A Word from John: A Palm Sunday Journey

This Sunday is Palm Sunday.  It is the Sunday on the church calendar that we set aside to remember Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem before his eventual betrayal, trial, and execution.  We usually celebrate this at churches by waving palm fronds and singing songs, much like the actual gathering of people 2,000 year ago did to welcome the savior they had been waiting for into their city and into their lives.  Palm Sunday is also known as Passion Sunday because it is also the beginning of Holy Week.

At Western this Sunday we will be celebrating Palm Sunday and Passion Sunday in a different way that will take us out of the pews and into a new way of engaging the story and our faith.  You’ll be invited to sing, draw, pray, meditate, reflect, touch, smell, and taste as you interact with Jesus’ journey to the cross.  Our hope is that all of us will get a chance to engage our full selves, uses all of our our senses, in worship.

On Sunday we will gather in the plaza on Virginia Ave (or the courtyard room if it’s raining) to begin our worship.  Our palm procession will lead us into the sanctuary to continue our worship in the pews and then we will move, literally and figuratively, from the story of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem towards the cross.  On Sunday morning we will invite you to choose one of the two opportunities below to connect with the passion narrative:

  • A Journey Through Holy Week – Various Locations: Throughout the church, you will find different stations that are designed to help you engage with the passion story on a deeper level. There are a total of 6 stations. It does not matter what order you do the stations in, but we ask that you finish with the “In the Tomb” station, which can be found in the stairwell leading to the parking garage. Each station should take about 4-6 minutes to complete. Inside your bulletin, you will find a map of where all the stations are located.
  • Contemplative Worship Through Scripture and Song – Choir Room:As an alternative to a physical journey, you’re welcome to go to the Choir Room to join in a service of scripture readings and prayers that mark each point of Jesus’ journey. This service will offer a way of bringing the devotional tradition of stations, borrowed from outside of the Reformed tradition, into contemporary liturgical use.

We will all gather again in the Multi-Purpose Room (MK Dining Hall) for a potluck lunch, spending time together over a meal, just as Jesus did with his disciples.

Since this is a new way of engaging worship for us, we want to hear about your experience. Look for an email on Monday with a survey link.