Before driving back home from a blessed visit to Denton, Dallas (The King’s College Choir concert with an old friend was blessed, but NOT the traffic.), and Pilot Point, I finally got to visit Smokey Matt’s for their Palm Sunday Solemn High Mass.
I say “finally” because I have not been able to visit in years. Fr. Duncan was still the rector when I last visited. Long time readers know I affectionately refer to this parish church as Smokey Matt’s because Fr. Duncan loved to use incense generously. When I informed the current rector, Fr. Christopher Cantrell, of this before the main service, he remarked with some pride that he smokes things up more than ever.
The liturgy was of a high standard, of course, including my first outdoor Palm Sunday procession. I know – shocking that I had not done a Palm Sunday procession before, and it was past time for that to be remedied. It was pleasant weather for it, and I heartily enjoyed singing All Glory, Laud, and Honor as we processed around the front of the church holding our palm fronds.
During the Mass, particularly as I received, I felt a sense of gratitude and also of sorrow and of my own unworthiness as I reflected on the Passion. It is difficult to put into words, and I cannot recall feeling quite that way during Holy Communion. As the sermon pointed out, Palm Sunday liturgy is jarring by design, moving quickly from the Triumphal Entry to the Passion of our Lord. And it did jar me, as it should.
The parish has posted a number of photos from the procession and mass.
Afterwards, Fr. Cantrell asked if the use of incense lived up to the moniker of Smokey Matt’s. I answered it did indeed. He was quite pleased. :)