For our church, Palm Sunday is a really 'big thing' in which we share in an interactive telling of quite a bit of the Holy Weeek story. Moving out from our premises to the hotel where we now meet meant that we had to do a bit of rethinking... how could we offer something that was in continuity with past practice, but which authentically reflected our present situation.
On the basis that the room in which we meet is one floor up from the main reception of the hotel, we chose to set the service around the table of the Last Supper ... table set out in a horseshoe and laid with nibbles, pitta bread and grape juice.
In order to gain access to the service (unusually via a closed door!) people had to give a password to the disicple (steward) on duty.
We time travelled back from the Last Supper to Palm Sunday and then travelled forward again, hearing stories from four people along the way - Rachael, a witness to the events on Palm Sunday, the apostle John and a pharisee called Abdiel in the Temple, and Mary of Bethany.
We waved palm branches, we had our gold coins swapped for tiny copper coins, we rehomed the sheep that had been rescued from the Temple by 'Jerusalem Animal Welfare', we anointed each other with oil, and we shared bread and 'wine'.
We watched, helpless as Jesus was arrested (complete with proper police caution!) and ended the service in silence, with images of the road to Calvary and a crucified Jesus.
As always, it was a wonderful experience to be involved with. A lot of hard work beforehand with my co-conspirator/planner, AM, and in the end something memorable for all the right reasons.
Thanks to HM for the photo, and to everyone who entered into the spirit of the service... we even had to squeeze in extra people, it was wonderful!