Palm Sunday’s coming up. I’m not one of those people who tries to cram Palm Sunday and Passion into one Sunday morning. I’m just not sure that it’s fair to the celebration. And yet, we often just have a small handful of people who attend the Holy Week services… so I understand the logic of Passion/Palm Sunday.
Maundy Thursday’s growing more and more meaningful. We’re not so wild and crazy as to do a foot washing (I think Presbyterians have a thing about their feet…). We have a hand washing.
Holy Week’s been extremely memorable in the past. In my last church, the youth put together the Maundy Thursday service. The church was so excited to get the young people involved, that they had a high tolerance for creativity.
The service would be completely different every year. We would brainstorm ideas, I would pillage every good idea I had heard from other churches and present it to them. Then instead of picking one or two, we would use them all.
I’d get really nervous before the services. And then they would begin. We lit candles. We read poetry. We constructed giant (6′ X 4′) PVC frames, stretched a white sheet on them, and then we painted giant paintings on the back, so that the paint would soak through and appear on the sheet during the service (without the congregation seeing the person who painted it).
We created giant chalk drawings on black sheets. We made crowns from the thorny weeds we found in the marsh. We sang different music than everyone was used to.
We handed out nails–those fat, square concrete nails–to each person at the beginning of Lent. Then we made a cross out of old parking lot stops and those who were able would hammer nails into the cross as an act of repentance.
The high schoolers read and often wrote the liturgy. The teenagers were completely into the service, so everyone was very respectful. No complaining. And it was always very meaningful.
So what about you? What have been your most interesting traditions during this time? What’s been most meaningful? What do you look forward to? What would you do if you had the freedom? What are your plans?
photo’s by noe_carillo