". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Palm Sunday

Two videos from today's Palm Sunday liturgy:

1) The processional with cross, acolytes, pastors, and children's choir waving palm branches as the congregation sings "All Glory, Laud and Honor" (Lutheran Service Book 442). I wish I had panned around the church a bit more--we have a beautiful sanctuary--but I was so enthralled with the children that I focused on them the whole time. It took a little while for them to synchronize the palm choreography they had planned, but I think most of them eventually figured it out! Listen for the children's robust singing on the refrain. They loved this!

Palm Sunday Procession, Bethany Lutheran Church, March 28, 2010 from Cheryl on Vimeo.

2) A musical sequence featuring the Verse of the Day ("The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified"--John 12:23, setting by Bruce Backer, sung beautifully by our associate cantor and her mother) and leading into the Cantor's organ introduction to the Hymn of the Day--Lutheran Service Book 444, "No Tramp of Soldiers' Marching Feet" (listen for the en chamade).

The words of the hymn are below the video. I think the Cantor's interpretation dramatically communicates the irony therein: while the hymn notes that Jesus's entry into Jerusalem lacks the martial pomp and circumstance that would normally accompany an earthly king, the martial element is there in the hymn nonetheless, ominously foreshadowing Jesus's arrest, trial, and execution only a few days later.

Palm Sunday, Bethany Lutheran Church, March 28, 2010 from Cheryl on Vimeo.

No tramp of soldiers' marching feet With banners and with drums.
No sound of music's martial beat: 'The King of glory comes!'
To greet what pomp of kingly pride No bells in triumph ring.
No city gates swing open wide: 'Behold, behold your King!

And yet He comes. The children cheer; With palms His path is strown.
With ev'ry step the cross draws near: The King of glory's throne.
Astride a colt he passes by As loud hosannas ring.
Or else the very stones would cry 'Behold, behold your King!'

What fading flow'rs His road adorn; The palms, how soon laid down!
No bloom or leaf but only thorn The King of glory's crown.
The soldiers mock, the rabble cries, The streets with tumult ring.
As Pilate to the mob replies, 'Behold, behold your King!'

Now He who bore for mortals' sake The cross and all its pains
And chose a servant's form to take, The King of glory reigns.
Hosanna to the Savior's name Till heaven's rafters ring,
And all the ransomed host proclaim, 'Behold, behold your King!


IggyAntiochus said...

LOVE the use of children in the procession! Also, the palms provide a percussion sound towards the end of the refrain :)

Elephantschild said...

Goodness, the organ sounds good. *wink, wink*

Melody said...

I love the kids doing that, too! Our associate, in his children's sermon, played the donkey, while the kids were waving palms and one of them rode in as Jesus. It sounds hokey, but they loved it, it'll stick in their minds, and he's the right one to pull it off.
But we did something decidedly UNLutheran this Palm Sunday; we broke with tradition. Instead of distributing palms, they distributed PALM PLANTS. Live things in pots. Imagine! That's not how we've done it before! I actually had to stop at a greenhouse today to ask how to take care of the things. Well, and while I was there... :)