Palm Sunday, also know as Passion Sunday, occurs one week before Easter. For years, Annunciation starts the morning Palm Sunday service with joy and singing. After we blessing the palms on the front lawn of the church, we parade around the neighborhood for about 20 minutes. Children are invited to take turns riding two ponies as our music directors and choir lead us in singing mostly Gospel hymns. The Palm Procession reminds us how the crowd in Jerusalem welcomed Jesus with great rejoicing a week before his crucifixion.
After parading and processing around the neighborhood, we make our way into the church to continue to Sunday service. Palm Sunday is also known as Passion Sunday because the Passion of Jesus Christ is read. The Passion is the part of the Gospels that records Jesus' final walk to his crucifixion. What begins as a joy-filled service ends quietly as we, like the crowd and followers in the Gospels, reflect on all that has happened to Jesus in such a short period. Each year, we contemplate where we are in this story of rejoicing that turns to execution.