Monday, March 30, 2015

An Ecumenical Palm Sunday on the Plaza in Santa Fe

Presbyterian Minister  Harry Eberts, Catholic Archbishop Michael Sheehan
Episcopal Bishop Michael Vono
Three churches sit in the vicinity of the Plaza in Santa Fe, and each Palm Sunday members of those congregations come together to celebrate their common beliefs at the start of Holy Week.

As they have done on this day for the past several years, the clergy, elders and lay members of First Presbyterian Church, the Roman Catholic Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, and the (Episcopal) Church of the Holy Faith processed from their home churches to the Plaza to join together in celebrating Palm Sunday.

The faithful mingled with tourists with cameras and church officials with ornate vestments, they listened to a choir clad in black and white and were shown several symbols that are important during Holy Week. They heard a Scripture reading and they said prayers.

Rev. Dr. Harry Eberts, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, gave a brief but powerful reflection after palms were distributed among the congregants on the Plaza. "The palm is a symbol of peace," said Rev.Eberts.

There were no walls, just open air, an intense yellow sun and the deep and clear blue skies of northern New Mexico. At the end of the service (even though they were grouped by church and denomination), congregants joined in one long procession around the main square in Santa Fe in a true moment of unity.

Then each group left to continue celebrating Palm Sunday within the confines of their own walls.

It's good to come together every now and then to recognize that there is more that unites us than divides us.

Everyone received a palm (no exceptions)

Recording this moment for posterity
What is a service without a choir?
All were asked to raise their palms

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