It has become increasingly fashionable among lectionary practitioners to recognize Passion Sunday on the Sunday before Easter instead of the more traditional Palm Sunday.
The usual reasoning is that so few folks participate in Holy Week events that most will never hear the Passion story unless they hear it on the Sunday before Easter.
However, I would suggest that Palm Sunday offers some unique opportunities to witness to the community beyond the believers.
The image of a full-
fledged parade celebrating the presence of Christ in our midst is ripe for exploitation and sharing with folks beyond our faithful congregation.
Could there be a more appropriate time for a parade through the streets of your community?
Certainly, the story line is there, the images are there, the raison d’etat is there.
With proper planning –
including procuring the necessary permits – a Palm Sunday Parade could involve many many people in your community in a new celebration of a little- celebrated holiday.
One group in Minneapolis holds workshops for neighborhood children and youth for weeks before the parade.
Workgroups pick an appropriate aspect of the theme of the parade to work out a
demonstration through the use of larger-
than- life- size puppets, floats, music, dance, flags, and so on and so forth.
The whole neighborhood turns out to watch their neighbors –
– and actually join the parade to a public park where fair- like activities continue the celebration for the afternoon.
One church actually had an incident when a neighbor called the police to complain about the ruckus of the contingent of bagpipers disturbing the peace as they led the Palm Sunday parade.
I can’t remember when our church was accused of being overly enthusiastic about anything enough to disturb the peace.
This is an opportunity for real out-
of- the- box thinking.
Let your imaginations soar.
Don’t we have something to celebrate?
Isn’t the Christos Praesence something to shout about?
Wouldn’t it be great if we had to say, “If we were to keep quiet,
these stones would have to shout!”?