Today I participated in a cult ritual.
Twice a year, the church at which I sing for money has a procession through Times Square. Today, Palm Sunday, was one of those times. This meant that for about twenty minutes, I walked through Times Square dressed in a cassock and surplice, carrying palm fronds, and trying not to choke on the incense from the two thurifers at the head of the procession, all while singing “all glory, laud, and honor to Thee, Redeemer, King” over and over and over again as hordes of tourists stared at me. I was supposed to be giving the palm fronds to passersby, but I couldn’t quite bring myself to do it.
Am I wrong to think that this isn’t too far removed from Heaven’s Gate?
Palm Sunday last year, I was one of those toursits gawking at the procession. Did you participate in that? If so, it may have been you who gave me a frond. I still have it, actually. God I miss New York.
Helen, I did participate last year, but remember that, as a Jew, I killed Christ, at least according to many authorities, and so I’m not sure that my having given you the frond is a consummation so devoutly to be wished.
As a former (R.C.) altar boy, I too was subjected to copious amounts of incense.
At a time when hallucinogenics were getting good press, courtesy of the Beatles etc, I was convinced that the Church had manufactured a soporific to keep us all hooked …
As United Methodists, we did not have incense in church services; however, I distinctly remember when my fifth grade Sunday school class visited the Greek Orthodox church in town, I threw up in the pew because the incense was so awful. Not a pretty picture.
Yesterday morning, I too was singing “All glory laud and honour” whilst clutching a palm frond…and trying not to freak out too visibly at being enveloped by massed ranks of elderly upper middle class Anglicans who clearly meant it, maaan. (I might write about this, if ever I recover).
I also seem to be trailing Mr.D. round the Blogosphere by about 30 minutes today.
I count Helen’s frond-blessing as valid, since Jesus himself was a Jew. And it’s only Heaven’s Gate-ish if you felt like killing yourself . . . . ;^)
Wow. I wasn’t even aware it was Palm Sunday, not that that would have meant anything to me anyway. I spent the day being desperately bored and dodging bad breath.