The Passion of Our Lord (Palm Sunday)


By Leanna Cappiello

As a young girl, seeming our Lord’s Passion enacted in front of us was my favourite part of Palm Sunday Mass. Experiencing the break in ritual to tell a compelling story. Every year, I would notice something different. And if what we believe is true, scripture is the Word made Flesh. Would it not be fitting to have flesh-and-blood humans take on these dramatis personæ (“persons of the drama”)?

It is not enough to read stories on our own. Children need stories to be read to them, with voices and actions, to make the tale come to life. For teenagers to understand Shakespearean, it is optimal for them to be exposed to the poetry and prose live on stage, as they were first intended. It seems only natural that we see the Passion before our eyes, each role taken on by someone in the community. Perhaps you recognize them. Perhaps you don’t.

When you read Mark’s account of the Passion, what kinds of faces, bodies and physicalities do you imagine? Do you see yourself in any of the characters in today’s drama? Do you embody Peter, a loyal companion still struggling with perfect loyalty, in your life currently? Does the character of Pilate, the notorious crowd-pleaser and public figure, resonate with you today? In what ways might you feel like one in the Crowd, chasing the latest social movement?

We hold palms in our hands today to embrace a physical sign of hope and triumph. This is also why we enact the Passion for each other… to breathe life into the story, to take it off the page, so that it becomes just a little more real. It has so much more of an impact when we see the story of Christ enacted by the body of Christ.