On Palm Sunday Christians would usually gather for their traditional processions recalling the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on a donkey, when people welcomed him, and greeted him enthusiastically waving branches. But there will be no donkeys or palms or outdoor singing this year.
So, an idea has come from the Church of England, which has been shared with us here in Cork, Cloyne and Ross by the Reverend Paul Robinson from Saint Anne’s Church, Shandon and Chaplain to Saint Luke’s Home in Cork.
In England, Bishop David Walker, Bishop of Manchester, has suggested that people put a cross in their window.
Bishop Paul Colton is passing this invitation on and is suggesting that the people of Cork, Cloyne and Ross do the same to mark Holy Week starting tomorrow. Bishop Colton says:
It’s a great idea. In Ireland we are used to putting a lighting candle in our windows on Christmas Eve as a sign of welcome to the Christ-child, a sign of hope. The cross is a sign of God’s love for the world. Bishop David and I first met about 20 years ago when we were on a ‘Baby Bishops’ Course’ together at Launde Abbey in Leicestershire; we have stayed in touch over the years since.
I invite you all in Cork, Cloyne and Ross to place a cross in a window of your home for the duration of this Holy Week – known to Christians as ‘The Great Week’.
I found a palm cross from previous years and put it in mine as you can see in the photograph below. Many of you might simply make a cross out of paper or cardboard. Families might like to make it an activity at home this weekend. When we get to Easter the cross can be decorated.
The idea is very simple; you are invited to put or to make a cross to put in a window of your home this Holy Week which starts with Palm Sunday tomorrow.
Displaying a cross is a sign to ourselves and to people passing by of the love of God.
Initially, the cross could be simple and fairly plain, made of paper, card, wood – you can be as imaginative as you like. Then, when Easter comes you may like to decorate it with colours, flowers etc as a sign of our trust in the joy of the resurrection.