Sunday, 5 April 2009

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday at Lamford got off to a splendid start when our NSM priest took the 8am Mass in chasuble and stole but no alb underneath. We assumed he'd left it at home and were preparing to say to anyone who asked that it was an extra-penitential practice not to wear an alb during Holy Week. In fact he'd just forgotten to put it on ...

The hysterical atmosphere kept going for the 10am: it looked as though an elderly member of the congregation was about to peg out and had to be wheeled to the hall for restorative coffee, and at the other end of the scale a little girl fell over on the steps. Place is a death trap. Other than that, it went very well. We don't have a Procession of Palms, but more of a Solemn Entrance. The Choir carry on to their stalls while the altar party halts at the font for the Blessing of the Palms, and then the liturgy proceeds. The Passion Gospel was read by sundry laypeople, Pilate in the pulpit, the Evangelist at the lectern, and Jesus in front of the altar, with the aid of standing mikes. I got Stan, a retired teacher and the only male voice in the group, to read the Evangelist: in the rehearsal he actually choked up with emotion, God bless him. For the last few Sundays we've been a bit depleted but were back up to 200 or so this morning, and lots of people receiving blessings rather than taking communion - encouraging in a way, because it means they're not cradle-Christians but are taking it seriously.

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