Holy Week is next week.
Since our isolation/quarantine began, one of the most anxiety-producing events for faith leaders was wondering how we would “do” Holy Week, that week before Easter that we especially join Jesus with his walk to the cross.
As a former parish priest, I know how much time and effort is spent planning worship, proofing and reproofing and reproofing again worship booklets. Rehearsals. Cleaning. Decorating. Providing the sacrament of Reconciliation of a Penitent. Money spent on flowers. Foot washing. Stripping the altar. Stations of the Cross.
These are all good and holy acts. But as we wander in this strange land, six feet apart and behind closed doors, it feels that we have a gift this year. We can enter into an even deeper meaning of an intentional walk with Jesus.
Where is God’s invitation this year?
Starting with Palm Sunday.
Each of us can pray the Liturgy of the Palms. It’s in the Book of Common Prayer and no clergy are necessary. Then we can stop. Since we will be walking the way towards the cross with Jesus, we can sit fully with his triumphant-ish entry into Jerusalem without jumping ahead to hear the Passion Gospel. Because Jesus hasn’t died yet.
In preparation for Palm Sunday: Today, Tuesday in the fifth week of Lent—do you know how to fold a palm or branch cross (I never could master it despite how many times Jo Cassidy tried to teach me)? If you do, go outside and gather some leaves. In Houston, palm branches are actually not difficult to find. Fold crosses and mail them to people who might like a bit of love. The palm crosses will be there for them on Palm Sunday if you do it today or tomorrow.
Had you planned to give flowers for Easter worship? We can take whatever money we would have spent on flowers and use it to provide food for hungry people. Flowers for Food. Write a note to the people you would have honored by giving Easter flowers for Easter worship; let them know why you are so thankful for them and that someone hungry will have something to eat because you shared your love in a tangible way.
This is the time for us to be God’s people in a powerful way in a world that is starving for the peace that passes understanding. Where is the invitation today?
Good morning God.
This is your day.
I am your child.
Please show me your way.