Today is Palm Sunday, the celebration of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem the week before he was put to death in a really nasty manner. It's a cheerful day. If you go to a Palm Sunday Mass in the States, you'll be given a palm leaf to wave around, just like the Jerusalemites did two thousand years ago. Usually, the Mass begins outdoors and everyone processes into the church together. Chicago doesn't have any native palm trees, but we have palms all the same. My church in Blagoveschensk, in palmless Siberia, had palms.
Angers doesn't have native palm trees, so they usually use rosemary, or whatever other local leafy plant they've got lots of. It smells nice, but you can't fold little palm crosses out of rosemary!
Other than the herbal variety, Mass was pretty much as expected. There were the usual last minute changes of music (some communicated via text message by the organist way at the back of the cathedral) and moments of confusion when the priest skipped over our songs, and occasional realizations that nobody actually knew their notes... normal. The wanna-be-rocker organist did some nice improvisation, including a very sneaky minor "arrangement" of the Happy Birthday song for our now 27-year-old choir director. It was perfectly disguised, there was plenty of ornamentation covering the rather morose melody.
So now I have a slight dilemma. Palm Sunday palms aren't supposed to be thrown away normally since they've been blessed. You're supposed to either burn them or give them to the church to dispose of correctly. I've never had Palm Sunday rosemary though... I'm sure you're not allowed to cook with blessed herbs, but what am I supposed to do with it?