As we begin to plan for the upcoming season of Lent in the Christian church, things are beginning to take shape. Lent is traditionally viewed as a time of preparation; unlike Advent which is a time of waiting for the birth. Lent is seen as a time of darkness, sorrow, struggle, grief, sacrifice and pain. From Ash Wednesday to Palm Sunday, the mood is very somber compared to the rest of the church calendar.
Lent is represented by earth colors: brown, gray, and black; pain colors: red and orange; and the traditional liturgical color of purple. The textures are wood, stone, rough cloth or paper, ashes, sharp thorns and nails.
As I begin to formulate what Holy Week is going to look and feel like, I can’t help but get excited for Palm Sunday. This day represents the conclusion of the Lenten season and begins Holy Week, or Passion Week. In my mind, Palm Sunday is dressed with palms and green branches, red and representative of a celebration. These palms and branches are pledges of resurrection. They are signs of faith, and we cling to them as we proclaim Christ’s suffering and death.
Here is a hint as to what Palm Sunday might look like at IOH. Photograph from Nancy Chinn.