Sunday, March 24, 2013

Entry into Jerusalem

Jan van Haldern (1480 - 1511). 
Einzug Christi in Jerusalem/ The Entry of Christ into Jerusalem 1500
Wood carving
St. Nicolai's Church in Kalkar (Germany).[Kalkar Kreis Kleve, Katholische Pfarrkirche Sankt Nikolai]

Today is Palm Sunday

One of the most beautiful extant medieval High Altars is in St Nicolai`s Church in Kalkar in Germany

One of the scenes depicted is Christ`s entry into Jerusalem (above)

It is narrated in all four Gospels: Matthew 21:1-11, 21:14-16; Luke 19:28-40; Mark 11:1-11; and John 12:12-19

"Why does Jesus come to Jerusalem? Or perhaps better: How does Jesus enter into Jerusalem?  
The crowd acclaims him King. And he does not oppose this, he does not silence them (cf. Luke 19:39-40).  
But what kind of King is Jesus? Let us see: he rides a colt, he does not have a court that follows him, he is not surrounded by an army that would symbolize power.  
Those who welcome him are humble, simple people, who have the sense to see in Jesus something more; they have that sense of faith, which says: this is the Saviour. 
Jesus does not enter the Holy City to receive the honours reserved for earthly kings, to those who have power, to those who dominate.  
He enters to be beaten, insulted and reviled, as Isaiah foretold in the first reading (cf. Isaiah 50:6); he enters to receive a crown of thorns, a reed, a purple cloak, his royalty will be an object of scorn; he enters to climb Calvary, carrying a tree. ...  
Jesus enters Jerusalem to die on the cross. And it is exactly here that his being a king, as God, is manifested: the royal throne is the wood of the cross!  
I think of what Benedict XVI said to the cardinals: you are princes but of a crucified King. That is Jesus’ throne. Jesus takes it upon himself…  
Why the cross? Because Jesus takes upon himself evil, filth, the sin of the world, even our sin, the sins of all of us, and he washes them away with his blood, with mercy, with God’s love"

We can see the commemoration of this event almost two thousand years on all over Christendom, not just in the Vatican City

Here in a Processional of 1400 we see the Church procession for Palm Sunday for a Church of St Mary in either Salisbury or Winchester or Norwich

Processional diagram for Palm Sunday from Procession
Illustrated manuscript
21.2 x 12.2 cm
MS 57534   f.32r
The British Library, London

It would appear that there were two processions for the day but of this one, The British Library website states:
"The second diagram for that day, for the blessing of the palms, shows an altar with an image of the Crucifixion with the Virgin and St John. Seven palms rest to the side of the altar, while the Gospel book is held on a step below with the red-coped bishop on next step between two deacons (brown circles), crucifer (acolyte holding a processional cross), taperers (acolytes holding candles), thurifer (acolyte holding incense container), holy water and sacristan (priest in charge of the sacristy where the eucharistic hosts and ritual objects were kept) to rear."