Palm Branch Nostalgia

I love Holy Week. Beginning with Palm Sunday. I’ve always loved Palm Sunday.

As a little girl I remember sitting in Sunday school class waiting with great anticipation for “big church.” Not just because I scorned that our church wouldn’t allow me, seven-years-old at the time, to matriculate into my Mom’s adult Sunday school class. And not even because the allotted big church hour was a sure-fire promise of an extended arm-tickle from the hands of one or both of my parents who were clearly trying to keep me sedated during the service. I’ve just loved the theatrics of Palm Sunday from the beginning.

You see, on Palm Sunday, the choir at Houston’s First Baptist Church would come flooding out of all entryways into the sanctuary carrying and waving massive palm branches. I can still picture them in their formal robes down to the floor streaming through the aisles. Yes, I said aisles, for ours was a sanctuary with multiple aisles. A whole bunch of them. I never have understood what all the fuss is about a center aisle. The more aisles the merrier. In my mind, if you’re really a good Southern Baptist, you want more aisles for the invitation at the end of the sermon. It’s less about pretty weddings and more about evangelism, church growth, and Lottie Moon. That’s how we roll.

Fast-forward fifteen years. Times have changed in typical fashion and since I have been out of my parent’s house, I have not attended even one church that has incorporated palm branches into their worship service on Palm Sunday. It’s funny because I tend to think of myself as sort of an old soul, yet I always attend contemporary churches. And I love contemporary churches, I might add. I also really like palm branches. This has created something of a dilemma for me.

An aside – so, last week was a bad week. Now, I didn’t say horrible, but it was relatively bad. I was having some severe migraines that were keeping me tied to the bed, which I hate. Then, my car got hit while it was sitting parked on the street. Hit and run. Go figure, right when we’re trying to pay Uncle Sam. Colin duct-taped it back together so we’re okay now. I then tried to gather myself enough to walk outside so that I could hunt and gather some food, so as not to fail my little family unit. I went to the store, bought all my groceries, and when I got home my rotisserie chicken was raw. It was raw. I have never even heard of a raw rotisserie chicken. Nearly threw me over the edge.

So back to the dilemma. Since I had a relatively stinky week, I knew that another Palm Sunday without palm branches would simply be too much for me to bear. So, we decided this past Sunday to search for the most liturgical church in our area. One that might just have some palm branches. Palm branches are the theme of this blog if you have not gathered it.

Have I told you how much I love the Lord? Sure enough, the congregation had gathered fifteen minutes early in the parking lot so that the branches could be distributed to each congregant. As we walked in the sanctuary, the congregation in its entirety were waving their palm branches. It wasn’t quite like I remembered it, but I didn’t give a rip. I was thrilled. I wanted to make a scene, a scene like David made with the ark of the covenant. I wasn’t planning on stripping off my outer garments (2 Samuel 6:20). But I wanted to make a scene. And I’m not even the especially demonstrative type. I’m actually quite reserved. In our family my mom sort of takes the cake in the dramatic worship department. And we let her. Well, she doesn’t ask for permission. But anyway, there is just something about Palm Sunday. It just moves me. I’d like to think that if I would have been in Jerusalem over two thousand years ago, I would have joined with the multitudes and gone out to meet the living and incarnate God, King Jesus, with a palm branch. Now I probably would have been too stubborn or even too self-conscious, but I like to think that I would have cried out “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD, even the King of Israel!” For, He was and is and is to be worthy of such outlandish and royal acknowledgment.

Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t think all churches everywhere need to have palm branches for people to hold on Palm Sunday. I just like it when they do. It is a tradition that I love. I tend to like it when we in our modern day churches try to engage the text and enter in. Palm Sunday is an example of experientially engaging with the text of John 12:12-13 and chiming in with those ancient voices. The modern fused together with the ancient – that’s what’ll get me going all mystical on ya.

Well, at the end of the Palm Sunday service I noticed the sweet lady next to me had several palm branches. So I gently and sneakily took one for myself to keep as a reminder for me during Holy Week. Colin keeps saying I stole her branch. But I didn’t steal her branch. She had like five. I just wanted one. One stinking palm branch to cover up those bleak palm-branch-missing years. Now I realize I should have probably asked her, but I blame my thievery on the Excedrin Migraine.

Oh, and as a side-note, Amanda just called me. She bought Annabeth’s first Easter dress. I’m not bitter. I promise.


This year I am nostalgic for all things Easter and all things Houston and my family. The Fitzpatricks don’t have the luxury of going home to Houston this year – I’ll say it again, we just paid Uncle Sam! And he is seriously grouchy. But, what I would give to buy a pair of outdated white patent leather shoes and a matching floral pastel dress and white hat with Amanda again – if only to embarrass her. She never was much for us matching. She was always too cool.

So if you’re still out there and you haven’t fallen asleep from my various tangents in this blog, then I would love to know what you love most about Holy Week. What is one of your favorite traditions in your home church? Something you look forward to year after year? It doesn’t have to be dogma or even something exceptionally reverent, though it might be; but it could just be something fun or sweet that your church does year after year to build community or even just to set apart this week as unique on the church calendar.

A peek at Easters past…

Annabeth comes from a long line of bow heads.

Look at my face! Is all my nostalgia really a hallucination?

Here we are with our Memaw. And I think that’s the Impala Amanda mentioned a few days ago.

I called my sister and said, “Look at the one of us in the hats.” Then Amanda pointed out that we are, in fact, wearing hats in every picture together. Also, notice her purple quilted Bible carrier.

Happy Holy Week from The Matching Hat Sisters!


200 Responses to “Palm Branch Nostalgia”

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  1. 151
    Tami in LA says:

    My favorite Holy Week memories from childhood:
    Matching Easter dresses, white patent leather shoes, and the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday.

  2. 152
    Brynn in CO says:

    I miss dressing to the nines on Easter. I know have two precious little girls and would love to dress them in hats and gloves and frills on Easter, but I too go to a contemporary church where this isn’t the norm. Maybe I ought to follow your example and go to some church where we don’t know anyone on Easter so we can get all decked out.

  3. 153
    Jennifer says:

    Speaking of Holy Week, I just had to share what’s happened to our family this week!

    My older daughter, who is five years old, accepted Christ Sunday night! There is no doubt it’s the real thing. She was under such conviction.

    She will be making a public profession of faith on EASTER SUNDAY MORNING! Hallelujah! Her baptism will be scheduled for sometime later this month.

    Rejoice with us. He lives!

    Jennifer – Texarkana, AR

  4. 154
    Heather C says:

    I love our sunrise service. I know I’m probably partial, but the Mt. Washington Valley is one of the most beautiful places on earth. 🙂

    My favorite memory in particular, though, has to be of my husband’s marriage proposal. It was Easter Sunday exactly 10 years ago. He was baptized that Sunday, so I was already in tears. Afterward, he dropped to one knee, pulled out a beautiful ring, and told the congregation that as he began his new life with Christ, he wanted to begin his new life with the woman who had introduced him to his Savior. Needless to say, I wasn’t the only one crying in church that day. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the church. It was an Easter to remember, that’s for sure.

  5. 155
    Anonymous says:

    Nope, I was palm-branch deprived as a child. I grew up in an independent, fundamentalist church (conservative might not do us justice), and I think the palm branches might have have been too demonstrative for our particular congregation.

    I have to admit that the memory this blog conjured up for me was the Easter that there was no money for new dresses. At the casual church I attend now, nobody gives a hoot, but at the time it seemed like the most horrible thing in the world to go to church on Easter in a dress I’d already worn to church a hundred times (more or less).

    My mother simply told me that I could stay home if I wanted. I just had to decide which was more important, a dress or celebrating the resurrection. Talk about guilt! But she was right. I went to church in my previously-worn dress and the world didn’t end.


  6. 156
    Anonymous says:

    I love the way we celebrate Easter at our Lutheran Church. We start with Palm Sunday and have palm branches given to everyone. The Children begin the service by following Jesus, One of the children, on a pretend donkey and waving the palm branches down the aisles and singing. We observe Holy Week with Maundy Service on Thurs. with the seder meal and Holy Communion. Friday night is the Good Friday service.The altar is draped in Black and at the end of the service each person comes up to the altar where a large wooden cross is displayed and actually nails a nail in the cross. Everyone then goes outside and with help walks a wooden cross for a short distance. This is very humbling. Easter Sunday we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord. Yvonne

  7. 157
    The B Family says:

    Easter egg hunts were my favorite as a little girl (always the shallow one of my family!). I hated the hard boiled dyed eggs… they only meant one thing: no candy! 🙂
    Now, my new favorite thing is being able to make new traditions with my little girl. I’m excited to share this most important of Christian holidays (besides Christmas, of course!) with her.

  8. 158
    Anonymous says:

    I love the end of Maundy Thursday service. We take everything out of the church, drape it in black and then turn off the lights and leave silently. We come back on Friday night for a Good Friday service and the church is still dimmed and draped in black. Then, Easter morning when we arrive everything is all white, the church is so beautiful with lilies and whiter banners, and then the Pastor comes in and literally screams, “He is Risen!” And then we all scream it back. We do this over and over for about ten minutes until we’re hoarse. Awesome.

  9. 159
    mary yep says:

    Every Good Friday I would take my kids to the Catholic Church. There would be an empty and open Taberancle, signifying that Jesus wasn’t there that “one day”. The day he died on the cross. We would sit in the empty church and just look at that empty Tabernacle and meditate.

  10. 160
    Anonymous says:

    I have been reading over the entries to this blog, and find it interesting to know that all over our country, on Sunday morning I will be joining voices with many, many other people singing the ever familiar hymns related to our Lord’s Resurection. How great is that to be a part of a country-wide choir all members of the “family of believers”! The hymns are traditional and connect us on one particular day, commemorating Christ’s resurection from the dead. It’s awesome! I live in Pennsylvanina and belong to a Lutheran church all my life. We attended a church one Easter morning before dawn, and met in a Sunday school room. At a given time, we all processed over to the Nave of the church and in the still of the morning, the doors to the sanctuary were opened and trumpets were heard playing fanfares, the Crucifix was carried up the main aisle to the altar, and the organ started to play, “Jesus Christ is Risen Today”. The sunlight shone in from the back of the church on to the altar and the cross, which was surrounded by fragrant white Easter lilies. It was like being at the site of the empty tomb on that first Easter morning. The somberness and the black cloths of Good Friday, were gone. White paraments now took their place and the pastor came in with “gusto”, went to the cross, and proclaimed, “He is Risen”. I am humbled to know that Christ did this for me. Easter Blessings to all!

  11. 161
    Brenda says:

    Such sweet pics! I always enjoy seeing all of you so much. When we went through “Stepping Up” last year there was a week we recaputed Jesus riding in on a donkey into Jeruselum with the multitude with their tree branches and shouting out to Jesus, “Hosanna”, which meant “Save NOW”! That following Sunday, as I was outside as a greeter I noticed more than 50 palm trees surrounding our campus (we are near downtown San Diego), it was the first time I noticed how many palm trees were surrounding our campus!…The windows to the Worship center were open and everyone was singing “Hosanna, Hosanna, you are the GOD who saves us, Worthy of all our Praises!”….It took all that was within me not to go and find a saw to cut off a branch and go into the celebration waving my palm branch that Sunday, instead God spoke to my heart; He told me He has given us each palm branches as we raise our arms and hands in Praise and Worship to HIM! GLORY!!! Now as I sing and Worship Him my palms are waving in awe of Him.
    Matthew 21:7-11

  12. 162
    Allison says:

    I would poke fun, but I am pretty sure that our Beth and Jane were shopping at the same stores…bless our hearts…oh, and I too was the proud owner of a quilted Bible cover….

  13. 163
    Amy says:

    Hi, Melissa!

    I’m just out of college, but I still attend the Christian fellowship I started attending as an undergrad.

    Every year, we have a sunrise service on Easter Sunday. Now, we don’t have our own building — we meet in a large auditorium for our regular service later in the day — so we go up to a high hilltop next to the university while it’s still dark, and we stand together in a clearing and usher in the Easter morning with prayer and singing.

    We have to be very quiet as there are people living in the area, but there’s just something about being up there with brothers and sisters in the hushed cool morning that I just love. I don’t think I’d trade that for any church building in the world.

    ~amy in va

  14. 164
    Hannah in TN says:

    We have a contemporary church where our children came down the aisles waving palm branches as we all sang “Jesus Messiah” last Sunday. I was on the worship team singing and could hardly get the words out for the emotion. Melissa, just wait until it’s your sweet little boy carrying his own branch. It will make you love Jesus even more. 🙂

  15. 165
    Anonymous says:

    I agree Maundy Thursday and the silent stripping of the altar and the priests kneeling toward the altar as we exit in silence-we do await each day in hope of the resurrection power.

    However, I also love those precious dreams of Easter dresses and wanting to be pretty on that special day- God Bless every young girl’s heart.

  16. 166
    Cindy- My Life HIS Story says:

    One thing that I loved when McKenna was about 4. The children lined the aisles and waved the branches crying, “Hosanna!!” It was precious. Of course, she was dressed in Biblical attire, so she kept insisting she was Mary. After several corrections about this being Easter and not Christmas, she turned to me and in a rather defiant tone said, “Mary was still Jesus’s’s’s mommy at Easter too!!” I quite correcting her.

    Oh, and the pictures. I’m really sorry, Amanda, but, Melissa, I think you will love my first reaction to the one where she is in the dark blue dress. Af first glance…Kilgore Rangerette.

    And, Melissa, I LOOOOVVVVEEE that you comment back to us. It’s like having a conversation – sort of!

  17. 167
    Jill says:

    What the heck? I had that same Bible carrier (is that what you call them?)

    Anyway, my favorite “Palm Branch Nostalgia” is singing “Up From the Grave He Arose”…in the deepest, lowest voice, I could muster.

    Did the soul good.

  18. 168
    Anonymous says:

    I am totally with you on the palm branches! I loved waving them in the air on Palm Sunday!

  19. 169
    Anonymous says:

    I am sorry but no one does Holy Week like the RC church! Palm Sunday we got our palms and we would burn the ones from the year before in the grill on our deck (we didn’t have a fire place). Some years we would go to the seminary and attend morning prayers all done in latin of course. I had no idea what they were praying, but it was so pretty!
    The Trivium would begin with Holy Thursday and we would attend Mass —-it was spectacular. The church would have every spring flower known to man. The Gospel would include the arrest of Jesus and after communion the entire church would empty with out a formal ending—because the three days are actually one long mass. We would then visit three other churches in the area that we had never been to before just to say a prayer.
    On Good Friday, all the flowers would be gone and the church would be stripped to a bare minimum. There was no formal beginning or ending again. My parish did a passion play and then communion.
    We would all gather again for the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday night. The entire church would be dark as the all of the scripture was read…I know it begins with creation and than goes onto to many of the prophecies about Jesus in the old testament. The New Easter candle is lit and then as The Gloria is sung for the first time since the Sunday before Ash Wednesday, the lights go on one row at a time! When mass ended, it was the end of the Trivium. Oh the drama is amazing!
    On Easter Sunday we would all greet each other on the way into church with a “He is Risen”!
    I so miss that part of my life. I love the church we attend now, but like I said, no one does Holy Week like the RC!

  20. 170
    Anonymous says:

    Easter was my dad’s favorite Sunday of the whole calendar. For my first Easter and every one after, dad got me(and my mom)a corsage to wear on our new Easter dresses.

    My dad passed away when I was 15yrs old and now at 47, I still miss my Easter flowers from my daddy.

    I have a brilliantly beautiful pink dogwood tree outside my window, sometimes, God opens up the flowers on Easter just for me. Maybe this year He will again.

  21. 171
    Anonymous says:

    I love me a good Easter sunrise service outside @ Old Salem in Winston-Salem, NC. They start w/ a live brass band…BEA-U-TI-FUL!!!
    And about missing home…I am a 38 year old Mom of 4 and wish I could make it home to worship w/ my Mom and Dad and even my brothers! I don’t think missing tradition and family ever stops!
    Thanks for sharing Melissa and I am sad for you not making it home for Easter!
    Garner, NC

  22. 172
    Anonymous says:

    Dear Melissa, We attend a church that doesn’t use actual palms, although I grew up in one that did. While I was work this last Sunday at the hospital, they passed out palms tied into the shape of the cross, on our patients meal trays. For some of my patients these palms were very appreciated and special. It was a sweet beginning to the week. God sends gifts and surprises to us in the most unexpected ways. Happy Easter to you and your whole family. In Jesus’Love Kathy Knoblock

  23. 173
    su says:

    I loved what you said about fusing together the modern and the ancient. What a good way to explain it.

    Great pictures. Great thoughts.

    I’m so glad I logged on because you got me thinking. I think I’ll go to my iPod and sing along with all the songs of thanksgiving for Jesus going to the cross for me. It makes me cry in humility.

  24. 174
    Betsy Crawford, Chapin says:

    I must say, I also grew up Southern Baptist and we had special palm-waving services, as well as Maundy Thursday service. I have been to many different denominations on Palm Sunday, and there’s ALWAYS palms being waved by people walking down the aisles. As a child, I had the pleasure of pretending to be Jesus, riding on the back of my friend who was on all fours pretending to be a donkey. Now that’s classy!

  25. 175
    Paula says:

    Thank you, Melissa. I’ve never posted on this blog before, but this particular post SO RESONATED with me. I’ve been feeling particularly “homesick” this week; problem is, “home” is no longer there. So grateful for the kinship of fellow believers, but sometimes I still long for what used to be. I miss Easter dinner at my Mama’s table (although I count it a blessing to host dinner in my own home now); I miss getting a new dress for Easter; I miss hiding eggs with my brother; I miss my brother; I miss my daddy; I miss my grandma and grandpa; I miss Easter bonnets and chocolate bunnies; I, too, miss palm branches and flowering crosses. I miss passion in our worship. I miss public displays of Easter crosses draped in purple. Having said that (did I mention that I am homesick??!!), I am forever grateful that, because of Christ, I have new life; I have new traditions; I have the hope of heaven and the joy of His presence, even in the midst of homesickness. I have purpose and I have passion in my worship, even when I have to stand alone. I have His promises, and believe you me I’m holding on hard to each and every one this day. Praying that my “homesickness” will be transformed from longing for what was, to longing for what will be when we finally reach our new home.

    Thank you for the pictures. I laughed, and I cried.

    Praising Him for the gift of sharing this journey with you,

  26. 176
    Megan says:

    When I was young we attended a very big, old, beautiful Lutheran Church with all the detailed architecture and gorgeous stained glass windows. I remember being 4 or 5 years old and attending the late night service on Good Friday. It may not have been late night – but it was past my bedtime so it seemed late to me and it was exciting! At the end of the service after singing traditional hymns with the booming organ there would be a moment of silence and I don’t know what they used to make the sound, but they would simulate the sound of the stone being rolled to be placed in front of the tomb. Then there would be a sound something like a loud thud and you knew the stone was in place. The hair on my arms are on end just remembering and hearing it my head. I have never forgotten that. But there was complete silence. There would be complete silence in the car on the way home. I pray I never forget that memory!

  27. 177
    PJ says:

    I also love Palm Sunday. Our church (Catholic) has always done the palms. It is so significant of what Holy Week means to Christians. I keep my palm from year to year as a reminder of the Easter season. I believe the most wonderful of all seasons and the most wonderful of all days Resurrection Day, the basis of our faith. We will be saved thru him, Christ Jesus or Lord.

  28. 178
    michellepack says:

    This is our Palm Sunday tradition. The men bring in these massive crosses. See the stacks of hammers and baskets of nails? Everyone is given a black piece of paper to write “sin” on (or specific sins), then they personally nail them to the cross. The sights, sounds, feel of hammer and nail is very powerful and personal. Personal communion follows. We did have the traditional foliage. I appreciate this, because I wondered this year, according to Leviticus 23, if “palm/tabernacle” celebration didn’t take place 6 months before Christ’s death and ressurrection…great focus.

  29. 179
    Nichole's Mom says:

    Oh I love the Bells and Whistles of the Old time Church Services! I loved getting my new shoes and hat and purse and gloves…. I loved the the way the church nearly hummed with the greatness of the day… Thank you for bringing that back even for just a minute. I too am having a not great week.

  30. 180
    Katie says:

    Hey Melissa! I read your post earlier today and then I saw this verse and just had to leave you a comment. I’m sure you know it already, but I was too excited to keep it to myself. It’s Rev. 7:9, “After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and WERE HOLDING PALM BRANCHES IN THEIR HANDS!!! I just love it, and I can’t wait to join you, sister, waving them things before the REAL DEAL! Love you!

  31. 181
    absmith74 says:

    Oh, I LOVE it! As a good Southerner, I always had a white hat and gloves on Easter. I still would if I thought I could get away with it. So, now I have two little boys who will look like the sweetest blue, orange, and white Easter eggs you have ever seen! They are so going to kill me when they get grown and see the pics of their matching outfits when they were 3 and 6 years old. Soooo much fun!

  32. 182
    Sarah says:

    I am with you on the palm branches. I love seeing children waving the branches.

    My favorite tradition from growing up was the Easter breakfast at my church. The high school youth group put it on. we would be there from before 6:00 am getting things ready, but it was a blast! It was really nice to hang out with church members and take it easy – and eat some delicious food. My church growing up doesn’t do it any more, and it wouldn’t really matter because I’m halfway accross the country, but I still miss it every year.

  33. 183
    Kim says:

    I wrote earlier on this blog, but just had to share something so wonderful. Our Good Friday service is now my favorite thing! At the end of the service, we were encouraged to go up to the front where a large wooden cross was laid across the pulpit area. Scattered on the alter were paper and pens so we could write something that we felt needed to be given over to the Lord; something perhaps we’re holding on to that is keeping us from giving God our everything.

    Then, we took a nail and hammered our paper “thing” to the cross.

    After hammering each family went to one of the stations of the cross to take communion as a family. While taking communion and praying, you could hear the hammering of the nails into the cross….pound, pound, pound….

    Something I will never forget.

    I am still so moved and so eternally grateful we serve a RISEN SAVIOR that loves us all so very much.

    Because He lives….

    Hideaway, TX

  34. 184
    Corrie says:

    I so identify. Now, I didn’t have palm branches growing up, but my Baptist church now does. And, as the Lord of the universe would have it, I went in to labor last Friday morning (3 weeks early I might add) and missed Palm Sunday! I was slightly bummed. (You can’t be totally bummed that you miss the last three weeks of pregnancy…and get to meet your first daughter) But I’m so with you on the celebratory nature of the day, despite not being a very outwardly dance down the aisles kind of girl. I was hoping my 2 and 4 year old would come home with branches…an indication that they got to participate in shouting Hosanna (they know all about what you do with palm branches) and they did!

    Blessings to your family as you continue to remember Christ’s life, death, and resurrection this week.

  35. 185 says:

    I just love the old photos of the Matching Hat Girls! I am so glad to see you treasure them. My daughters are 3 and 6 and I just took their “Matching Hat Girls” pictures and posted them on my blog this afternoon. The girls mostly endured the photo session, but what hope I have that someday when they are grown they will perhaps enjoy looking at them and fondly recall our family Easter celebrations! Thanks for sharing. I agree with you on Palm Sunday’s significance. Every year our church has the children march in singing “Hosanna” and waving palm branches. It’s precious!

  36. 186
    OhLookADuck says:

    Gloriously spoken!
    I dearly love the advent preparation, Palm Sunday with the branches, Maundy Thursday and going to church at noon on Good Friday with the cross draped in a black scarf and nobody talking unnecessarily until Sunday morning when we rise before dawn to dress all fancy and shivery in the early cold morning, all singing and seeing the cross full of fresh flowers! Bonfires and breakfast for the whole congregation–it’s something I miss something fierce.

  37. 187
    Barbara says:

    I had to laugh at your comment in the first paragraph about your parents rubbing your arm to keep you sedated during church! We have four kids but our middle children are identical twin boys. It was “tickling” the base of their neck and playing with their hair that kept them still as a statue during “big church!”

  38. 188
    Heather says:

    Holy Week is huge at our church, with opportunities for worship throughout the week. I love Palm Sunday, where we receive a palm as we walk into church, but my favorite night is Maundy Thursday. We recreate the Seder Supper, with a traditional Passover meal. Then, we move to the church and re-enact the Last Supper, having communion as a church family. It’s really very touching, and sets my mind for the true sacrifice of Christ.

  39. 189
    stkarenofarc says:

    You’ve got to listen to me, my Siesta Melissa (and all other fellow Migraine Siestas!) I know that we are supposed to be blogging about our favorite Holy Week tradition/experience etc… However, your words “Migraine” and “stuck in bed” really got my attention!!! You’ve GOT to read this book. It’s available on Amazon: Heal Your Headache..The 1 2 3 Program for Taking Charge of your Pain.

    It’s a life changing book, right after the bible. I promise! No more rebounding Excedrin Migraine for you. No more stuck in bed and not being able to cook supper (o.k. that’s not a bad thing, but it’s bad when the reason why you can’t do it is because your head hurts.)

    By the way, I made a request to the Lord that my mansion be in the Moore’s neighborhood in heaven. Ya’ll make me laugh my head off! Happy Easter!

  40. 190
    Kelly R. says:

    At our church back home in ABQ, our Pastor stands up, and the first thing out of his mouth is, “HE IS RISEN” and our congregation shouts back “He IS RISEN INDEED” and then we throw a worship party! I’m really going to miss that this year.

    And you totally stole that lady’s branch…AWESOME!!!

  41. 191
    Kathryn says:

    Thank you Melissa! We are home away from family this year too. My favorite part of Holy Week is Holy Thursday services with a reinactment of Jesus washing of the apostle’s feet. This year it was so moving. His love for us is so amazing, and His love brings true healing.

    Have a very Blessed Easter!

  42. 192
    Anonymous says:

    On Palm Sunday, our Children’s Choir members wear white and go barefooted down the aisle waving palm branches. Then they sing a song waving the branches. This year, a dear little girl was in the ladies room, having a wardrobe mishap. She had put on a white, lacy camisole top without trying it on the day before. The straps were too long, allowing the top to sag inappropriately when she waved her branch. I found two safety pins in my purse, and we fixed it so that she could wave her palm branch with joyful, yet modest, abandon. It gave me extra joy just to watch her.

  43. 193
    Angie B. in SD says:

    I am posting a couple of days late but I have a story about Easter Sunday service this morning. My son, who never seems to listen during church, looked up at me during the sermon right after the pastor read Luke 26 and said ” I love that story”. I just about jumped out of my seat and yelled! He actually listens once in awhile.
    Praise the Lord on this Easter Sunday.

  44. 194
    Jeannie says:

    I just had the best Easter Service I will remember for a long time. The group Newsong sang at our church this morning (Thomas Road Baptist Church, Lynchburg, VA). When they sang their song “Arise” the church came alive with joy and praise. To God Be The Glory!!

  45. 195
    JTC says:

    As a liturgical worshipper it is hard to say which one is the favorite. What I most love is that we relive Jesus’s week with Him. We start with the foot washing on Thursday night, then the Eucharist or Lord’s Supper, then the stripping of the altar. Finally there is a time in the Garden of Gethsemane where we pray through the night. On Friday after we reflect on Jesus’s words on the cross (his seven phrases/sentences) from 12-3, we have a service where we nail our sins to the cross. And then we burn them on Easter Sunday morning at our sunrise service at 6 a.m. called Easter Vigil. It is amazing. None of these services has a dismissal until Easter Sunday. We leave in silence until He is risen and we can shout it out.

    Melissa, if you are interested, you can make that palm branch into a neat cross. I make mine into one every year and hang it in our bedroom. I put one in each child’s bedroom, too. It serves to remind me how on one day I shout “Hosanna” and on the next I yell with the crowd “Crucify Him”.

    Or if you want, just say you want a Palm Sunday Palm cross and I will send a few to LPL. It is how I keep my little ones engaged throughout that longer service!

    Jenny, Charlotte

  46. 196
    Faith says:

    Aww, I love the sister pictures! 🙂 Brings back memories … (I’m the middle of 3 girls.)
    It’s so hard to pick out one favorite thing about Holy Week. I do love the palm branches! At our church, we would have the little ones, wearing their daddies’ t-shirts with rope-belts to make simple tunics, running down the aisles yelling “Hosanna! Hosanna!” Loved that. 🙂
    Good Friday services are wonderful, too, in a powerful heavy way. I think actually, what I love most is that lead-up–from the tragedy of Good Friday to the unbridled joy of Resurrection Day. From death to life in a few short days.

  47. 197
    Anonymous says:

    Melissa, I wish you could have been at our service. It was absolutely wonderful. A man came riding in on a real donkey with childre in bib. costumes accompanied him with palm branches & joined the choir. The actor playing Jesus did his monolugue beautifully and choir, Orchestra also. Very moving!

  48. 198
    kimberly t. bowling says:

    Even if I wasn’t laughing out loud during parts of the post before, the pictures certainly got me! 🙂 I, too, love to see the Palm Leaves come down the aisle. Loved it a couple of years ago when we had all the kids from Sunday school come marching down waving them. Precious.

    And we also have a strange family tradition for Easter…..but one that I love all the same. After hiding the hard-boiled, brightly colored Easter eggs for all the children….we have an egg battle. Everyone goes home smelling like rotten eggs….what could be more fun on Resurrection Day? 🙂

  49. 199
    katiegfromtennessee says:

    Hey Mrs. Melissa!! I’m with you on the self-conscious thing…I love the pics:) My older sis and I were dressed alike too by my momma. We are both girly girls, we loved it. We were mistaken for twins a bunch…what I love about Easter-since I’ve been in church, has been the Easter presentation each year. Very moving. I love being a part of it now, being in adult choir…

    Blessings to you!


  50. 200
    Traca says:

    Love the palm branch post, Melissa!!!

    Favorite family Easter story: One of my cousins was not able to attend church on Palm Sunday (due to illness). So when her girls came home after church she wanted to hear all about it from them. Katie, the little one, got all excited and with big eyes and grin said, “Mommy is was wonderful! We got to wave pom-pons and sing ‘Oh Susanna’!”So now the whole family laughs about going to church on Palm Sunday to wave pom-pons and sing “Oh Susanna!”

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