Well, I’ll miss singing “All Glory, Laud and Honor” this Palm Sunday. This rarely sung hymn, triumphant and joyful, heralds the joyous time of Easter (preceded by the Triduum’s solemnity).
Maybe this year, though, God has a special message for us. Matthew’s Gospel (Matthew 21: 1-11) quotes the Old Testament, “Rejoice greatly, Oh daughter Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you, triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Zechariah 9:9).
Maybe this year, we’re being given an opportunity to, in the words of the prophet Micah, walk humbly with our God (Micah 6: 8). We don’t have to worry about setting up for the Triduum in church. We don’t have to worry about refreshments. We don’t have to worry about flowers for the altar (though our stalwart Flower Guild plans an “explosion” of flowers when we’re back in our sacred space). We can ponder the story of Palm Sunday (one of only 15 mentioned in all four Gospels). We can read, or listen to, the liturgies of the Triduum. And we can grow closer to Jesus.
It may feel like a grim time. And it is. But we know how the story will end. It will end with Jesus triumphant. It may not be in church. It may not be at Easter meals with friends. But it will end with Jesus triumphant for this age and for all time.
All glory, laud and honor to our Redeemer King!
The Rev. Charles Hoffacker is a retired priest of the Diocese of Washington