Sunday, April 13, 2014
Palm Sunday (Sunday of the Passion) today at our church, Episcopal Church of the Ascension (Gaithersburg MD); just after we of the procession had seated ourselves amidst the rest of the congregation.
This is our first Holy Week at Ascension – Julia began attending in July, I accompanied her a bit during my visits, and then much more so since I moved here from Boston at the end of January.
As often, we chose the 11:15 service (as every Sunday there were several; we've only been to the 5:00). Along with parts of the English and Spanish congregations, we picked up our bulletins and palm leaves in the church, then gathered at our neighbor the new incarnation of Gaithersburg High School -- the previous was Julia's alma mater -- with Rev. Randy and Rev. Sister Elena Thompson (part of the interim leadership of our Spanish services). There we started the service -- including reading Matthew 21:1-11 in English and Spanish, then processed singing and tambourining -- we were given small white and maroon plastic ones with silver zils – to the church's sanctuary.
Click here for the bulletin. Highlights included the perfectly Summery Spring day after a very unusually Wintry Winter, half-joking with the other early bird couple at the high school about whether we were in the right place, comparing Pesach plans with another fellow congregant (Passover begins at sunset tomorrow), remembering / learning what else a burrito is, the tambourines reminding me of prophetess Miriam (Moses’ sister), a palm leaf tied into a cross* and attached to the head of the guitar -- we're going to learn how to tie our leaves into crosses too, the red threads of the red-and-purple Jerusalem crosses cross-stitched on the white altar cloths continuing into their fringes reminding me of tzitzit, a woman playing Jesus, another woman Passion player's little son playing the tambourine during every song in his pew -- and doing it well, and yet another woman's red dress printed with large black and white ye olde keys.