This week is Palm
and/or Passion Sunday, and choices will vary as to the form of worship and the
point at which the sermon falls. Palm Sunday, with its palms waving and
salutations sung to the Savior, is an event that children will enter into
readily even if adults are a bit shy. If the choice is for a Passion Sunday
emphasis, a dramatic reading is memorable for those who speak the parts and
those who listen--and the passion narrative lends itself particularly well to
Among the most
stimulating books I've read recently is Samuel Wells's Be Not Afraid, from which I picked up the phrase repeated several
times in my current lectionary columns for the Century: "What's God up to?" This is the question that counts.
Justin Welby, archbishop of Canterbury, said he is in conversation with Pope Francis, Coptic leader Pope Tawadros, and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the leader of the Orthodox church, about establishing a fixed date for Easter. Easter in the Western church is on the first Sunday after the first ecclesiastical full moon following the spring equinox. It can fall anywhere between March 22 and April 25. The Orthodox churches follow the Julian calendar and celebrate Easter at a later date. The Vatican approved a proposal for a fixed date in 1990, subject to agreement with other Christian churches and government, which has not yet been reached (BBC, January 15).