Palm Sunday

by the Very Rev. Rob Boulter

With the publication of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer, the Palm Sunday liturgy was dramatically changed. We begin with the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the joyful shouts of Hosanna! But then we quickly turn to the arrest, trial, and crucifixion. On Maundy Thursday we go back in time to remember the Last Supper and foot washing. As a liturgist this has always troubled me. We go to great lengths to remember the last days of Jesus’ life but the chronology of the 1979 Prayer book undermines the logical unfolding of the story. I feel that including the Passion on Palm Sunday diminishes both the joy of the people proclaiming the coming of the messiah and undermines the profound power of Good Friday.

This year we will follow the last days and hours of Jesus mortal life in a more logical and hopefully, more moving order. It is my hope that by returning the Passion Story exclusively to Good Friday our four-act drama will unfold more logically.

Act 1) Palm Sunday: The triumphant entry into Jerusalem

Act 2) Maundy Thursday: Remembering the Last Supper and foot washing

Act 3) Good Friday: The arrest, trial and crucifixion

Act 4) Easter: The Resurrection

I encourage you to prepare now and plan to attend each part of the Holy Week story. Use the season of Lent to pass through the wilderness with Jesus and stay with him every step of the way.

The Very Rev. Rob Boulter is Dean of the Cathedral.

Cathedral of the Incarnation