Monday, March 21, 2005

Musings of Palm Sunday

Catholic holidays bring out the best in people. Well, maybe not always.

Palm Sunday was yesterday, and as expected the parking lot and pews were packed. Sometimes you can rationale that the church is more packed this week than usual because people are visiting, and thus more are in town. Of course, being a holiday, it is reasonable to assume as many people are visiting away from our parish as are visiting it, so it should wash.
No, people are here on Palm Sunday to say they're Catholic and they want palm. My father is great at making palm braids. Flat braids, three-dimensional braids, he can do it all. I never can start them, even with +30 years of annual practice. If he shows me, I can finish it. Getting going myself: it's a mess.

(NOTE TO SELF: learn it this year, draw up instructions so even an idiot like you can do it.)

Our parish puts out a nice bunch of palm at each door; few if any people go away with more than a few strands each, but no one ever goes away empty handed. Even with the sudden, seasonal increase in attendance, the church provides to all.

The church parking lot is where many of these more seasoned worshipers interact with the seasonal ones. Palm Sunday is the day celebrating the triumphant arrival of Jesus to Jerusalem, but outside you hear "Move it! I'm trying to frickin' drive here!" Somehow, he won't be confused with one of the ushers.

Curtis Sliwa , the NYC talk-radio host and founder of the Guardian Angels , has a term for these good Christians: A&P Catholics: Ash Wednesday and Palm Sunday. Many people think they can come to church a few times each year and they'll "qualify" (as if such a qualification exists), but it often seems these people seem to act as if they've been somehow ordained to act as they please, rude or otherwise.

Just think: this week is Easter Sunday... imagine how much fun navigating the parking lot will be then!

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