By Christina Leslie | Correspondent
Nearly 150 people followed the storm-devastated route between the towns of Sea Bright and Rumson March 24 during the annual Holy Cross Church Palm Sunday procession. Holy Cross pastor Father Michael Manning led a group of acolytes and parishioners waving palm branches in a walk from Sea Bright’s municipal parking lot along Route 36, across the Shrewsbury River Bridge and to the parish gymnasium to celebrate 10:30 a.m. Mass.
Click HERE to view gallery of photos.
The tradition in imitation of Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem began five years ago during Holy Cross’ 125th anniversary celebration; an examination of parish records discovered the first Masses for Holy Cross Parish had been celebrated in Sea Bright, and its original name on legal documents was “The Church of the Holy Cross, Sea Bright.”
Holy Cross music director Don Carolina led the newly-formed children’s choir in singing the hymn “All Glory, Laud and Honor” as they walked to Mass. “They sounded great and it was a lot of fun,” he later remarked, and laughed as he recalled the sand underneath the children’s chairs during Mass.
Marchers took a small detour at the start of the procession onto the beach by way of a large dune known locally as “Mount Sandy,” where they stopped to pray. Once on the other side, Father Manning blessed the palms, against a backdrop of waves and shore homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
Lori La Plante, Holy Cross pastoral assistant, shared that the procession was “particularly poignant this year, given the restoration of the shore in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Holy Cross worked closely with the Borough of Sea Bright in the early days following the storm and continues to support our parishioners and neighbors in need.”
Sea Bright municipal worker Kathy Morris saw the procession atop the dune and remarked, “I looked over and saw where Father Manning and everyone was standing, at the top of Mount Sandy, and I had tears in my eyes. What a perfect spot to pray!”[[In-content Ad]]