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The Rose of Calvary

Our Palm Sunday celebration begins with children leading a triumphant parade around our building.

This year’s cantata conveys the emotional roller-coaster from the triumphant entry of Palm Sunday to the loss of hope at the crucifixion in nine movements.

  1. The overture samples themes of the entire work and introduces the Jesus as the Rose of Calvary.
  2. Isaiah’s prophecies of restoration of creation lie behind the rejoicing in second movement. Here Jesus is called the Rose of Sharon, an alternate translation from Isaiah 35:1-2.
    • Our offerings and prayers between the second and third movements will embody our rejoicing for God’s creation.
  3. The prophets also pointed to the need for people to turn from their sins. The aptly named third movement, “Call to Repentance,” portrays both our need and Jesus’s answer; his standing ready to save with love and power.
    • Between movements, the congregation will publicly confess our imperfections and failings.
  4. This movement, “A Rose in the Valley,” expresses God’s promise of pardon for our failings.
  5. The excitement of the fifth movement will have you bouncing in your seat as the people triumphantly “Shout to God” with a loud hosanna, musically evoking Jesus’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday.
  6. During his few days in Jerusalem Jesus taught us to live gently with loving kindness for one another and to love our neighbors as ourselves, for that is “Love’s Way.”
    • After this movement the congregation will demonstrate our compassion for one another in prayer.
  7. Not everyone was pleased by Jesus’s popularity. Leading the Rose to the Garden of Gethsemane to weep deep in prayer for his disciples and for release from the cup that the lay ahead, while also praying: “Father, let Thy will be done.”
  8. Meanwhile the priests had excited the mob “In the Praetorium” now to shout “crucify him!” The eighth movement resonates with anger at the Rose of Sharon, urging Pilate to plant the Rose on Calvary.
  9. Even the thorns had beg not to be placed upon the head of the Rose of Calvary as His petals fall and the flower dies.
    • Our Palm Sunday worship service will conclude with the congregation singing “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” receiving the benediction, then leaving.
  10. Joseph M. Martin’s The Rose of Calvary offers one more movement, but we must wait a full week to celebrate God’s surprise ending.

The fine voices of our choir will be supplemented by professional soloists and instrumentalists. You, your family, your friends, and your neighbors will not want to miss this musical account of Christ’s passion. Please share this invitation to experience the journey of the Rose of Calvary at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday April 9th, at Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church.