Islanders joined world’s Christians in Palm Sunday services

Parishioners young and old gathered at Nevin Square in Edgartown Sunday where the Rev. Vincent "Chip" Seadale held a service reenacting Jesus's entry into Jerusalem. — Photo by Susan Safford

On Sunday, one week before Easter, Christians around the world celebrated Palm Sunday, ushering in the holiest week in the Christian calendar.

Father Vincent “Chip” Seadale, rector of St Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Edgartown, told The Times, “The day marks the beginning of Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, then the seat of political, economic and religious domination and control, in order to confront those powers with nonviolent and loving means.”

When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the people spread their palm branches and cloaks in his path as a sign of honor.

Father Seadale said that although the day begins in triumph, “it sets in motion the horrific events that caused an innocent man to be tortured and crucified.

Prior to Sunday’s service, The Times asked Father Seadale to explain how the Edgartown service connects Island worshipers to the larger community.

“Our participation as a faith community is mirrored by Christians all over the world in similar fashion, as we see ourselves as part of a larger following (“the body”) of the Christ,” Father Seadale wrote in an email. “Just as Jesus was an observant Jew, who celebrated the Passover, we as Christians likewise celebrate the life, passion (suffering), death and resurrection of Christ at the time of the Passover, when these events transpired.

“Like our Jewish forbears, who saw God’s work of liberation in the Exodus of the ancient Israelites from slavery in Egypt, how God has worked and continues to work in Christ is seen as God’s liberation of God’s children from the bonds of slavery and the powers that oppress us.

“Jesus’ work and ministry was done on behalf of all of humanity, and all are welcome to participate in his life and ministry, which continues in our world to this day.”