Donkey visits First Lutheran to mark Palm Sunday

Donkey owner Earl Khosrovi talks with some of the children at First Luthern Church in Parkersburg on Palm Sunday. The donkey was to lead them around the Parkersburg neighborhood. Rainy weather canceled the walk, so instead the donkey was ushered into the Education Building of the church for a “meet and greet.” (Photo Provided)

PARKERSBURG — Palm Sunday, the start of Holy Week services at First Lutheran Church, 1701 19th St., began with a special visitor – a donkey owned by Earl Khosrovi – to the delight of children and adults alike.

The donkey, an integral part of the entry of Jesus’ coming into Jerusalem, was to lead the children waving palms around the Parkersburg neighborhood Palm Sunday morning, church officials said. Rainy weather prohibited this event so the donkey came into the Education Building of First Lutheran and was a delight for all to see, church officials said.

It was noted that all donkeys have a black cross on their back, running down their spines and across their shoulders. The story is told that a little donkey also tried to help Jesus carry the cross to the mount but could not get through the crowd. When the crowd dispersed, the donkey went up to Jesus and stood behind the cross, church officials said.

As the sun set, the shadow of the cross fell across the donkey, and now every donkey has the cross on its back, church officials noted.

First Lutheran continues Holy Week services on Maundy Thursday, April 18 at noon and 7 p.m. Holy Communion will be celebrated at both services. This year’s class of First Communicants and their families will participate in the 7 p.m. service. A reception will follow.

Good Friday evening Tenebrae service will begin at 7 p.m. April 19.

Saturday, April 20, is the Vigil of Easter service at 7 p.m. Participating this year with Sr. Pastor Ian B. Reid will be the Rev. Paul Hicks, of Trinity Episcopal Church; the Rev. Jonathan Nettles, St. Andrews and Christ United Methodist churches, and the Rev. Emilie Theobald Rowlands, of Christ Lutheran Church, Vienna.

Following the Saturday Vigil the wooden cross in front of First Lutheran Church will be decorated with flowers. This is a tradition in which all are invited to participate and bring flowers to add to the cross. The flower-bedecked cross celebrates Christ’s victory on Easter morning, church officials said.

Easter morning breakfast will be served from 8:30-9:30 a.m. The breakfast is open to everyone and donations will be accepted and will help defray expenses of the youth reciprocal trip to First Lutheran’s sister church in Finland.

The traditional Easter Sunday worship service will be a combined service beginning at 10 a.m. with music presentations from the Festival Choir and The Eastlawn Brass.