Palm/Passion Sunday kicks off the week and gives a foretaste of the drama to come, while leaving out the joyous surprise that awaits at the end. In many churches, worship begins outside, or at least outside of the sanctuary. Palm branches or the like are provided for a special “parade” commemorating and re-enacting Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem – a moment in history that came with great hope. Hope that Jesus would become the mighty king whose earthly reign would bring about everything the people were expecting from the Messiah. But, the celebration (both historically and in this re-enactment) is short-lived. The celebratory spirit spirals downward into a sense of dreary foreboding and grief. The “triumphal entry into Jerusalem” becomes a painful march to the Cross as the Passion Narrative is read.
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