Sometimes I think I look forward to Palm Sunday more than Easter. It’s when I get to sing Glory Laud and Honor and memories of my Godmother and growing up in a small country church in Connecticut come back to me. The significance of Palm fronds on Palm Sunday represents Jesus Christs triumphant entrance into Jerusalem to celebrate Passover. It is the beginning of Holy Week for Christians and the celebration of His coming was a marked difference in how Christ was treated just a few days later on Good Friday.
At my small country church of Grace Episcopal in Broad Brook Connecticut we would be handed palms and then the whole church would parade around the church waving them and singing Glory Laud and Honor.The windows in the church would be open and the organ would echo the full refrain in celebration. My Godmother, Alice Turcotte, would hold my hand and smile at me as if this was the most wonderful moment ever. She often told me this was her favorite hymn, and it has held a special place in my heart ever since. Below you can listen and sing along with the lyrics to the traditional hymn.
Granny Turcotte was a wonderful person, after her husband died she was a foster parent to over twenty special needs kids and raised a brother and sister with muscular dystrophy from infant to adulthood. With the crowds on Easter morning was harder and harder to bring Mary and James to Easter service. The regulars in the congregation knew them, didn’t stare, and thus made the service easier and welcoming. She would often skip Easter service and attend Palm Sunday service as she got older. She celebrated life as if every day were Palm Sunday, she was the epitome of what a Godmother is supposed to be and took her role seriously.
We went to her church where I went to Sunday school and repeated the lessons to her after church, she helped me learn the Lords Prayer, and had me recite my confirmation lessons and memory work. She gave me my first Bible and was there when I was confirmed. She died in 1988 and every Palm Sunday when I sing Glory Laud and Honor I get a lump in my throat as I remember her and the impact she had in my life.
I have been a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Murdock Nebraska for over twenty years and when I woke up this morning the first thing I thought of is I would get to hear and sing Glory Laud and Honor in church this morning. The tradition at Trinity is to hold the youth confirmation ceremony on Palm Sunday, and how appropriate it is to celebrate the newly confirmed members of the church.
What memories of church do you remember most? How do you celebrate Holy Week and Easter?
Glory Laud and Honor: History and Information