CELEBRATING PALM SUNDAY AS A MORMON WARD – A REFLECTION
We piled into our minivan almost a half hour earlier than we normally do.
“Okay, I’ll say family prayer,” I said. “…Heavenly Father, we are grateful that today we can remember the last time Jesus went into Jerusalem…”
When we arrived to our beautiful church, there were already about fifty of our ward members lined up outside on the sidewalk. I passed out slips of paper that contained a verse from the Gospel of Matthew that we would be saying in unison as a ward. Shortly after palm fronds were passed out that the Primary children had made. Our bishop welcomed everyone and explained the significance of what we were doing.
An eleven year old girl then came to the front and read out loud:
“And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them,
And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon.
And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying,”
She paused. And in unison, parents, children, grandmothers, and grandfathers all shouted while waving their palm fronds:
“Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest!!!!”
(Matthew 21:6-9) We then walked into our beautiful ward building. When the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was blessed and passed, I thought deeply. Matthew chapter 21 had taken a new meaning in my life. I focused on that. I pictured in my mind a group – smaller
than that which met outside our country chapel – over two-thousand years ago laying down clothes and tree branches for Jesus of Nazareth as He entered Jerusalem for His last time. When I put the tiny morsel of bread in my mouth and drank that small cup of water, something changed in me. I don’t know what…
If you would like to read more about what the Medford 4th Ward of the Central Point, Oregon Stake is doing to celebrate Holy Week, click here.
A beautiful lesson. The children will not forget it. There are also places you can order Palm fronds. After Palm Sunday we put them behind the picture of the savior in our living room. That way they serve as a reminder for the whole year of the triumphant entry into Jerusalem.
Thank for your kind words. Our ward looked into buying the palm fronds, but due to budget reasons (we are also doing a Seder Meal this Thursday which is costing a ton load) and to allow the Primary children to participate more, we had the youngsters make the fronds.
Our bishop encouraged everyone to place their palm fronds in a prominent place in their homes. Ours are hanging where we normally hang our Christmas cards every year.
Blessings and Shalom!!
What a grand experience you are giving. As a child my mother read me bible stories. The triumphant entry into Jerusalem was a favorite. (All Glory Laud and Honor, to Thee Redeemer King)
I asked the music director in our ward to have us sing that hymn. That hymn makes no sense unless it is sung, as it is meant to be, on Easter Sunday.
I wish I could be in your ward!
I am glad you are able to do some things to introduce pageant and festival into your Palm Sunday observance.
I have holy envy for the mainline churches that do this sort of thing on a regular basis.
Your ward is richer for having done this.
And I agree it is an event you and your children will not soon forget.