Litany for Palm/Passion Sunday

Leader: “Hosanna: mercy on us”,
Response: "Blessed are we who come in peace"

From Kapiti to Te Aro
from Seatoun to Mt Victoria
from Eastbourne to Newtown
from Bethany to the Beehive

we come, with our tattered palm fronds
and dusty feet
eyes stinging from the grit of the roads, and from weeping

our hikoi almost over -
throats sore from shouting and cheering
muscles ache from waving our banners and palms,
or from the unaccustomed donkey ride.

Hosanna: mercy on us.
Blessed are we who come in peace.

Thorndon, Wellington 2011 © bronwyn angela white

Rounding the corner from Ngauranga,
along the motorway,
across the harbour
we see our beautiful city:
jewel in our nation’s crown
centre of art and government
heart of jurisdiction and justice.

Jesus wept.

We weep, too
 for the ripping apart of Papatuanuku and Ranginui
 for clear-felling of forests for pasture
 damming of rivers for power
 for the destruction of our temples
 for the stones that cry out when we are silent.

We weep:
 for the exploitation, trade, abuse and rape
 of the innocent and powerless:
 children
 women
 men

 for the rapists, abusers, the traders and exploiters
 for those who cannot weep
 who cannot empathise
 or feel another’s pain.

 For victims and perpetrators
 we cry for justice and work for peace.

Wellington 2011 © bronwyn angela white

We weep:
for those who have lost hope
for those nearing journey’s end with no sense of resurrection
for losses too great for stiff upper lips and backbones

For what we must let go of
we weep.

Blessed are you who rebuild what was broken
who replant what was torn up
who heal our spirits and our earth.

Hosanna: mercy on us.
Blessed are we who come in peace.

Tintern Abbey, Wye Valley, Wales 2011 © bronwyn angela white

We hear the stones cry out
for the times that we did not.

We hear the stones cry out
for the destruction of eco-systems
for careless or deliberate waste of our resources
for leaky buildings and shoddy work and greedy development

We hear the stones cry out
for the destruction of our temples
for knowing what is needed
and still not giving peace a chance

for trying to quiet those who shout for justice
in languages or accents foreign to us
for closing our ears to those
whose causes we don’t understand

For the ravaged beauty of the earth
and of her peoples
we hear the stones cry out.

Hosanna: mercy on us.
Blessed are we who come in peace.

Parliament grounds, Wellington 2012 © bronwyn angela white

We put our arms around those who stumble
hold the hands of those who cannot see the way

we hold two palms aloft, for those who need both hands
to guide their walking frame or wheelchair

we shout Hosanna twice as loud
for those whose voices are weak with pain or age or struggle

We bless those who care for us
at times when we care nothing for ourselves.

Hosanna: mercy on us.
Blessed are we who come in peace.

Wairarapa 2010 © bronwyn angela white

At journey’s end we gather
dusty from the road
coats and blankets and cushions stowed in our backpacks
palm leaves discarded - or put out for recycling

the upper room awaits
and still
sometimes self-consciousness, whakama
make us shy
from letting others wash our feet.

For the times we reject others’ help;
for the times we rush to carry water,
bring the towels, fill the bowls -
   because we know how it’s done,
instead of letting others do it their way;

when we deny the blessing of giving to others
and we forget it’s also blessed to receive

for the times we’d rather be dirty than
let others help us wash
forgive us.

Sissinghurst, England 2011 © bronwyn angela white

Blessed are we who let ourselves be loved.
Blessed are we, who let you wash our feet.

Blessed are we who weep.
Blessed are we who hear the stones cry out, and cry out with them.

Blessed are we who rebuild what is broken
who heal each other
and the earth.

Hosanna: mercy on us.
Blessed are we who come in peace.



by Bronwyn  Angela  White (2009), Wellington, New Zealand

Kapiti Coast 2011 © bronwyn angela white