Sunday, 13 April 2014

Palm branches...

"As I walk'd through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place, where was a Denn; And I laid me down in that place to sleep: And as I slept I dreamed a Dream."

I had quite forgotten that it was Palm Sunday to-day. This morning I awoke at just after seven o'clock with the sensation that I had drunk too much gin the night before, so I went back to sleep again and got up after ten. I trust you all had your palms blessed and received them from the hand of the celebrant and didn't rather pick them up at the back of the church? I actually find it odd that we use dried palm branches in England at all. Why not make use of local foliage instead? I shan't repeat any anathemas for the malefit of those of you who did not bother celebrating Christ's going into Jerusalem in violet. Who am I to judge? I sat at home this morning. As I think that celebrating Palm Sunday in violet is as much an act of hypocrisy under the aegis of Summorum Pontificum as wearing bright red dalmatics and tunicles, what would be the point? It is a nice day for a procession, though.


  1. I was in Church today, and so had Palms from the hand of the celebrant at one, and then from the back of the Church later. I am not sure which you think is better.

    I do agree with your point about local foliage. I find palms folded into the shape of a cross a bit natty, and much preferred it when in Seminary we had catkins and other such.

    Sadly our procession was inside, but I actually didn't feel like braving the tornado outside. The weather is foul.

    What colour would you like, though? I'm not following your points on that: maybe a few too many negations for me to scan it.

    1. The idea is that you receive blessed palms from the celebrant. It ruins the symbolism if you hold unblessed palms from the beginning. Regarding colours and whether or not to bother shewing up, you're asking the wrong person. I am longing for the day when I can lie down in my coffin and think, "it doesn't matter because I'm dead."

  2. It is interesting to see that there were more traditional celebrations today than last year and even a pontifical one in the heart of Rome. I agree with you though Patricius that these people should openly reject the nonsense - and lie - of Summorum Pontificum and celebrate on the basis of immemorial custom. I spent the morning potting fuchsia cuttings but I don't think by any stretch of the imagination they could be construed as palm.

  3. Sorry, I'm having trouble posting. I think it cut off the end of it. I think I was saying I can't quite remember if there was a blessing the second time around. Maybe pre-blessed? (!!) dratted technology.

  4. Well, I'm Eastern Orthodox, and our parish had bunches of palms tied with pussy willows (a Russian thing) outside the church this morning. we picked ours up and at the right time at the Mattins service held them up so they (and we! Whoopie!) could all be sprinkled with holy water.and thus blessed. After the services were over (around 3 hours later) we had a procession with prayers at the four directions, all holding our palms. Then a nice fish luncheon!
    Then home and potted some tulips and watered the garden,which is miraculously growing. Deo Gratias!
    James Morgan
    Olympia, WA
    which I hear is much like the climate in England.

  5. Here in France, they usually use box bush branches. Somewhere I got the idea that in medieval England, it was apple or cherry blossom, which is what I used yesterday for palms. That works out if Easter is in late April like this year, but not if it's in March. After all, the liturgy mentions flowers among the vegetation in question.