Palm Sunday 2019
Join us in the City Square (corner of Washington and Potomac) for the start of Holy Week! Please plan to arrive by 9:45 am to give yourself time to join the procession downtown.
What is Palm Sunday? Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, the most important and transformative week of the Christian year. It remembers Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem where He is seemly hailed as the promised Messiah and king, which is an ironic contrasting prelude to His arrest, trail, suffering, and death for the sins of the world.
This contrast is reflected in the two distinct parts of the service. The Liturgy of the Palms remembers the zeal and joy of the people celebrating the arrival of their Messiah and king to the earthly Jerusalem. And so we also participate in the joyful exuberance of the procession into the church which is for us Jerusalem in two important ways. First, like that earthly city 2000 years ago, the story of the culmination of God’s redemptive work in history for mankind will be played out, as this drama leads us to remember and confess the most central doctrines of our shared faith. Second, our life of worship in the church is in a very real sense a foretaste of the life we will live in the New Jerusalem, which we glimpse now as it breaks into this present age through the power of God’s Word and Sacraments
In stark contrast, the Passion of our Lord moves us to the somber remembrance of the true cost of our sin and leads us naturally into Holy Week. At the center of this commemoration is the reading of the Passion narrative. Yet our worship is not merely a commemoration, rather our participation in the liturgy which so vividly proclaims Christ’s Gospel offers to strengthen and confirm us in the faith by the power of that Word.
Palm Sunday begins the last leg of our Lenten journey to the Cross. During this week we celebrate the Paschal (Passover) Mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection. The Triduum is the heart of Holy Week, that is, the continuous liturgical movement beginning on Maundy Thursday, moving to Good Friday, and ending at the Great Vigil on Easter Eve as we wait for the dawn…as we wait for the resurrection which changed everything! Thus through the liturgies of Holy Week we enter into a deep conversation with God about the mystery of our redemption through Jesus Christ.