Palm Sunday – Sunday of Passion

Almighty and everliving God, in your tender love for the
human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to
take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross,
giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant
that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share
in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives
and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever
and ever. Amen.

(Collect of the Palm Sunday following the Book of Common Prayer)

Today is Palm Sunday that opens the Holy Week. In a few days we will start celebrating the greatest feasts of the Church year – the Paschal Triduum.

Jesus triumphantly enters Jerusalem. He is welcomed as the king-redeemer promised by the prophets, the “Son of David”. But nothing changes as easily as public opinion. Palm Sunday is also the Sunday of  Passion. The same people who are cheering to greet him, in a few days will shout: “Crucify him, crucify him!”. So what seems to be a moment of triumph is actually the beginning of the Way of the Cross. Even more: an invitation to make the first step on it – an invitation for all of us. But the Via Crucis (the Way of the Cross) is also the Via Lucis (the Way of Light). Sometimes it’s hard as hell (sic!) to belive that, but we make the first step nonetheless, with a spark of hope deeply within us. The hope that always dies last, but perhaps rises from the dead first…

We would like today to remind the Sunday two years ago, when the Presiding bishop, The Most Rev. Dr. Catherine Jefferts Schori, visited Jerusalem. It was her first visit after the election and installation as Primate. The video’s quality isn’t the best there is, but it’s worthy watching and listening to a fragment of the sermon.

Additionally we would like to remind you that there is a possibility to celebrate the Holy Week together with the members of the Episcopal Church on the internet. Given the time difference, the services certainly won’t interfere with Polish and other European Church timetables. We found two options:

Washington National Cathedral and Trinity Church, NYC.

Without a doubt, the Harvard Memorial Church’s website is worth visiting as well.

And now, in the very end (unfortunately just for the Polish-speaking listeners) a rather special “Palm Sunday’s hymn”, or something from the rich treasury of Pradusz’s quasi-liturgical associations (that usually seem to Loukas a little bit blasphemous) ”Pejzaż z szubienicą” (“Landscape with a gallow”) by Gintrowski, Kaczmarski and Łapiński from their first album “Mury” (“The Walls”):

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