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. 101
    Kalonni says:

    You’re welcome at our church in Van Meter, Iowa anytime- Palm Branches waving unabashedly every Palm Sunday!

  2. 102
    TN Girl says:


    I love the SONrise service. You need to understand I am so NOT a morning person, but your mom is right when she says “God just is!”. So I remember being drug out of bed at all hours of the a.m. to attend SONrise services from as far back as I can remember. But once I was there I would not miss it for the world. And the icing on the cake is the breakfast fellowship that follows before Sunday School.

    And siesta I can so relate to migraines. I suffered a few last week myself. Even had to break down and take the prescription meds to get me through it.

    I wish you and Colin a wonderful rest of the week and Ressurection Sunday, I know how hard it can be to be away from home.

  3. 103
    Anonymous says:

    I love hearing the little kids sing.(Maybe, some will be wearing hats LOL) I love those resurrection songs as well. You are such a blessing to the body of Christ, Melissa with your humor. You should be a christian comedian. You had me rolling!

  4. 104
    April says:

    I look forward to our celebration of the Lord’s Supper every year. We do it on either Friday or Saturday night. This year is really special because it will be the first year that our whole family will take the Lord’s Supper! My two youngest were recently baptized after asking Jesus in their hearts, and this will be their first Lord’s Supper. I think there’s no better time than Easter for their first Lord’s Supper!

  5. 105
    Anonymous says:

    Our church is great!!! We all sing Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest, while 800 children come streaming through the sanctuary waving their palm branches. I’m with you Melissa, I LOVE palm branches. I just wish they would give them to the adults as well. I want to wave a palm branch with one hand and lift the other one in PRAISE of Christ Jesus. Hosanna in the highest!!

  6. 106
    Leah says:


    Bless your poor little palm branch starved heart. If I was at home in North GA I would just drive right down to Atlanta, pick you up and we would go shopping for new white patent leather shoes. I am sure God would bless our efforts!! LOL

    I love Easter–everything about it. I love it. It is my most favorite holiday. I love thinking about the sacrifice that Jesus made for me. I love feeling so very loved by Him. I love the most thinking about Him returning to earth just as He left. Come Lord Jesus!!


  7. 107
    Amy Ekis says:

    My favorite thing is a quite new and recent thing. My daddy started a church (NorthStar in Tupelo, MS). It launched on Easter sunday 2006. I was helping with the children that sunday but snuck into the GPS (Sanctuary)to sneak a peak right before the service started. My dad was in the back gettin his mic on getting ready to speak and asked me to help him. He asked me if he looked ok and The look on his face was priceless. He was so excited. This was his vision coming to fruition. All of the long days and nights, all of the prayer…God was doing the thing right before his very eyes at that very moment. And it was such a sweet and special moment. I hugged him. He kissed me on my forhead and I snuck back out to teach the little kids. I, like you, am not able to go back this Easter because me and my new hubby moved not too long ago and it just about breaks my heart and I am all nostalgic too. I will miss it so much. And i’ll miss seeing my cute little brothers in their new ties.

    PS My mom used to make all of my easter dresses btw. And WE would match. lol. And i used to have a quilted Bible cover just like that! awesome.

  8. 108
    Anonymous says:

    I’m with you on Palm Sunday memories. The church I was raised in would make crosses out of palm leaves and everyone would get one pinned on them, and we all got palm branches…a good thing about Houston…they are abundant. I have 3 sisters and we were dressed alike,or 2 and 2. Being the oldest I didn’t much like that. Now our church has all the kids in Sunday school come down the aisles with branches shouting Hosanna and then a man on a donkey comes up one aisle and then out the other. Always brings tears to my eyes for what it symbolizes, for the fickleness of humanity to praise one week and want to kill the next week, and for the memory of a palm cross. Blessings as we approach His Glory! Gayle Scott

  9. 109
    Ginger from Alabama says:

    Don’t have a favorite Palm Sunday story but I do have one for Easter.
    There were 5 of us in my family….4 girls and a boy. He was the youngest. My Mom dressed my older sister and I alike and then my two younger sisters alike because we were all so close in age. My brother always looked like a little man….like our Daddy. Easter was always special because of the new Easter dresses we would get…yep, two alike for the two older girls and two alike for the two younger. Lots of pictures followed. And goodness, let’s not forget those brand new patent leather shoes!!!! Worst memory at Easter for me was that I had the chicken pox one Easter and couldn’t participate in the egg hunt….but, I stood at the big picture window watching and by golly, I wore that new dress and shoes right there in the house!

    Blessed Easter to Beth and all the Siestas!
    Wetumpka, AL

  10. 110
    ocean mommy says:

    My favorite memory comes from the year I did NOT wear my Easter dress on Easter. I was about 13 and decided the entire “new dress” thing was stupid, that it took the entire focus off of Jesus. So I totally wore a different dress than my mom and I had planned for that day. It cracked my parents up and if I remember correctly, my dad used it as a sermon illustration the next week. (I was NOT real happy about that by the way.)

    This year, my girls totally picked their own dresses out. They both said NO MATCHING DRESSES THIS YEAR. Okay…they decided to just compliment each other and agreed to buy purple. Same pattern, one is wearing a dress, the other the skirt and cardigan sweater set. They totally match and I didn’t pick it out!!!

    Happy Easter!

  11. 111
    Kristy says:

    I loved this post! Those pictures are too cute – though it doesn’t look anything like you girls now! (Now ya’ll are so beautiful!)

    I didn’t grow up in church, sad to say, but I do remember at Easter time, my “Maw-Maw”, who went to a Catholic church, always had Palm branches. It is a fond memory – though I never knew anything about Jesus, or what the Palm branches were for. How I wish I had known about Him back then.

  12. 112
    Kmsmom86 says:

    We never had palm branches at my church growing up. However,we did have a Maundy Thursday service which was always very meaningful. The Good Friday service was held at the town’s community building at noon.

    Easter Sunday was very special. My sister and I always had new dresses (sewn by our mom), hats, gloves, lacy socks, and WHITE shoes. We had to get up early because our family attended an Easter sunrise service/breakfast sponsored by a men’s group my dad belonged to. Then it was off to church for Sunday school and the morning service. Afterward, my mom always prepared a big meal and we usually had company.

    My Easter basket usually had lots of chocolate, as well as a necklace hidden underneath the “grass”. We had to follow a trail of candy eggs to get to our baskets. That meant we started eating as soon as we got out of bed!

    My parents taught us that, although we had candy and new clothes, the real reason for Easter was that Christ rose from the grave. Easter is a nostalgic time for me, since my mom and dad are both in Heaven. I’ve tried to have special traditions for my family, but somehow it’s never been the same.

    Thanks for letting me share.

  13. 113
    Anonymous says:

    Not raised in a Christian home, my childhood memories of Easter were only of a new dress and Easter basket. And the stuffed bunny never did satisfy my longings.

    Saved at age 25, a southern Baptist church became my church home where we remained for 30 years. I love my Baptist raising, but there is a time and season for every activity under the sun. This past year, we transitioned to a contemporary evangelical church. WONDERful.

    In our Baptist church, we celebrated only on Easter morning, and did not have any palm branches, Maundy Thursday or Good Friday services. I missed those things. Something was just not complete.

    My pastor said last Sunday, how can you experience the joy of Easter morning without experiencing the darkness leading up to that day?

    Last Sunday, my church had palm branches scattered everywhere on the ground, from parking lot to the inside. We are celebrating Holy Week with Maundy Thursday and Good Friday evening services. Don’t know, but they may be available for live viewing on web:

    Two memories:

    I was about 35 years old and scheduled to volunteer in church nursery on Easter morning. Had worn a navy blue suit and stunning navy hat. Poor judgment on my part. I was assigned to the 3-4 year olds, and a little boy looked at me and that hat and said, “are you a witch?”

    And my favorite memory thus far is 3 years ago on Palm Sunday, my 9 year old grandson was in church service with me. The invitation was going on, and I prayed that people would hear the Lord calling them. Next thing I knew, my grandson was pulling on my arm, and crying his eyes out. He said, “Nana, I need to be saved. I have sin in my heart.” How precious this day will always be to be.

    I’m praying for your headaches (my daughter suffers with migraines), and your homesickness, too.

  14. 114
    Anonymous says:

    Oh yeah, I remember those childhood Easters. No Psalms branches though. Man! I was robbed.
    Now, Miss Melissa you go and give your husband a big kiss and hug for being willing to go with you to a church that had Psalm branches at their services, all because you missed it so, and it ment so much to you. Mine and other husbands out there sooooo would not have.
    Colin…you get an ‘A’ for the day.


  15. 115
    Tammy says:

    I love the whole week! I too like palm branches and our church has them every year. I was most disappointed this year though because we had a big snowstorm and I couldn’t make the service for Palm about puttin one a foul mood. I find the whole week for me really brings me closer to Jesus and I have never needed it more than this year. My dear hubby lost his job a few weeks ago and talk about having to learn to cling to Jesus tighter I have. So I look forward to the peace I feel and the compassion I feel for Jeus and most of all how humbled I am that God loved me so much to give me His only Son to die. That just totally amazes me still. I loved your entry dear one and I hope this next week will be much better.

    hugs and love

  16. 116
    Barbra Keeler says:

    I’m so thankful for you Melissa! It’s so fun to have a kindred spirit on a blog, for goodness sake!

    Easter has always been my favorite holiday, how could it not be?… Liturgy, passion, resurrection, spring weather, and large amounts of chocolate! It just doesn’t get any better than that.

    My favorite Easter memories are…
    *Palm branch waving as a child
    *The choir processing down the CENTER =) aisle of our Presbyterian church singing “Christ The Lord Has Risen Today” with trumpets blaring
    *The smell of lilies permeating the sanctuary
    *Sunrise service in a local park with my dad and brother
    *Palm Sunday 1985 when I was baptized
    *Having 3 daughters to buy matching outfits for (love Gymboree!)
    *Communion and footwashing in our Mennonite church
    *Having Seder meals
    *Knowing that because of Easter “when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory.

    The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law;

    but thanks be to God, who gives us the VICTORY through our Lord Jesus Christ.” I Cor. 15:54-57

    I love you Jesus!!

  17. 117
    Kathy pink bicycle arkansas says:


    How timely I was just having a conversation over the phone with a friend about Maundy Thursday, neither of us had ever heard of it. We then just started talking about Easter Week and the celebrations.

    Easter is my favorite holiday. I had a niece born on Easter Sunday and I was Baptized on Easter Sunday.

    Egg hunts, baskets, Easter Bunny, Chocolate Bunny, dyeing Easter Eggs, bonnets, white patent shoes, gloves, frilly lacey socks, you name it I love Easter.

    Every year the children’s group I am working with makes Easter Baksets to give away. The rules are to give them to someone who has had a difficult time, loney or to someone who does not go to church and invite them to church.

    We work on our Baskets each week for a few minutes for a month before Easter and then take them home to deliver the week of Easter. The next week they come back and report.

    Last night we finsihed making 50 Baskets. Each child makes their own basket and everyone brings “stuff” to share. It’s a big project but my very favorite!!! It’s a wonderful blessing for all involved and the kids love it too.

    Sorry you have not been feeling well. I have had Bronchitis and I missed Palm Sunday. I was not happy about that!

    Happy Easter to everyone!

  18. 118
    Anonymous says:

    Some one must sing, “The Palms” by Faure.

    Also, as a child we would take our palms and braid them into crosses. Then, we’d put them on our mirrors till we got new ones the next year.

  19. 119
    Kathy Pink Bicycle Arkansas says:


    P.S. Try Relpax for your migranes. It is very expensive but you may be able to get samples from your dr. The key is take it within 30 minutes – one hour of the onset and I promise you can function.

    I also forgot to add that the children cannot give their Easter Baskets to family or best friends. That is because they should be ministering to them on their own already.

  20. 120
    screamofcontinuousness says:

    I think my favorite Palm Sunday tradition is the play “suddenly one morning” and my husband as Jesus riding into the sanctuary on a donkey. Complete with palm waving parade and the choir all dressed in period costumes.

    Also our Seder Supper on thursday-before-good-friday is always a treat.

  21. 121
    Barbra Keeler says:

    Hi again.. I forgot to recommend the book I try to read every Easter. It’s “Make Me Like Jesus” by Michael Phillips. Very challenging!

  22. 122
    Alisha says:

    First off – the arm-tickle is PRICELESS. My youngest son lives for the arm-tickle. I thought I was the only one in the world who had to tickle an arm (feet too if he manages to squirm out of his shoes)for what seemed liked hours. Makes my heart all warm & fuzzy knowing I'm not alone.
    Second – the pictures are PRICELESS. I am probably 10 to 12 years older than you, Melissa, but those pictures put me right back at 9 and 10 years old. Flashback, for sure – totally!! Those were the good old days. I had a great childhood. I hope my boys feel the same way when they get older. Thank you for sharing this.

  23. 123
    Teresa says:

    You would have loved to be at our service on Sunday. My husband is the preacher, so I am little biast I must admit. We had a palm branch praise service like you would not believe! Okay, you would probably believe it. There were palm branches for us to hold and the sermon just made you want to jump up and wave the branches and scream Hosana!! Unlike you, our church growing up never shed much light on Palm Sunday. This is something that through my husband I have grown to absolutely love!! Loved your post, thanks for sharing!!

  24. 124
    fuzzytop says:


    I laughed and cried as I read your post…. I have this mental image of you swiping a palm branch and running out of the building to avoid getting caught! Oh so hysterically funny!!!

    Anne Lee – I loved your story about the cross, which the children decorate with flowers before it is carried outside. What a neat thing to do!

    I didn’t grow up in a Christian home, so I have no memories of Easter services or traditions when I was young. But we did each get a chocolate rabbit, yum yum, followed by the inevitable fights and squabbles over whose rabbit was bigger…

    As for now, I just love the songs we sing of the risen Savior! I’m getting chills just thinking about it…


  25. 125
    Anonymous says:

    My church celebrates every Palm Sunday with all of the children from SS classes walking down our center aisle waving palm branches. We do have the traditional center aisle in my Methodist church! 🙂 I look forward to it every year! They march down the center and then stand in front of the alter waving their branches and ever so proudly. On Easter Sunday, a cross is placed near the main entrance with a container of carnations that are used to fill in the cross as we enter. It ends up so beautiful. It is tradition to take pictures next to this cross in our family. Glorious Easter, Praise Him!

  26. 126
    Amy Maxwell says:

    I just spent most of my week lamenting palm branches… wondering why we never get palm branches anymore… sad really. If I had thought about it, I’d have gone to a different church last week. I’ll make sure to plan ahead next year!

    I also miss the flowering of the cross on Easter. We did that once at a Lutheran church in South Carolina… alas, no one in my denomination knows what I’m talking about.

  27. 127
    Jamie says:

    In our Episcopal church we keep Holy week, all week … starting with Palm Sunday where the congregation processes with our palms into the church. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we have a noontime Eucharist, Maundy Thursday we have a Seder then a service where we strip the altar in readiness for Good Friday. We hold a vigil from 9 pm to noon on Friday, someone in the church praying at all times (we take hour turns). Stations of the Cross on Friday. Service on Saturday morning, then we make the church beautiful for Easter. Easter vigil on Saturday night – service that starts in darkness, then the lights go up on the beautiful altar where the cross has been returned. Then joyous Easter day. A service for everyone. The readings build all week to the joy filled Easter Day. I love it.

  28. 128
    Dionna says:

    I have never been fortunate enough to participate in the Palm Branch service. I grew up in a Baptist church – is that possibly why? HA HA

    I hope one day I will… it sounds like such a blast.

  29. 129
    C.e. says:

    All my years of growing up, we too had the Palm service on Palm Sunday at my church. But the last few years we haven’t and I have missed it so much that I almost cried reading this entry!
    But another tradtion we have is the Flower Cross on Easter Sunday. All the children (from little bitty on up to 6th grade) bring flowers to put on a cross that we have covered in chicken wire. Then once its covered, they take it inside and it sits at the front of the sanctuary during the service. And its an awesome picture of the beauty that bloomed from the cross.

  30. 130
    Anonymous says:

    My youngets daughter wore a hat every day for about 3 years, we home-schooldd so it was OK but I never knew if she liked hats or hated having her hair fixed. She was beautiful, by the way she hated the big bows! Maybe that was part of it. Shalom

  31. 131
    Denise says:

    Our present church has no passion play … drama and music depicting the last week of Christ. I do miss that! We had live animals, costumes, beautiful backgrounds and props … a little work, but soooo much fun. We became a family as we all worked together to make the story powerful and meaningful.

  32. 132
    Kacie says:

    Melissa, this is Kacie again, the Moody alum of your readership. I chuckled at your comment about you being an old soul that ends up at contemporary churches, because we are the same way. My husband likes to tell people that he’s “so conservative and traditional that sometimes I just look liberal because most people don’t even know what true conservatives look like.”

  33. 133
    Anonymous says:


    S. Main Baptist Church, in Houston – I think were yall were married, does the Palm Sunday ‘branches’! It is beautiful! They have the children dressed up in Jesus-time clothing and they come down the 3 aisles waving the palms and chanting. It is so touching. In fact, SMBC has some of the most beautiful, touching and memorable services I have been to during Holy Week!!

  34. 134
    screamofcontinuousness says:

    oh and if you want a real egg hunt that is a challenge even for grown-ups, look me up next year. My hubby is an egg hiding genius. He can stump even the cleverest adult for hours.

    And does anyone recall that song that was contemporary back in the 80’s “He holds the keys” ???? It’s about the keys of death and hell and Christs victory over the grave. I don’t remember who sang it though….

  35. 135
    cdrosenbalm says:

    Thanks Melissa for the memories. My father always bought us 3 girls and my mother corsages to wear on Easter Sunday. Now at my present church where my husband is a pastor we do a Good Friday service. I never grew up with one but I love how it sets the tone for Easter Sunday. It puts me in the anticipatory mood for the celebration and helps me not forget what our Lord actually went through.

  36. 136
    Anonymous says:

    I love palm sunday too, Melissa. And we had palm branches at our church and it is contemporary and Baptist! I always got a new Easter dress every year and now love either buying or making my sweet girl an Easter dress each year. I also love a good sunrise service. Hope you have a blessed Easter. Hope you have some extended church family to spend it with. Sending you blessings from an Atlanta sister,

  37. 137
    Rebecca says:

    This is also my favorite week, but I have had a cold and have not enjoyed it at all. My church has had all the activities and I have missed all. 🙁 But reading this blog I stopped to remember Holy week pasts. The hats we wore as kids, the egg hunts, Palm Sunday, Easter pagents, Easter Sunday with our new dresses, my brother in their suit. WOW thanks for making me feel better. I just hope I make Sunday service and the family dinner.

  38. 138
    balmingilead says:

    Similarily, I grew up in a very Baptist church, but I now am a member in a very contemporary, non-denominational church. Though I love praise and worship time, I still long for the old Baptist hymns I grew up on. In fact, I would give anything to hear my late great-grandmother join my grandmother, mom and aunt to sing in harmony the old hymns again.
    So I guess what I am saying is I love the old hymn or two my contemporary church reverts back to on Easter weekend….my favorite is “He Lives”. Oh, and my all-time very favorite hymns are “It is Well” and “Sweet, Sweet Spirit.”
    What a wonderful post….

  39. 139
    Arlet says:

    I grew up in the Lutheran church and while most of those who made that journey through confirmation and Luther League with me will say how much they hated it and were so bored – I loved it. I loved all the history and tradition. Yes, the liturgical service can become nothing more than rote repetition but somehow it spoke reverence and awe to me.

    Anyway – I love the Maundy Thursday communion service. We entered the church to soft organ music, the cross on the altar was draped in black cloth and communion was served as we walked to and knelt at the communion rail at the front of the church. All those hymns like “Oh, Sacred Head now Wounded” added to the moment. After the final prayer, the organ went quiet, the lights were extinguished and we all left by candle light and silence. Somehow there weren’t even whispers – we would all be caught up in the solemnity and wonder at God’s great love for us that would cause Him to sacrifice His only Son – for me!!

    Having married a Southern Baptist lo these long years ago, no matter how they try, it isn’t the same as Maundy Thursday in a liturgical setting. Not that I’m anxious to return full time – I’m just saying…

  40. 140
    Anonymous says:

    I know God is wherever His people are but I have to say if we can’t go to our home church on Easter, it’s just not the same. I love the Sunrise service (after the shock of getting up at 5:15am to get there!) and seeing the sunlight coming through the stained glass windows. I love the smell of Easter lilies and Easter songs – hymns like “Up from the Grave He Arose” and “Christ the Lord is Risen Today – Alleluia!”
    I love the fellowship of the Easter breakfast afterwards in the church basement where they seem to make the best scrambled eggs laced with bacon. And I love seeing dear friends I grew up with and having them comment on how good our grown up kids look and how much they look like my father who went to be with Jesus.
    Thanks for the memories!

  41. 141
    Anonymous says:

    I like palm branches on palm Sunday and wonderful old hymns. I like people to dress up on Easter Sunday, and like to sing “Christ the Lord has Risen Today- Halleluiah!” I love the crowds and confusion and kids running wild. This is the best week for me, from Palm Sunday to Easter.

  42. 142
    Lisa says:

    I love our Tenebrae service on Maundy Thursday. We just started it a few years ago and I would miss it so much if we stopped. I don’t think it is very “Baptist” but that doesn’t matter to me. It brought a whole new level to celebrating Easter for me. It puts me in the exact frame of mind I need to be in to love my Lord even more for what he did two thousand years ago for ME! Oh how I didn’t deserve it but am eternally grateful he did it anyway!

    Lisa in Goldsboro, NC

  43. 143
    Anonymous says:

    Reminds me of the time I decided to make matching dresses for my 3 daughters and myself just a couple of weeks before Easter. Boy was I crabby!! But I have the pics of the dresses to prove I really did it… But no hats 🙂

    Shara Somerset, CA

  44. 144
    Jennifer in Acworth says:

    Melissa…come to our contemporary church just north of Atlanta and wave yoruself a palm branch!!! It was a glorious sight to behold especially with all those children jsut waving them with all their hearts. I love it too.
    But the real thing at Easter…the flowering of the cross. To me, that is tradition and a display of glory if I have ever seen one. Maybe it’s just sweet to me because I remember the first one at my granmother’s church in Alabama. But that gets me. Today, it means there is a risen Jesus and like the the new growth at Spring seen in those flowers, I have new life.
    Don’t know if we will flower a cross Sunday…but I know where to find one! Better than that…I do know Jesus shows up all the time.

  45. 145
    Marita says:

    I attend a very small church and on the 14th of Nissan we partake of the Lord’s Supper. This year the evening of the 14th of Nissan occured on Tuesday night.

    At the Lord’s Supper we all sit at long table and our Pastor gives a talk and we have communion, then we divide men and women and disperse to seperate rooms to wash each others feet. I learned one of the sweetest lessons from an elderly sister several years ago at this event. I had always hurriedly washed the feet of whichever sister in Christ that I had partnered with, but one year I had this precious lady in her 80’s, who got down on her knees to wash my feet. Oh my goodness! She was so gentle and took great care in washing my feet and massaging them as she washed them. It taught me a great lesson in caring and humility. If this sweet elderly lady can get down on her arthritic knees and lovingly, caringly wash my feet, I should do no less. I don’t rush through this part of the service anymore.

    When we are finished we all join together back at the table and sing a final hymn and then leave.

    This is a wonderful service that I look forward to every year.

  46. 146
    Jennifer Cronan says:

    I had never been to a church that had the Palm branches until I married my husband and started attending his church. First Baptist Church, Kingston, TN. They always have the childern of the church hand them out and then of course everyone waves them during the song service. It’s so uplifting and meaningful. I love Easter week.

  47. 147
    Knock On Wood says:

    Church allowed the kids to take palm leaves home with them after the service on Sunday. Our daughter, age 8, found a prominent place in her room for the palm leaf. She lodged it in her Disney Princess lamp and let the palm leaves drape over the counter. Underneath it she placed her devotional Bible. It is so sweet. I know God smiled on that gesture. It is almost like the palm leaves are His fingers outstretched over her Bible! I decided when the palm leaf has lost its oomf, we will go get a silk one, so her devotional area can be special!

  48. 148
    Megdalen says:

    In college we always went to Sunrise service, then went back home and took a huge nap and went back to church for the Big Breakfast. Now I’m married with two babies, and we have to go to an actual Easter Sunday Service in fancy duds and let people take pictures of our kids in their outfits. When I am an empty nester in like 30 years, I am going to start going to Sunrise Service again, then taking a nap, then finding some good eats. I miss it!!

  49. 149
    Julie says:

    My favorite Palm Sunday memory is when I was around ten years old and the rest of the youth and I waved palm branches to greet the entire congregation as they entered worship service. I loved it! It was really cool to see the adults’ reactions. That was seventeen years ago and I still think of it each year.

  50. 150
    Charlotte says:

    I love to watch the children walking in the sanctuary waving their palm leaves. I also love the special music on Easter Sunday. Actually I guess I just love all of it! God Bless!

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