jesus entry into Jerusalem with the very different entry of Pilot on the other side of the city
In this post on Palm Sunday I have particularly focused on images of the triumphal entry into Jerusalem which often suggest the subversive nature of the event.
There are of course a huge number of resources available for this season.
Anglican Prayer has just updated this list for Palm Sunday
Presbyterian Church USA has an excellent liturgy available here.
Work of the People also always has good video clips available
And some great prayers from Carol Penner
And some great downloadable resources from the Mennonite Church Canada.
A powerful film clip Scattered Palms from The Work of the People
And if you don’t know how to make palm crosses watch this short video on how to make a palm cross for Palm Sunday.
And if you are looking for a traditional hymn for the day All Glory Laud and Honour is a must listen to
Let me end with a prayer that I wrote several years ago for Palm Sunday
Let us enter the city with God today
Let us sing hosanna to our king
To the son of God riding on a donkey
With shepherds and prostitutes,
With the blind and the leper
With the abandoned and oppressed
Let us shout for joy at Christ’s coming
And follow the One who welcomes the sinner and dines with the outcast
Let us touch and see as God draws near
Riding in Triumph towards the Cross
This is part of this series on Resources for Holy Week. Here are all the posts: