Occasionally, we want to share a congregation’s best practices. May this spark some ideas as you plan for Palm Sunday.
In our desire for members to be more participative in our worship celebration, we have explored ways where we can encourage their participation, most especially in the special celebrations based on the Christian worship (liturgical) calendar. Last year, we encouraged our members to bring palm branches to church and explained that we will be commemorating the “Triumphal Entry of Jesus” to Jerusalem, commonly referred to as Palm Sunday.
As the worship ministry leader, I coordinated in advance with the music ministry as to the choice of songs. For example, the song by Paul Baloche, Hosanna, includes these lyrics: “You are the God who saves us, Worthy of all our praises.” The song selections were in keeping with the flow of the worship celebration, in sync with the theme of Palm Sunday.
Our children’s ministry leader, Sis Auey Parcasio, also prepared a short skit presentation. The children portrayed the Palm Sunday story with their costumes and dialogues from the Gospel text in Luke 19:28-40 aligned with the Revised Common Lectionary.
The worship hall was set up with decorations of palm leaves, lights, and video clips. A tapestry, beautifully placed on the floor, added to the experience of the congregants. After the worship celebration, each person received a blessing and took their palm leaves home as a reminder of the Savior-King Jesus.
Indeed, we recognize that purposeful preparations for a meaningful, Jesus-centered worship celebration are very important. The use of liturgy has helped us position the gospel story of the triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, all throughout the year. We look forward to encountering Jesus more in our Sunday worship celebrations as we continue to journey through the rhythms of the worship calendar.
By Justine Paolo Parcasio
Associate Pastor, Baguio, Philippines