16 March 2008

Rosemary Sunday?!?

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?


Kathleen said...

As a cryptopyromaniac, I suspect you'll think of something.

Kathleen said...

Actually, I've never seen any prohibition of cooking with blessed herbs. In fact, there is a long-standing tradition in some cultures of having all the Easter food blessed on Holy Saturday.
The point of burning or burying Bibles and other blessed objects is preventing their mockery (think some of the worst of contemporary art).

Jakob said...

Just pretend you´re taking communion.


PS: See you tomorrow:)

Anonymous said...

I'm at home right now, and I'm rather impressed that whenever I try to go to your blog, Safari crashes. It's neat, it never crashes otherwise, just when I go here. (I'm still using Panther on that computer since it's old and decrepit and doesn't have a DVD reader.)

Oh, also, since you're doing lots of Frenchy linguisticky stuff, I was wondering if you ever learned what the meaning of the word "cependre" was. I've always wondered. pendant is to pendre as cependent is to cependre, clearly. But it doesn't work so well in English. "While" is to "to hang" as "however" is to "?" Let me know if you find anything out.

Kel Miller said...

Silly Sceaute, you know cependre isn't a word!
I looked up the etymology of cependant though, and it comes from "ce et pendant, cela étant pendant" so they just smushed the words together.
Sorry my blog crashes your computer!

Kristen said...

Remind me to tell you about the blessing of the Easter baskets in the Ukrainian Catholic church. I agree - you can eat blessed foods.

We weren't given palms, either. A branch of a coniferous tree...from the front yard of the church in Carnacon. ?! I suppose my sustainability/no unnecessary transport/buy local self is alright with it - why transport palms all around the world if it's only for symbolic purposes? But it is different. I think that the Irish way smells better, though.