Clergy Notes — Palm Sunday of the Passion, March 28, 2021

“The royal banners forward go, the Cross shines forth in mystic glow…” So begins Vexilla regis, a sixth-century hymn (New English Hymnal 79) we still use in Passiontide and in the Liturgy of Good Friday. It was first sung in the procession of a relic of the True Cross in a monastery in Poitiers, France.

The hymn focuses on the victory of the Cross, and the salvation Christ crucified has won for the world: “the universal Lord is he, who reigns and triumphs from the tree.”

The Cross is our standard, our banner: it is placed on our altars and on the walls of our homes; in St. James’ the Calvary is suspended over the chancel step; it is carried before us in procession; it often marks Christian graves. We are signed with the cross in baptism; it is signed over us in blessing by the priest, and we sign ourselves with the cross in our prayers.

The Cross, an instrument of torture and pain, has become the symbol of our hope in Christ. So in this Holy Week let us bring ourselves, and our world, weighed down by pandemic and torn apart by manifold injustices, to Christ crucified, uniting ourselves with his suffering, his self-giving to the Father, that we, and our world, may share anew in the life, joy and power of the resurrection.

“O Cross, our one reliance, hail! So may thy power with us prevail.”

May the life-giving Cross be the source of all our joy and peace.

Fr. Kevin


Download the Sunday service booklet: Liturgy at Home Palm Sunday Mar 28 2021