The parish church of central Finchley
26 Hendon Lane, Finchley, London N3 1TR

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Posted March 22nd, 2024

Reflections on Palm Sunday

“All glory, laud and honour, to thee Redeemer King, to whom the lips of children made sweet hosannas ring.”

Palm Sunday, which is commemorated this weekend, heralds the start of Holy Week and acts as a curtain raiser for some of the most significant and dramatic events in the Christian calendar.

It marks the triumphant day when Jesus rode into town on a donkey to be greeted by cheering crowds waving palm branches which were strewn along the way.

For decades our church has upheld a long standing tradition where parishioners of all ages gather in the hall. After short readings and prayers, large palm fronds are handed out as we process into the street to proclaim the glorious “Palm Sunday” message.

The hall piano accompanies the traditional Palm Sunday hymn: “All glory laud and honour to Thee Redeemer King ” But despite all efforts to keep the assorted singers in tune, we don’t always catch up with the words and music in church!

Older church members will remember the procession used to involve a donkey on loan from nearby College Farm. But the animal was not always well behaved and never made it further than the church door!

Equally well loved is the Maundy Thursday tradition of processing from the evening service to the Lady Chapel which is lit only by candles. A simple window display replicates the “Garden of Gethsemane”.

The silent vigil used to last all night but the warm glow it generated lasted far longer….

–Lynn Radnedge