Palm Sunday and Confirmation
Today was (as you probably figured by the title) both Palm Sunday and Confirmation. First with the Palm Sunday things - since we are having Holy Week services, I decided not to push the "Passion" part of the Book-of-Worship-listed "Palm/Passion Sunday." We'll do that later in the week. Today was a day of celebration.
I had the Confirmands help me hand out palm branches to everyone, and the kids and I "processed" through the sanctuary shouting "Hosanna." But not before we talked about why we celebrate Palm Sunday. I asked them what it meant, and a couple pretty sharp kids had it down. I then asked if they knew what "Hosanna" meant. They didn't. I asked if they thought the adults did: they were pretty confident that they did (so I threatened to call on someone randomly... you should have seen it!). Anyway, I explained that "Hosanna" means "save" and that the people were shouting for God to save them and celebrating Jesus' ascent up to Jerusalem.
So then we went traipsing through the sanctuary shouting "Hosanna" while the adults waved their palm leaves (most politely, of course). The kids wanted to do it again, so I obliged them. It was much much fun.
Then it was time for Confirmation. Now, I admit that I hadn't been looking forward to dealing with a confirmation class this year for several reasons. One reason is that there always seem to be kids who come out of the woodwork who don't have any intention of following through with the vows they will take. Not so with these four girls. I felt like they were all there for the right reasons (now, I'll admit that one of those "right reasons" is the "my parents made me" rule -- that signifies that it's important in the parents' lives as well). These are four fantastic young ladies who I'm proud of. The congregation was so proud of them, too - I could see it in their faces and hear it in their greetings to them. You see, they weren't "out of the woodwork" kids; they are the "regulars." Many people reminded these four of the memories they have of them singing in cherub choir, when they were "only this tall" and so forth.
It really seemed to mean a lot to each of them -- and it meant a lot to the congregation as well. So now I'm actually looking forward to the next Confirmation class I get to lead!