Holy Week Poem by Ann Weems


For the last few years, I have been using Ann Weems’s book Kneeling in Jerusalem, Poetry for Lent and Easter as a seasonal devotional.  Occasionally, these poems have made it into our Sunday liturgy.

For your journey this week, here is her poem “Holy Week.”

Holy is the week…

Holy, consecrated, belonging to God…

We move from hosannas to horror 

with predictable ease

of those who know not what they do.

Our hosannas sung,

our palms waved,

let us go with passion into this week.

It is time to curse fig trees that do not yield fruit.

It is time to cleanse our temples of any blasphemy.

It is time to greet Jesus as the Lord’s Anointed One,

to lavishly break our alabaster

and pour perfume out for him

without counting the cost.

It is a time for preparation…

The time to give thanks and break bread is upon us.

The time to give thanks and drink of the cup is imminent.

Eat, drink, remember:

On this night of nights, each one must ask,

as we dip our bread in the wine,

“Is it I?”

And on that darkest of days, each of us must stand

beneath the tree

and watch the dying

if we are to be there

when the stone is rolled away.

The only road to Easter morning

is through the unrelenting shadows of that Friday.

Only then will the alleluias be sung;

only then will the dancing begin.

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