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Friday, April 11, 2003  

Palm Sunday

This weekend is Palm Sunday, which on the Christian calendar commemorates the day Jesus pulled a Beatles-at-JFK. Then, five days later, we commemorate the day he got crucified. And people say today’s fans are fickle.

I don’t normally post on Sundays, and this week is no different. But I wanted to make this a Sunday-centric entry anyway, and I think I’ve figured out how to do that. As you’ll soon see. In any case, Palm Sunday always reminds me of another Palm Sunday several years ago. Although we didn’t know it was Palm Sunday until it was too late.

For us, it was just another Sunday morning. Believe it or not, we were driving around the neighorhood looking for a new church. We had done no research or prep work whatsoever on this project, mind you. We just got in the car and drove around, occasionally stopping and wandering into random buidings that seemed particularly pointy on top. The first few were already in session, so we kept wandering until we stumbled on a church about six blocks from our house which appeared to be between services. Or at least, so we determined by the number of people milling about in the lobby. Everyone seemed to know each other, so we tried to be onubtrusive. We ambled in, took up a position near the inner door, and waited to be allowed into the sanctuary.

Someone affiliated with the church—a deacon or some such—began moving through the crowd handing out palms. Trash registered some confusion. “It’s Palm Sunday,” I reminded her, as if I had remembered that fact before a frond had been thrust into my hand by a stranger. “They did this at my church every year when I was growing up.”

I was only partially right.

So we’re standing there, holding our palm fronds, waiting to taste-test this new (to us) house of worship, when the deacon or some such comes back up to us.

“Okay,” she says, “now, you’re going to be leading the procession up the center aisle and [spots before my eyes and panicked blood rushing in my ears drowning whatever else she might have had to say after that].”

Leading? Procession? What were these palm fronds laced with, anyway?

Trash and I pasted frozen smiles on our faces and tried to nod. It required bending at the waist, but we managed it. The deacon moved along.

That was when we peeked through the doors to the sanctuary. Which, we now saw, was already full. Most of the congragation was sitting in there already, waiting for the pal procession to come in and kick things off. A procession led by us.

Trash and I conferenced furiously in desperate whispers, bugging our eyes out until they slapped against each others’ cheekbones. Even assuming we’d be able to find the center aisle on the first attempt, even assuming we could get away with it, did we have any right to try? Basically we’d wandered in off the street and been handed, almost literally, something that was probably some kind of special honor within the parish community, bringing up the lead of what was likely a noble and grand tradition here. We had no business doing that. But on the other hand, it was too late to back out gracefully. How were we going to get out of this?

I’ll tell you on Monday.

posted by M. Giant 3:20 PM 0 comments


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