Sunday, March 28, 2010

Palm/Passion Sunday

We entered Holy Week in a most blessed way this morning, processing into the Nave bearing palm branches and singing, "All Glory, Laud, and Honor" (LSB 442), reading responsively the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, according to St. Matthew, the Evangelist, hearing in the sermon about the Divine Irony which meets us at every turn during this holiest of weeks when God accomplishes His Divine Plan of our salvation, and receiving the Divine Gifts our Lord mercifully and graciously delivers to us as He rides into our midst humbly and hiddenly via His Holy Word and Sacraments.  Absolutely beautiful and overflowing with joy!

"Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion!  Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!  Behold, your King is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is He, humble and mounted on a donkey, the foal of a donkey."

"Hosanna to the Son of David!  
Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord!"

Let us pray:  
Most merciful God, as the people of Jerusalem, with palms in their hands, gathered to greet Your dearly beloved Son when He came into His Holy City, grant that we may ever hail Him as our King and, when He comes again, may go forth to meet Him with trusting and steadfast hearts and follow Him in the way that leads to eternal life; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Almighty and everlasting God, You sent Your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, to take upon Himself our flesh and to suffer death upon the cross.  Mercifully grant that we may follow the example of His great humility and patience and be made partakers of His resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Ride on, ride on in majesty!
In lowly pomp ride on to die.
O Christ, Thy triumphs now begin
O'er captive death and conquered sin. 
(LSB 441:2)

Some pics of our sanctuary, adorned for Palm/Passion Sunday, and of our Holy Week paraments and vestments (thanks to Meggers for taking these!):

A pic of our now complete set of chasubles:


Dcn Latif Haki Gaba SSP said...

Fr. Messer:

I appreciate you posting the pictures. I always enjoy learning about how the altars, etc in other places are set up.

A question: would you please explain the wider single candle at the altar? Is this related to the tradition of lighting an additional single candle at the consecration?

And I really like your credence in the corner. It's a good space. What we presently use for a credence table at our church was not designed for all that we have there, pitcher, lavabo bowel, sanctus bells, server's plate, etc. My dream would be to have one as wide as yours looks.

Rev. Thomas C. Messer, SSP said...

Deacon Gaba,

The wider single candle upon the altar is the Christ Candle. Per local custom here, we light this candle at the Midnight Mass of the Nativity of Our Lord and it is lit for every Mass until the conclusion of Mass on Ascension, when it is recessed out. We just recently were able to purchase a paschal candle and stand and will be introducing this at the Vigil of Easter this Saturday evening (which will be the first Easter Vigil celebrated here), so I'm not sure yet what we'll do with the Christ Candle. I'm thinking that, at least for this year, we'll keep it lit upon the altar until Ascension, per our custom. Next year, we'll probably discontinue the use of the Christ Candle, now that we'll have a paschal candle in use, although, I have to admit that I do like the symbolism of having a Christ Candle lit throughout the Festival half of the Church Year (from our Lord's Incarnation to His Ascension). Anyway, that's the explanation, for what it's worth.

As for the credence table, I am very thankful for the space we have and for the functionality of our table, which provides us with plenty of space for all the sacred vessels, a drawer for extra purifactors, hosts, and incense, and even a shelf for offering plates and incense burner.

We have kicked around the idea of someday removing the large cross and wallpaper from behind the altar and filling in that space with a mural or framed (and back-lit) stained glass - someday, maybe. :)