A close-up photo of wood carved into swirls in Trinity Church

Five Ways Into Sunday’s Scripture: The Journey of Holy Week

The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, “Who is this?” The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Matthew 21:6–11

On Sunday, we will hear the familiar Liturgy of the Palms, the story in Matthew’s Gospel of Jesus’ ride into Jerusalem on a donkey with her colt. We’ll also hear the liturgy of Jesus’ passion, all as one piece, to prepare us for the distinct narratives of the days of Holy Week.

Five weeks ago, we entered into the metaphorical desert, or wilderness, of Lent in one place. Have we emerged onto the streets of Jerusalem in another place? Triumphant? Humbled? Spent? Energized? Where will our corporate and personal observances and meditations this Holy Week take us? Will our journey continue, and will we arrive at new life with Jesus next Sunday, and then continue further?

There are always excellent resources available to accompany you on your walk with Jesus in this Holy Week.

—Kathryn Carroll

Because Passover and Holy Week usually coincide or at least overlap, as do many of the Hebrew and Christian texts and liturgical seasons, various (mis)interpretations of Jesus’ passion narratives in the Gospels have led to ideas that have prompted both cultural appropriation and antisemitism. Amy-Jill Levine breaks down these common theological misconceptions and misfires which seem to recycle each year during Holy Week. And the Rev. Wil Gafney, PhD, Professor of Hebrew Bible at Brite Divinity School, offers further scholarly insight into the debate over the Last Supper meal: was it a Passover seder?

Fifty-five years ago next week, April 4, 1968, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated on the Tuesday before Palm Sunday. In Holy Week: The Story of a Revolution Undone, a profoundly moving podcast series from The Atlantic, we recall what followed, which was named The Holy Week Uprisings. The political climate, racial and economic oppression, state and societal marginalization and divisions, and tensions between forms of rebellion and reform that preceded King’s assassination draw parallels to Jesus’ time and place, and to the subsequent struggle and pivot point of revolution.    

Kelly Latimore’s icons The Crucifixion and Resurrection with a reflection by Fr. Bill Carroll, who commissioned them.

And a recently rediscovered altarpiece bas relief of the Last Supper by Akili Ron Anderson, in Washington, DC.

Plan to stay or come back to church this Sunday at 3pm for Last Words, a Passion Sunday concert. Or watch online. With The Choir at Trinity Wall Street, Downtown Voices, and NOVUS NY.

From Mary Oliver: “The Poet Thinks about the Donkey” for Palm Sunday and “Gethsemane” for Maundy Thursday.

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Coming Soon

Walk with us from Palm Sunday to Easter Day in a variety of in-person and online Holy Week services.