Opening/Holy Day/Week

palm-crossThe palm branch may be the ultimate “liturgical party favor.” It’s no secret that church attendance spikes on days when we give things away. Like ashes on the forehead or flowers on Mothers Day or Candy Canes at the children’s Christmas Pageant. People like stuff; especially free stuff.

Sure, we’re always giving away things at church — like grace freely offered. But you can’t stick that  under the sun visor of your Honda or fold it into the shape of a cross. Receiving “grace upon grace” won’t prove to anyone that you’ve been  to church at least once in the past year. And the bread and wine we’re always handing out in the name of Jesus gets immediately ingested. No, you can’t take it with you (and please don’t try). So we’re left with the rare liturgical party favor to look forward to.

I guess this all makes intuitive sense. It’s why attendance is always higher on Hat Day at the ballpark. Yes, I have baseball on the brain — it’s an interesting confluence of events this year: Monday of Holy Week and Opening Day. You can always get an $8 hot dog and a $9 Bud Light (the actual “new” Yankee Stadium price) but the hat, like the palm, is something special. Sure it has the Verizon logo  emblazoned on the side (which may as well say: “I got this at Hat Day and I’m too cheap to buy a real one”). But it’s free — or it least it comes with your $150 ticket — and it proves you’ve been there.

Enjoy Holy Week. Enjoy Opening Day. And please say a prayer for my Orioles as they go against the Great Satan, I mean the Yankees, this afternoon. Play Ball! Let Us Pray!

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