Visit our new site at

Saturday, April 16, 2011

11th Hour Preacher Party: Palms, Passion or Both Edition

Dear Gals and Pals, you are now entering Holy Week. You may not turn back.  You must keep going forward.  We will all be with you, praying for you, throughout the next week, until we all emerge on the other side of the Feast of the Resurrection.

We enter Holy Week tomorrow, on "Palm Sunday", as it was called when I was a little girl.  Or "Passion Sunday", as we call it now.  What do you call it?  Which takes precedence, palms or passion?  And, how do you observe the day?  Do you do anything special, other than palms?  (Hint:  my church has a tradition of getting a donkey every year).  Let us know what creative plans you have for the day, or, for that matter, for the week.

Today is my birthday, so I believe there are special plans for me throughout the day.  I have the coffee (fair trade toffee caramel is my fave) and cinnamon Tea, but, truth be told, instead of blueberry pancakes, I think there will be some special birthday surprise.  I'll tell you more about it later.  I'm sure it won't have any calories.

So, I invite you come come for breakfast and conversation, stay for support and encouragement throughout the day, as we enter this Holiest of Weeks.


  1. Happy birthday, Diane. Hope there are some nice surprises for you today.
    I couldn't sleep, so I've just written my Good Friday service - a series of meditations on the things that Jesus carried to the cross.
    I'll be posting these as Holy Week progresses. Meantime there are some Palm sunday resources and reflection on the blog
    Hope to check back in later and see what others are up to.
    MEantime, my nocturnal writing has left me famished - time for some bacon and eggs - do you prefer poached, boiled, scrambled or sunny side up?

  2. Happy birthday, Diane! May the surprises be delightful ones :-)

    Liz, that would be scrambled for me...

    I'm doing the family service and thinking palms, both the plant kind and the hand kind. I have a wonderful poster entitled "Reconciliation" that's a painting of hands in a circle; I'm thinking there's potential there. Or maybe not.

    I have MT to do too, but that will be a more informal one. I'm pondering ahead to Easter Day; I'm reading Fr. Greg Boyle's book about Homeboy Industries and the value in God's eyes of every person just as s/he is. I want to connect that to the amazement of the resurrection being for each of us, right now, just as we are, not only for the "good" or "holy" people.

  3. Happy Birthday Diane.
    Almost dinner time, chicken and vege pasta.
    This afternoon I looked at some resources for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Wondering about going with John for Friday and Sunday this year, this is my 5th Easter since ordination, and generally I have followed the gospel for the lectionary year.

    Tomorrow - don't a have a sermon yet! I am extending the Palm Sunday reading of the entry to Jerusalem from Matthew, to include the cleansing of the temple, also including from Matthew 26, the plot to kill Jesus and the anointing of Jesus.
    I think I am heading toward something about how we approach Jesus:
    Standing with the crowd cheering
    Standing up for justice
    Defending our turf – both religious elite and stallholders
    Worshipping with all we have

    Also making Palm Crosses in church.

    But time to get dinner, just after 6.00 pm.

  4. Happy birthday, Diane. Mine is Tuesday but I think we are delaying it to Easter day when we might have more time to breathe.

    Tomorrow is the "triumphal" entry and why Matthew's faithful Jewish Jesus had to die.

    Monday is supper in Bethany and the parallels between this supper and the last one.

    Tuesday is probably going to be the Corinthians lesson about foolishness/wisdom.

    Wednesday is Tenebrae with lots of chanting but no preaching. Thursday is the deacon's sermon and I haven't decided what to do about Good Friday yet.

    This morning is pancakes and sausage for my nephew's band as they get on the road to Louisville. That's provided I can get them up in time to do more than pack the trailer and hit the road. Anyone else hungry?

  5. Yes, please, Margaret! Pancakes and sausage sound perfect.

    Diane, a Very Happy Birthday to you! It is also my sister's birthday, so calling her is high on my list of things to do today.

    I am preaching on the donkey. It's the last in a series I made up for Lent on "surprising words of life" and donkey is the word du jour. I'm using Carl Gregg's take on the donkey as heralding non-violence. I'm also hoping to make the point that non-violence actually works and there are things in this month's Sojourners like this video that I hope will support my point.

    The resurrection, of course, is the ultimate vindication for the Jesus way, but is it convincing enough? (only a little snarky ...)

    Going to chow down on those pancakes now.

  6. Good morning! I'm drinking coffee and opened one small present. I'll be at the church a little later, working on services for Good Friday and Holy Saturday, helping tomorrow's breakfast people get ready, writing prayers, and having a rehearsal for tomorrow's Palm/Passion Sunday drama. a little nervous about that, but truthfully, I'm a little nervous about everything this year, with the interim senior who hasn't had much time for worship planning, and the interim music director, who also hasn't had much time for worship planning.

    thanks for the birthday wishes! Margaret, I've postponed the celebration before, too...
    Liz, will be looking at your blog, but due to the drama, I'm not preaching tomorrow.

    Betsy, I like all your thoughts. will feel better when I can get all of the sermons put together. I think I finally got the songs.

    Pearl -- welcome! you sound like you have Holy week well under control.

    I think I'm having an omelet. want me to ask my husband to make one for you?

  7. Welcome, Sharon! thanks for the links!

  8. Here is my sermon, Hosanna

    time for a cup of tea, and I opened a box of chocolates form Christmas, help yourself.

    hope your days are fruitful, I'll be sleeping.

  9. We have two services & the later one is being handled by the choir. For the early one (which will have very few since most will go to the later one) we will let the scripture speak. I think the Entertainer is going to help me with the reading. So no sermon for tomorrow and very little prep needed.

    I have an extended day with confirmands today so I doubt I'll come back and have energy for the Maundy Thursday service but that's the next sermon I need to write.

    Will we make this preacher's party the "dance mix" version and keep it going through the week? Or are their plans for a Holy Week services preacher's party?

  10. Ack! That video is dense and long! Here is an article that has the goodies, if anyone is interested.

  11. thanks for the sermon, Pearl, and happy dreams.

    Vicar, good question. anyone? Holy week dance mix?

    Sharon, thanks for the link. don't know about anyone else, but I need all the help I can get

  12. Happy Birthday Diane. May I borrow your icon image for my blog today?
    It is lovely.
    I'm going to post my sermon early today b/c I took a study day this week and finished it. Then worked on our Maundy Thursday Love Feast (Feetwashing service). Today I have an appt with someone in hospice care and I have to work on children's story. (As I develop it I'll share)

    Back here later. I'm still hoping to find an iPad2 today...maybe

  13. for the first time ever we are doing both tomorrow palms & passion...

    happy b-day diane! blessings!!

    FYI donkey... those who raise sheep in today's world (near boonieville) they have donkeys in with the the sheep b/c the donkeys protect them... they kick the snot out of the foxes and coyotes who try to steal the sheep away.

  14. Happy Birthday Diane! God danced on the day you were born.

    I will be doing a dramatic reading of the Passion according to St. Matthew. With low congregational attendance at tenebrae, it feels like my congregation moves too quickly from the triumphal march of palm Sunday to the resurrection of Easter Sunday and somehow skips over the story of the cross. I hope to give them the opportunity for reflection on what it was like to be Jesus' disciple standing in the shadow of the cross.

  15. Good morning everyone! Just had a ride on the wind trainer since I still can't run. Then a nice breakfast with the girls. DH arrives later today from a three day trip to DC.
    I am having four readers for tonight, reading the whole story from Matthew, beginning with the palms, interspersed with hymns. It's my fifth time doing it, and for the first time, I wish I were preaching instead. Oh well.
    We have some fresh cut pineapple out on the table with plenty of toothpicks! And a birthday party for tomorrow afternoon to plan.
    Blessings to everyone! Word ver= mooze (would that be the chocolate kind?)

  16. Welcome, Nancy, Hot Cup and G_G !

    Hot cup, that's good to know about donkeys.

    G_G, the mid-week attendance -- it's a concern everywhere.

    Nancy, I got that image from another blog; could not trace it farther back.

  17. MumPastor, we go back and forth: preaching/drama/drama/preaching. Yeah, I'll be ready again after this year!


  18. Happy Birthday, Diane! I look forward to hearing what surprises you receive!

    We celebrate Palm/Passion Sunday, as I talked about at the Wednesday Festival. I will be offering a brief meditation as we make the move from the Service of the Palms to the Service of the Passion. Our Service of the Passion is a service of lessons and hymns, so we will be reading through Matthew and responding at various points with appropriate hymns.

    I think preparing my meditation will be fairly easy (famous last words, eh?), but I have a lot more work to do on my youth Church School lesson and Youth Group prep. Better get to it!

  19. Hot Cup, thanks! I'm all things "donkey" today. According to Jim Wallis, we are the donkey: (from article "What Would Jesus Cut?")

    Because our biblical values demand that we both serve and defend the poor, we want to make sure that legislators consider how their actions will impact the most vulnerable people.

    As budget and deficit reduction debates continue this year, the community of faith will form a circle of protection around poor and vulnerable people who have no one else to speak for them. This is part of our vocation as people of faith.

    We carry Jesus? The donkey is Jesus' "secret weapon"? Jesus chooses the donkey as his vehicle?

    Aack! Going to get out to post office, grocery store, and recycle. I'll be back for more birthday snacks. Then maybe I'll be a more brilliant sermonizer!

  20. Greetings! A very happy birthday to you, Diane!

    I have definate ideas if where I would like to go with Palm Sunday/Holy Week this year. Alas, I am not the one making these decisions. In a rare turn of events, my internship congegation has need of a preacher for Palm Sunday and Maundy Thursday, so I am following their program.

    My reading of the triumpal entry made me think of flash mobs for some reason. So I'm going with the wedding at the mall flash mob, switching to the 'multitudes' as Jesus enters the city, and finally switching to the crowds before Pilate. I'm not exactly sure where I am going from there -
    that's the task for today.

    On the call front - the call committee I am in conversation with has waived the phone interview. They were sufficiently impressed after talking to my references that they know they want me to come for a visit/extended interview. I'm just waiting for them to tell me when!

  21. I was shocked to hear a couple long-term choir members (Raised in a church) lament my bringing the 'passion' into the end of the palm service. Geez, these are the folks who lead worship and should know better. Perhaps they are really lamenting the lack of a Good Friday service which would enable us to focus on the "palm" side. (not) But I am making the "turn" at the end of the sermon and then we sing v. 3&4 of lord of the Dance (our focus this month) with 2 dancers interpreting and the cross (fullsize) is brought forward. I keep trying to make the point while allowing for a good "palm" service.

  22. Happy birthday, Diane!

    We are doing Palms/Passion tomorrow. Weather permitting we will begin outside with the Liturgy of the Palms, process around the perimeter of our property with palms and singing and then enter the church to "All Glory Laud and Honor" ..and then we'll progress to a congregational reading of the passion narrative.

    I've been thinking more about this since our discussion earlier this's a lot for one Sunday, but it does juxtapose the highs and lows that Jesus' followers must have experienced that last week in a stark way. I don't see that as a substitute for participating in a full Holy Week, but as a lead up for it.

    We'll have a full week, too, with Eucharist on M, T, and W, and then Maundy Thursday with foot washing and stripping of the altar. Friday we have Stations of the Cross at noon and the Good Friday Liturgy at 7 pm. And Saturday night we'll have the Great Vigil of Easter which is my most favorite part of the whole church year.

    I'm trying not to worry about how I'm going to get all thee sermons will happen somehow. One step at a time.

  23. oh yes, and Happy Birthday Diane! And Margaret too! My youngest turned 7 on April 7, which next year will be the Vigil. Ah, these April birthdays...I will never forget bringing a four day old to Easter service though :)
    Back to worship and party planning.

  24. Yay Ramona! keep us posted on the call process.

  25. Rev. Nancy (as I put on my shoes to head out the door) -- I have been one of those Palm Sunday purists who is now seeing the error of her ways. If the Passion is not at least a distant drumbeat, then Palm Sunday is just a happy little parade. The danger of Jesus' actions, and the impending fatal consequences, is something I can't leave out.

    Recognizing the struggle of conveying the magnitude of each of these stories, and all of them together (sigh) ...

  26. We're processing with Palms and still call it "Palm Sunday"... a show of my ignorance, I didn't know it had another name!

    I'm doing music this week, and tried (but declined) playing the pipe organ. I haven't practiced on one in months and it showed. Badly. So we are back to the keyboard and a faux organ sound. (don't hate)

    I have bagels from Panera on my counter. Please help yourself. My husband went out early and got them, and the sugary apple crumble one is longing to attach itself to my hips! LOL

  27. Oh and Diane - I forgot! Birthday blessings to you! May the year ahead be full of God moments. :)

  28. RevDrMom -- thanks for the note of sanity. if only it were just sermons, tho. I need to make sure I have some readers and ideas for the Vigil, as the interim sr. informed me last week that he is not going to be able to be at the Vigil. me, reading all four lessons, wouldn't that be special?

    Nancy -- change is hard, eh? I like what you are doing...

  29. OK, as I re-read your explanations of Palm/Passion Sunday, I guess we do both. We end with Communion, each person bringing the palms they have processed with to the altar, laying them down before receiving the elements. So the cross is definitely in the background. The problem with being a "non" (denominational) is that I don't always know the vocab.

  30. Happy BDay Diane!!

    I'm all for the Dance Mix Preacher Party - my schedule will be identical to Rev Dr Mom's - four sermons for me in 6 days - the rector gets the others.

    Sharon - I'm mulling the non-violence aspect also - I've pulled out the non-violent atonement (denny weaver) but am struggling with a short time frame. Liz's reflections are amazing and sort of where I'm going with all of this.

  31. Rev Nancy - I love 'Lord of the Dance" and that's a great idea for ending a primarily palm-focused service. I'm putting it in my bag of tricks!

    Sharon - so nicely put. I may just use your 'passion drumbeat, palm parade' statement in my sermon, if I can find a place for it. If not, it will certainly inform my sermonating!

  32. Happy Birthday, Diane!

    I am missing all of the celebrations this year--nowhere to worship, really, for a complex list of reasons. Which makes me sad.

    Blessings to all of you as you plan, write, and worship this week!

  33. Signing in on another acct so I'll pick-up the emails through the day. It has also occured to me that in some ways, this juxtaposition of joy and sorrow is exactly our daily lives and the tension we hold as Christians in a broken world...

  34. I'm 'all-about' Denny Weaver's non-violent atonement. It's a great book that teaches a bit about all the theories as it explains the problems with each. It just isn't easy to convey in a sermon. But I try to add little bits from time to time. Perhaps a re-read is in order this week.

  35. oh Ramona, good news. good for you!

    Jules, sorry to hear that, and appreciate all your prayers.

    working on some things, still some glitches. pray for me.

    gonna do the easiest thing first, which is to write the prayers for tomorrow.

  36. Jules - I wish you were here!!

  37. Gals, I love this discussion, help yourselves to the muffins. Sharon, do you know the Chesterton poem about the donkey? In case you can't put your hand on it

    Help yourself!

    And is anybody (else!) out there old enough to remember when the Book of Common Prayer (Canadian version, anyhow) made LAST Sunday "Passion Sunday"? And THIS Sunday "Palm Sunday"? There was NO explaining that one to confirmation classes. Or to anyone else.
    We're going to do Palm/Passion...and MT, and GF, and a quiet low-key contemplative Eucharist MTW evenings.
    Everybody hold onto the rope, and we'll get through this together.
    Jules, you sure you couldn't just...sneak in the back door of St. Curious, here? Hugs & prayers.
    Diane, many many happy returns.

  38. Just got an email - I'm visiting what is hopefully my future parish on May 20-23! We are so excited!

    I just found out that I need to do a children's sermon tomorrow as well. It's right after the palm procession and the reading of Matthew's account of the triumphal entry. Anyone got and good ideas?

  39. I have a draft of my meditation and am taking a break to get the boys ready for a birthday party, then I'm back to youth prep for tomorrow.

    Also OMG someone please take this box of Mallomars away from me!

  40. Hi all,

    Happy Birthday Diane!

    Had a very inspiring/refreshing retreat day yesterday, that I hope will energize me through today to finish sermon, and also 3 other fun church things (work day, baptism prep, and auction for an organization we support).

    PReaching on Palm Sunday for the first time ever, usually have always done passion. Like Songbird, my Title is "who is this?" and I think will be about the ideas/expectations/desires we bring to Jesus, but not sure yet. And, I have lots to do before I can really get to it - gonna be a late night, I guess!

  41. Happy birthday Diane!

    I went on a mini-Lenten retreat on Thursday with the Bishop - and he told us that Palm Sunday became Passion Sunday because the church realized that people were moving straight from one major celebration (Palm Sunday) to another celebration (Easter) without experiencing Jesus' crucifixion in between. People have largely stopped coming to Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services. We still hold those services, but they are attended by our most faithful parishioners.

    I haven't finished my sermon for tomorrow but I'm trying to honor the tension between the Palm and the Passion sides of the day. The same crowd went from crying "Hosanna!" to "Crucify him!" and now we feel that change in our church service.

  42. hi, and welcome to all.

    thanks for the birthday wishes, too.

    pretty soon it's lunchtime.

    I've got grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, because it snowed last night, and feels kind of that way.

    what do you have?

  43. We have "Palm Sunday: The Sunday of the Passion," so procession and triumphal entry, then reading the passion narrative in 3 parts. I am not preaching, as the Gospel is then quite long, and it ends with the condemnation of Jesus. So we will leave space for silent/quiet meditation following the Passion Gospel.

    I am keeping my preaching light all week in fact -- a selection from the tradition in place of a homily/sermon on Maundy Thursday, silent meditation on Good Friday, and probably an extemporaneous sermon on Easter Day.

    I am very, very anxious about maintaining my energy and stamina through the week -- it is my first in a congregational ministry as an ordained person, as I was previously a hospital chaplain after ordination, and also I am 33 weeks pregnant and beginning to really bump up against limits to my stamina and capacity to spend a lot of time on my feet or to expend lots of energy in worship. So Holy Week & Easter feels like a marathon that I need to just survive in one piece, rather than a time when I can really enter into it myself emotionally, spiritually, etc.

    And since all of my occasions of serious dizziness/fainting have happened on liturgically significant days (Bishop's visitation, Ash Wednesday), I am hoping that I don't have that happen again.

  44. Jen -- we will be remembering you in our prayers this coming week.

  45. update on birthday: so far, I got one card and two pop-up books. I got some "Kimono Rose" perfume earlier.

    We are going out to a Japanese restaurant later, maybe I should wear Kimono Rose???

    in the meantime, back to Holy Week planning

  46. 1000 words and no ending and no motivation to write an ending. And I'm on a deadline - I'm taking the son to see his girlfriend in her HS musical at 5:30, so I have to be done before then!

    Oh, and there's that children's sermon... you'd think the procesion with the palms would be enough for the kids!

    Come Holy Spirit, Come!

    My verification word is "chronsen" - the sense that time is radidly slipping away from you.

  47. ((((Jules))))

    Have a great day Diane!

    I'm going with a tennebrae theme, talking about how as the week goes on the mood turns from joyous celebration into the eventual darkness of Good Friday and then the glorious Light of Easter morning.

    My illustration is the gift that Dumbledore gave to Ron Weasley in the most recent HP movie. It could gather light to be saved for the darkest moments when the trio of heroes needed light to find their way. So it could gather in light, as well as shed light.

    During the hardest parts of this coming week, we may need to look to those near us to shed their light for us to find our way. Or - we may need to shed some light for someone else. And really, isn't that how our Christian life always is? This week just highlights in a particularly powerful way.

  48. Sue, I just watched that movie again last night and love the illustration. I had a darth vader cookie jar up on the pulpit for most of last week's sermon. This week I'm moving around the altar things (candles, flowers - no communion for us) and talking about balance as God's Feng Shui. It's a reach with a Taoist nod/disclaimer.
    Children are another thing, but b/c I have mostly older kids, I can do things I never would with little ones.

  49. I have procrastinated by going out and planting pansies in the outdoor pots around the church walkways, and then taking a hot shower because I was so cold when i came in...grey and raw here today.

    Jen, blessings on your Holy Week marathon...can't imagine doing it 33 weeks pregnant.

    Speaking of April birthdays, my granddaughter was was born on Easter Sunday 3 years ago (the year Easter was very very early), and she was a week early. Her baby sister is due to be born around the 1st of May...if she should come a week early, she too would be born on Easter. We'll see!

    I am thinking that all my sermons will be on the short side, too. My seminarian is preaching on Wednesday evening, but I've got all the rest. And I MUST stop procrastinating!

  50. Sue, thank you so much for that illustration - couldn't think of a way in with the children that would be just a bit different for Palm Sunday. The latest HP DVD has just been released here, so timing is perfect.
    Elastigirl, thanks for your comments on the reflections - if they are of any use to any revgals, please help yourself. That applies to the ones I'll post as HW progresses too.
    Looking forward to a dinner of chicken fried rice- made by a friend - which makes it even better!
    Vicar, it would be great to have the dance mix to accompany us through this marathon week.

  51. ok, my brain is frazzled, so what I am going to do is make copies of readings for Friday and Saturday.

    hi everyone. be back later.

  52. Hi folks, tomorrow morning I get to preach in the Auditoire Calvin, in Geneva, which I think is just a little bit exciting :)
    Sermon, alas, not one of my better efforts as it was finished at 3am this morning so I could attend an all day conference in Berne... FWIW, you can find it here

    hahahaha - the wordverf is 'dedoxe' - I am so sleepy that I think I know how a dead ox actually feels! :)

  53. I had a sermon idea on Monday. Unfortunately I have not had a chance to look at it again since then (between a book study and a funeral, meet witha family for today's funeral, and a Presbytery meeting...)

    Luckily it is communion so we can be shorter. Mind you I have also to get a communion prayer together yet. I may take my dvd of Superstar in and play HOsanna from it, or a snippet thereof. Just have to check who is running PowerPoint (some operators are more comfortable with a quick addition like that). I have decided that I will end the GF service with playing the crucifixion scene (until I change my mind of course).

  54. Jen, looks like my last post went into the ether, but I mentioned that 13 years ago Easter was 2 days before my due date. Little (now big!) guy didn't come for 2 more weeks, but what I remember most about that round of liturgies was simply wishing it would be over; I was a solo pastor but called in many favors to help me (or take over if he came early). Be gentle with yourself; some years are like this, and it's okay if you cut back and/or aren't feeling in the spirit. Prayers for strength for you.

    Jules, I hope you'll find a place for your heart to rest this week.

    Ramona, how exciting about the invitation! For the children's sermon, maybe think about all the ways we can use our palms/hands: waving in greeting, held up for "stop," to hug and soothe, to hold a hammer and nails, etc. Lots of hands in this week's stories, and kids can connect with that.

    Apple tree pruned, previously mentioned almost 13 y.o. being paid to do the clean up. Visiting dog here for the week to go with our dog and 2 cats. Much to do and no inspiration to do any of it!

    Tortilla chips and cheese...nachos, anyone?

  55. Happy day, Diane!

    I have a good first draft which will probably get a good polishing in a bit.

    We're doing Palm/Passion too--dramatic reading of the Gospel, but I'm also offering a short sermon/reflection.

  56. First draft done. Time to let it simmer before editing.

    I am mulling over a children sermon idea, asking them if they know what happens next after the palm parade. I think I want to talk about how we save the palms from today so we can remember Holy Week all through the year, and then we use those palms for ashes on Ash Wednesday.

    I don't know - still noodling it over. Maybe I will take that a nap - my son says I'm grumpy without my mid-afternoon sermon-writing nap!

  57. Blessings to Jen, congrats to ramona on the site visit and Happy Birthday to Diane!
    I spent the morning at church with our new Prayer Shawl Ministry group, which is to say, they decided to be one, and I am very excited about it!
    I also spent time doing fiddly tax-related things at the Post Office.
    The subtext of my life today is a disappointment for one of my children and the need I feel to advise in an area about which I am only minimally knowledgeable, so I feel helpless and sad and distracted. Let's hope I can find my focus. Can't believe it's nearly 3 o'clock! (I was so distracted, I paid my bills...)

  58. I have a sermon, Tell me...who is this?" Still may tweak the ending.

    Happy Birthday to Diane and all others celebrating special days.

    Grace and peace for those in transition in so many ways.

    May Holy Week touch each of you in your heart, soul, and whatever form of ministry God has in mind for you.

  59. I knew it was too good to be true when the baby went to sleep at the same time as the big kids. She's back up already, so there's no afternoon writing for me. Oh well.

    I've got a good lead on Good Friday, nothing for Maundy Thursday, and a general idea for Palm Sunday. I wish I were a little more solid on the sermon for tomorrow, but I don't think it will be too bad. I'm planning to run with the question of the crowds at the end of the "parade," Who is this? all of Holy Week. I think.

    Gee, I'm sounding so confident aren't I?

  60. hello to everyone! Songbird/Martha, so pleased about your Prayer Shawl ministry!!!!!!!

    I get to go home now, after the rehearsal. I'm feeling better about tomorrow. wish I felt that way about the rest of the week.

    I don't have a good lead on good friday, have a good idea for a short Holy Saturday message, have songs picked, need an acolyte for tenebrae, and a LOT of stuff for Easter Vigil. I'm not preaching Easter.

    I'm trying to figure out when I can get some pastoral care in.

  61. I think I'm going to go home and not think about it for a little while.

    even though I have a lot to do.

    what do you think?

  62. Have not had time to read postings yet. Early this morning I was notified of the suicide of 2 13year old girls in our little town... as details are coming out, the 2 were part of a pact of 17 with 5 attempts last night. One of the 2 who died is extended family of my church - everyone in our area is heart sick and reeling Lord in your mercy...


  63. (((SB))) Parenting grown--or almost grown--kids can be more challenging than taking care of babies sometimes.

    Thought I was going to go short this week, but I rattled out 1200 words before I got close to an ending so now must go back and pare down.

    And wishing I had enough wood for a fire in the feels like that kind of day.

  64. Oh Celeste, how heart breaking. Prayers for all involved. So sad.

  65. Here's what I need: readers for Maundy Thursday. I think I have just about enough, but I need to remember to give them their scripts and to count up and get any other readers I'm lacking! Ack!
    How can a late Easter sneak up on my so completely?

  66. Celeste, I just saw your comment after leaving mine. How horrifying! Praying for all concerned.

  67. Oh Celeste, how very very sad! Prayers for your entire community.

  68. I'm supplying this week at a church that's in a hard way and it's palms, all palms all the time. It's actually the topic of my sermon---the choice between palms and passion.

    I've got this one sticky point. I have an illustration I thought was just perfect and no place to put it. I just have to decide if it's the one accessory that should be removed before leaving the house, or if it really needs to find a home in the sermon (the illustration is closely tied to the congregation, otherwise I wouldn't be worrying.)

    I've never preached Palm Sunday before, so I'm psyched. That leaves just Easter Day and Christmas Eve on my list of "never done it." (college chaplain and pulpit supply means these days are rarities....)

    Blessings to all who ponder still!

  69. And life (and Holy Week) go on - in the midst of many calls - drop-ins - facebook notes and emails - and church set up and after church fundraiser prep, I have to get a sermon done! For the first time, I went with mostly Palms with a turn toward Passion in the last hymn and set up for the rest of the week. Not a word written yet... As Anne Lamontte says - there are only 3 prayers - mine right now is Help!


  70. and yes I can spell Lamotte- I just can't type...


  71. Celeste, prayers for your whole community, and for you as you try to minister to/with them AND find the path through Holy Week.

  72. Songbird -- praying re: your distraction,discernment, advising, and disappointment.

    ((((Celeste))))) you and your congregation are in our prayers. no words.

  73. and Celeste -- "help" is a good prayer and a good reminder.

  74. Celeste - reaching out in love. they are lucky to have you there holding out love. Prayers that you have the strength to help everyone else through this. x

  75. Oh my goodness Celeste - prayers ascending for you, the families of the deceased, and for your community.

  76. guys. I'm going to leave you for awhile while I go have a birthday dinner.

    maybe another present?

    I'll be back to relax with you after that.

  77. I have about 2/3's of a sermon. Took a break to walk my dog and that turned into a ramble around the Internet. I'm trying to get back to it for 45 minutes, then I'll take a break for dinner. Which may be cereal. I'm eating alone, which is sometimes sad but in this case is maybe just as well.

  78. praying for you all as you work toward bearing the word. Esp. those who are bearing others' sorrows, too.

  79. I haven't read all your comments yet. There are so many already! I always feel like I'm way out in left field from most of you, but here's what I've got.

    Palm/Passion Sunday broken into 3 sections. Scripture reading of the triumphal entry followed by Palm procession with children's time talking about what it means for Jesus to be king of our lives.

    Middle section has two readings. One the section where Jesus tells the disciples one will betray him and they all ask, "Surely, not I?" That's the focus of my sermon - yes surely it is you and you and me who daily betray Christ and need the forgiveness he talks about in the blessing of the cup and he offers on the cross. Following the sermon we'll read the institution of the Lord's Supper and celebrate Holy Communion.

    Finally, we will read the garden reading up to the arrest and the choir will sing Via Dolorosa. We'll leave at the ringing of the bell. No benediction because we are leaving things hanging till we come together again on Good Friday.

    It may work, it may flop. Oh well. I wrote my sermon yesterday morning. It just flowed. But today it seems really short. I'm wrestling with trying to fill it out or leaving it as is.

  80. Celeste: Lord have mercy,Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy. Prayers for you and your community.
    I am just now getting to sermon prep. As a bi-vocational pastor with a very demanding FT job(hospice R.N.which this week meant that I left for work at 7am Friday and got home at 7am this morning) I have very little time/energy during the week for worship prep..something I feel perpetually guilty about. Anyway, sorry for the's what is heavy on my heart and mind as I prepare for Palm/Passion/Holy Week...The church I serve will be the only church in town(small, southern) having a Maundy Thursday service (not well attended most years). The church sits on a downtown corner and right outside our doors the town will be having a "BBQ and Blues Festival"!!!! Yep, a BBQ and Blues Festival held during Holy Week...there's a Palm/Passion sermon right there if only I can clear the sleep deprived fog from my brain long enough to focus! As always, thank you all for being here, and Happy, Blessed birthday Diane.

  81. Prayers ascending for Celeste and her community. Trusting the spirit will give you just the right words.

  82. thank you friends- prayers deeply appreciated. still no words on paper, but they will come - need to somehow reboot my brain. Lord, Lord, Lord


  83. Celeste, so sad, tragic, simply awful. Prayers ascending for all.

    As I have read comments today and done my own sermon prep, I'm not sure there is much difference between Palms and Passion. Because Jesus is already in the latter, the crowds are all about the former and the citizens of Jerusalem are clueless for some reason. So, even though I moved the Passion Narrative to the end of the service so I could preach on the entry into Jerusalem, I'm not sure the mood will be the least bit lighter.

    Who is this? will be the focus of my sermon as well.

    BTW, Amy Jill Levine says that Jesus was crucified because not enough of the people bought in despite Jesus being a very good Jew, well versed in Hebrew Scripture and a worker of miracles. I have to wonder if we would buy in today. My guess is that Jesus is so far from what we are used to that we would have a hard time.

    Word verification is a good one for this list: referess. As many people who have tried to describe me as a priestess, I figure a woman wielding a whistly at a basketball game ought to be a referess, right?

  84. Prayers for you Celeste - oh these dear young ones and their families - my heart aches for them.

    Wow, what happened to this afternoon? I have been in my office, thinking about writing but mostly having phone calls - good ones but they are not getting the sermon written. I have about an hour before I have to switch gears again :b Let's see what I can get done.

    Thinking of you, dear Jules.

  85. Happy birthday Diane, and prayers ascending for Celeste and her people.

    I am in a pickle here. Nothing horrible, just a pickle. I am doing a short meditation on the passion tomorrow rather than a full sermon. It's not written yet. Today was church clean-up day, which went really well, but I came home, ate lunch, and promptly fell asleep.

    I'm also supposed to be baking some things for tomorrow's breakfast and coffee hour, and my friend is hosting a wine and cheese party across the street, where I am expected. What gets done and what gets dropped??

  86. Hmm. Okay. One hour later, and the meditation for tomorrow is done (the non-negotiable), so now I think I'll go partake of some wine and cheese.

    Be back later though to finish getting the little things ready for tomorrow...

  87. Ok,I think I have a decent enough outline to head out for the auction. Semfem - they are having a WALL OF WINE. We are both gonna come back tipsy.

  88. blessings on your writing, all you who are hard at work. ::cue spooky, holy week voice:: I'll see when the bell tolls twelve times

  89. and we're at 90 comments, and I would leave 10 more so I could finally get 100, but I dont want to take that away from Vic. Go, vic, go!!

  90. Wow, a Wall of Wine? Usually all we have around here is a Wall of Whine...badumdum-ching!
    My sermon is finished, and I'm in the process of blogging it. Will post a link later.

  91. hello, guys. I'm back. I had harumaki, inari-zushi and some sukiyaki for supper. yum!

    I'm trying to remain calm about tomorrow. I think it will be fine. I'm always more worried about it when it's a team effort.

    I'm still praying for Celeste and her family.

    got Holy Week lists going, and hoping to get time to work on sermons, too.

    but not tonight.

  92. I'll add one last comment before I call it a night. We've been watching The tudors, time to return to this century. Now I've got the hic cups. oh well. nite all, happy preaching

  93. Here's my sermon: Who is This?
    I'm going to sign off for the night, have a great Sunday everyone, whether it's Palm or Passion!

  94. doing my part to hit the 100 comment mark... and struggling to find words of grace and hope where there is such confusion and pain... Jesus has been down this road before me, so back at it!
    Blessings on all who are done and those still working for whatever reason

  95. is everyone quitting early?

    Juniper! Wall of Wine! Interesting idea!

    anyway, I'll check back in if anyone needs anything, but if we're winding down early, would anyone care to get to 100 comments?

    and what about continuing the Holy Week support group?

  96. home from Church, with it being school holidays, there are not usually many children, but this week 4, all with grandparents. The activity was one for the whole congregation, making palm crosses, out of foot long chenille sticks - much easier than out of palms. Late nighters, hope your sermons come together soon.

  97. I'll do my part! I'm just getting our Scriptures for tomorrow printed out and divvied up between the hubs and me for us to read through the Passion.

  98. Then I'll read through my meditation one more time and call it a night!

  99. And there we go. 100!

    Good night, all, and many blessings on all as we move into this holy week.

  100. Count me in for a week long party!

    I just spent a ridiculous amount of time carefully weeding around some tiny pansy plants that have sprung up after reseeding from last year. Would've been much more cost/time efficient to hoe it all up and plant new ones, but oh well. I did figure out the specifics of my family service sermon for tomorrow: talking about what a closed fist means vs. an open palm/hand; one is angry and hurtful, the other generally welcoming and non-violent. I'll end up with Jesus's open hands on the cross, extended in peace to all.

  101. We'll have Holy Week and Easter prep threads all week! It's all arranged.

  102. Kids have been down for over an hour and I have been procrastinating by trying to read all the old comments from all day. Then I procrastinate from that by reading all your sermons as I come to them. Not a good idea when I haven't written my own yet.

    My last step at procrastination was to look at "My Documents" only to discover a Palm Sunday sermon from 6 years ago, from my former parish. to read it and find out how sustainable it is. I didn't at all intend to do this, but, well, now that it's in front of me...

    Makes me think of Jen L. earlier today who is 33 weeks pregnant. Let's see, Palm Sunday 2005 I was just about at that point, too. Almost exactly. Shoot Palm Sunday last year I was, too! At least the first time I was the associate. I know what Jen is feeling to have all those services on your pregnant feet! Daunting!

    Oh well. Off to check on the laundry situation for tomorrow then back to see if this one is tweakable or if I should start completely over.

  103. okay, I have to get up early, so I'm going to go to bed soon.

    glad to hear there will be a preacher party all week.

    anything I can do to help? looks like it's set, but thought I'd ask...

  104. it was nice spending part of my birthday with you!

  105. Pizza for the evening crew! And I picked up both Rocky Road and Moon Pie ice cream, so there's that too :-)

  106. I knew y'all would hit 100 before I got back!

    Scripture is printed into divided parts.

    Now for the prayers.

    I like early Saturday nights.

  107. My trip downstairs to check out the laundry situation turned into a bit of a celebration as I tried on dresses in my closet that I've been holding onto for several years "just in case" they ever fit again. Yippee!!!! They fit again. Tomorrow's pink number was my Easter dress 8 years ago (I think it's classic enough to still be fashionable). I've dragged it along 2 moves praying that someday I'd be able to get it on again. Spanx are needed this time, but hey, I've had 3 kids since then. I'll take it!

    Anyway, now I've back again to look at my old one and tweak it into my new one, and likely be in bed for good by midnight. In fact, whether I like this a whole lot or not, I'm just going to promise myself that.

  108. Vicar- "early" for you is way late for me... feel like I have a ramble -not a sermon- need to call a night and trust the Holy Spirit to work. thanks deeply for prayers. Night all

  109. LOTS of unbloggable family drama today - now to get back to this... it can and should be short - tbtg - gotta get typing. I'm pretty sure I know where it going and how to get there, but I haven't been writing this late for a long time.

  110. Celeste - I couldn't get the word verification thing to work on my phone to tell you earlier that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  111. (((celeste))) - i have a couple around that age at my house and my brain cannot even go there. lots of prayers for your entire community

  112. Checking back into the party! Wine and cheese turned into beer and cheese and chocolate, but not too much. Got some of the baking done, but it will have to be enough. Just labeling Scripture parts and getting the meditation ready to print...then a shower...then SLEEP.

    Oh and Celeste...sometimes a ramble speaks the word more than a sermon...

  113. Great pic Diane. Glad you got one with the donkey and the colt. I always wondered how he rode both of them.
    Sermon is done. I am exhausted. Egg Hunt/party and an auction today.
    I am putting the pork loin on for Confirmation dinner and then I am going to bed.
    Coffee roasted pork loin is yummy.

  114. Back from taking the son to his girlfriend's hs musical - 60 miles away.

    ((((Celeste)))). I am speechless and heartbroken with you!

    Sermon is edited and printed. It's late, so I'll blog it after worship tomorrow. Then I'll come back here, read everyone's sermon and post a link to my own.

  115. Sermon done - will ponder and print in the morning. Prayers for all preaching tomorrow. Hosanna indeed!!

  116. SheRev, woohoo on the dresses! I hope you feel spectacular tomorrow :-)

    Amy, sorry about the family drama; it can be such a weight on one's heart and spirit. May you find peace enough to get what you need to done tonight.

    Phone call from older son a bit ago, to tell me about a major disappointment for him at a weekend conference. My heart is breaking for him, as he's been having such a hard time lately anyway.

  117. ((((Celeste and community there)))))

  118. I think I'm headed to bed. I'm as ready as I can be without heading over to church in the middle of the night, so I think it's time to get some rest.

    Prayers for all those who need them...and there seem to be quite a few out there.

    Glad Diane had a good birthday!

    Blessings on all pondering, preaching, and proclamation this day.

  119. Oh, look, I'm back so late from my fundraiser thingy that the sunday prayer is already up. anyone else still here?

    Lord. In. Your. Mercy.

  120. Just about to head for bed, Juniper; I hope that whatever is left for you to do goes incredibly smoothly! Was the event worth being out late?

  121. Ahhh.... The sustainable sermon.... Why can't I just let myself preach it? Woke up later than usual since I found my sermon from 6 years ago and decided I would mostly use it. And I will! Just after I fix this, tweak that, and make sure I write a much better intro!!!

    It's funny how different I preach in my new church both because of a different context, but also because I'm doing it more often. I'm more focused now that I do it weekly. I guess I don't feel like I have to fit in every little one-liner I thought of along the way, or justify my reading with a step-by-step explanation of how I got there since it will be weeks before I ever get to preach again.


    So anyway, I'm re-writing my beginning and getting ready to surgically implant my old middle all while hoping the former ending still fits. Not a bad morning plan.

  122. hey everyone! just up with coffee this morning and a reminder that the Holy Spirit has our backs!

    all week....!

  123. Amen Diane! Printing mine at the church now - praying for those who will hear.

  124. I missed the party yesterday but you were all in my thoughts as I worked through the conversation we had all week. My message is called Palms or Passion and is posted at

    May all who speak God's word today be blessed and may all who have ears, hear.

  125. I am looking for a script that combines Palm Sunday and Holy week for our family service. It needs to be simple enough for the kids to participate and include Eucharist and foot washing. I don't want much, eh? Most of our families don't come to Holy Week services so Palm Sunday is it until Easter. Anyone have a good resource?

    Thanks. Diane+


You don't want to comment here; instead, come visit our new blog, We'll see you there!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.