Monday, April 18, 2011

palms & pussywillows

Palm Sunday is a major feast day. It is a little crescendo of happiness before we get down to solemnity of Holy Week. This past Sunday morning, we had the mission's Divine Liturgy after the main Byzantine Liturgy (different ethnic jurisdiction and language; it is their beautiful church). In front of the icons of Jesus and the Theotokos were pots of palms and pussywillows and the icon on the stand was changed to Jesus' entrance into Jerusalem. It probably took about 5 minutes to place the palms where they belonged. 

The night before, we have the Divine Liturgy at a Roman-rite 'chapel' (actually rather large). We have four large, moveable icons to simulate a proper icon screen that live in a closet during the week. Their decorations for Palm Sunday must have taken a long time to put up. The 15-foot banners on either side of the crucifix were changed from the general Lenten banners to Palm Sunday banners. The pots and stones in the middle of the altar space were changed and palms were added. Because of the starkness of the church during ordinary time, it takes a lot of extra work to decorate for major feast days.

So this is why our mission will be celebrating Easter Liturgy in a living room. Our Saturday Liturgies are at 5:30, and usually the chapel doesn't have any events on Saturdays, so we are free to use it. But Easter is another story. It will take them hours to change the church from Good Friday decor to Easter, so we cannot be there for Liturgy. Their Easter vigil is at 10 PM, and two and half hours is not enough to change the decorations. So we will have our little Liturgy in a living room.

We will have a late mission Liturgy Saturday at the other church and join the parish Sunday morning. The church will be decorated with a few pots of lilies, and that is all. For those churches that still have a statuary or icon screen, not a lot needs to be done to fancy up the space...


  1. This post just shows my disappointment in having the most important Liturgy of the year in a 'non-sacred' space...also how does one build up a mission with these struggles and no money and support? But- I do want to say that the Roman-rite priest that allows us there and the deacons and the people are wonderful- I really appreciate everything they have done for us

  2. Oh I can understand your disappointment. I hope that despite the secular space you have a joy-filled Easter.

  3. I wrote a long comment early this morning, and I got an error message, but hoped that the gremlins didn't eat it. Looks like they did!

    It is sad :( I wish there was something else to say/do.

    My long comment also had to do with finding out that our parish is also a mission. Sigh.

  4. Hmmm. your tag gives you away. I'm sorry, S! -F


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