It is a tradition in our Churches that, on Palm Sunday, we receive a cross made from a palm.
These crosses are a representation of the palms that were waved as Jesus entered Jerusalem at the beginning of the week we know as Holy Week.
It is customary for our services on Palm Sunday to begin with some form of re-enactment of that moment in the Gospel narrative. In many churches The Liturgy of the Palms begins outside the church, and once the palm crosses have been blessed and the Palm Gospel read, there follows a procession into the church while the people sing their Hosannas to Jesus.
This year we are not able to participate in any of these activities. We have also been instructed by the Archbishops and Bishops that we should not distribute our Palm Crosses at all, for fear of spreading infection.
In less exceptional times, we are encouraged to keep our Palm Crosses throughout the year – many of you who have visited The Rectory will have seen that my Palm Cross is by our front door, acting as a reminder of Christ’s sacrifice for all of us every time I go out into the Benefice.
This year is going to be different. There will be no public blessing and distribution of Palm Crosses, although the Liturgy of the Palms will be available on the Benefice website so that everyone can partake in the spiritual experience of that moment in the Church’s calendar.
So that we might all still have our own Palm Cross for this Holy Week and for the year ahead, on this website is a way in which you can make your own simple paper cross.
Rather than just collecting and waving our Palm Crosses this year, we are being invited, not to tear the palms from the local trees, but to join with those who did 2000 years ago in making a Palm Cross that we can value as something we have made ourselves, and as something that will remind us to be thankful for Christ’s sacrifice for us … and as a reminder of our need to pray for those who are the victims of the pandemic we are all living through.
With every blessing to you all
as you journey through Holy Week 2020