palm sunday in little rock

Uncategorized Mar 27, 2024

I’m not a Roman Catholic.  But this week, my annual cousins weekend brought me to Little Rock, Arkansas.  With Palm Sunday approaching, my cousin Susie, our hostess, asked if the others of us felt a desire to go to church.  Her daughter’s family is Catholic, so we decided to attend with Meghan and Andrew and their three children on this holy day.

It was a lovely service filled with “smells and bells.”  As a former Episcopalian, I was slightly more conversant with the liturgy than my other two cousins, so I suggested that the best first exposure was to just listen and absorb, and not to worry about responding.  There was no bulletin.  Some members of the congregation used the book that contained the order of worship, but to the uninitiated that book was daunting.  

As the service began, incense was wafting all around the sanctuary symbolizing the sweet scent of our prayers rising to God.  The choir sang beautiful songs, and some of the hymns were very familiar.  Then they began the reading the Passion account from the Gospel of Mark.  One priest read the part of Jesus in his Haitian accent, others read the parts of Peter and Pilate.  And when the crowd shouted “Crucify Him!”, it was so convicting to consider that I could easily have been part of that crowd, caught up in the mob mentality of that moment and yelling for the execution of the Lord.  Kneeling in quiet reflection toward the end of the reading, I found tears welling in my eyes.

I am so grateful for Susie’s suggestion that we might not want to miss Palm Sunday worship.  Entering Holy Week is most special this year, because I shared that service with women who are near and dear to my heart.

Love, Liz

Family photo by Andrew Collins