The most conspicuous ceremony of Palm Sunday is the procession. The worship assembly gather in a space outside of the usual worship space for a prayer of preparation, the reading of the story of Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and the blessing of the palms to be carried in procession into the church.
Palm trees can grow and flourish in the harshest of conditions, the desert. Its roots grow deep into the ground and its leaves are gathered at the top of the tree. Its sap has also been used in wine production. In the Bible, palms have been carried in procession as a sign of victory-that even in harsh conditions those whose God is the Lord will prosper. The use of palms at Jesus' entry in to Jerusalem is a hero's welcome.
The other most conspicuous feature is the reading of the Passion Gospel, the story of what happens to Jesus a few days after his triumphant, hero's welcome. The music has ended. People aren't singing about him anymore. They are accusing him of high crimes, calling for his prosecution, conviction, and execution. The story of Palm Sunday begins with the fervor of a king's homecoming. It ends with the uproarious fever of betrayal of the same king. A rejection of that king as a fraud and a trouble-maker. The same individuals who cried "Hosanna" or "Save us now!" cried "Crucify him" when they presented with trumped-up charges.
What follows are special devotions that incorporate special words and actions to help attune your mind to spiritual things. These devotions can be rendered to God by yourself or with your family.
Besides anything you may already have in your home worship space, whether its your dining room table or a shelf in a walk-in closet, the only thing necessary for worship is your intention to be present with God. You can use what is in this guide to inform your practice in whatever way you are comfortable or you space allows you. You may find that being too self-conscious will make meaningful worship difficult. Be gentle with yourself, trusting that God delights in your desire to worship.
The only thing necessary for worshipping at home or private devotion is your intention to be present with God. It merited repeating particularly because I'm going to ask you to add something to your worship space if you can. If you have a potted plant, or can physically go outside and retrieve a small leafy branch of some kind (something that isn't toxic to humans or animals), please do so. This may enhance your devotion by having a visual focal point.