Saturday, March 22, 2008

May this palm bring you comfort on your journey

As my intense week in Sri Lanka neared its end, I attended Palm Sunday services in Colombo’s Anglican Cathedral.  Anglican services have been a regular part of my Sri Lankan sojourns ever since Emily and I made our first visit.  Now the Cathedral is a familiar setting, I frequently  accompany my hostess, Sutami, and often see one or more old friends, as I did on Sunday.

The rather stark Cathedral, constructed entirely of shaped, poured concrete, was especially beautiful.  Of course palms are plentiful in Sri Lanka.  The entire interior was decorated with palm bows.  The opening procession was lead by the congregation’s children bearing bows.  There were more on the aisles leading to the altar.  Anglican Bishop Duleep de Chickera gave each congregation member the traditional palm leave,shaped in a cross, saying as he did, “may this palm bring you comfort on your journey.”  Since a 30 hour journey back to Washington, beginning at midnight, awaited me, I appreciated his good wishes.

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