I know I'm a bit early on the Palm Sunday posting...but I was one of the readers for Mass this evening and long readings leave time for lots of reflection time between lines.
There was alot of action going on during this Mass. Extra folk were trying to squeeze into pews, while finding missal and song numbers. After we had all found a place to sit, Father invited us to the gathering space to hear the first Gospel, bless our palms, and process outside around the Church building. It was a nice part of the service, but I'm glad I reserved my seat with song book and my Lector papers taking up my space in the pew. Many other folk lost their spots tonight.
Little kids are always a blast to watch with the palms. There are the pirates playing sword fight behind Mom's back. The future dress designers making bows for their hair, tying the palm around their sleeve, or threading them through their belt loops. A few kiddos were watching their parents or grandparents make crosses out of the palms during the proclamation of the Passion. Some tried to imitate the process, but it was usually up to grandpa to fix it in the end.
How did I see all this? I was the Lector for the reading to the Philippians and so by default Lector number three for the Passion. The Passion in the books we were given was written out so each Lector and Father were given long blocks of reading (2-3 paragraphs); no Jesus voice, narrator, and other voice. You read the whole block; each of us had 4 to 5 blocks of reading. So, I had time to look out into the congregation and see what was happening when I wasn't reading.
One of my parts was near the end. Joseph of Arimatheia is taking Jesus' body away to the tomb and the faithful women are following. They stay with Jesus while He is being wrapped and placed in the tomb; only after the stone is in place do they go to prepare the oils and spices they will need to anoint Him after the Sabbath. I am always struck by their courage and dedication to follow Him to the end. They care so completely for Jesus that they stayed after all the other disciples and apostles had left. How dedicated am I?
Tough question to ponder during this Holy Week.