palm sunday, passion sunday

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When I was a child, I was a little confused about the sequence of the events of Holy Week. For some reason, I did not understand that Palm Sunday and Passion Sunday are actually the same day. Maybe because in my Book of Common Prayer they aren't. For some reason, the BCP (at least the one I got from my parents in 1964) puts Passion Sunday on the 5th Sunday in Lent. And Palm Sunday, of course, is the Sunday before Easter. As a child, I didn't see how the Passion could precede the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, but then what did I know?

And why is it that the Gospel readings for Palm Sunday make little or no mention of the Palms?

Don't get me wrong, I love Palm Sunday. I love it the most when there is actually a procession with the waving of the palms - but I will take even the low key liturgy where the palms are barely mentioned. I love that we are getting ready to enter into the most solemn and beautiful week of the liturgical year. And in just a few short days, the Easter Vigil. Light my hair on fire day!

I've been Catholic now for, what, 34 years? And I've attended Easter vigil service in parishes literally all across the country. My first was on campus, where we lit a bonfire on one end of the mall and walked the length of the campus carrying our candles. My last one, last year, was a very subdued one in a New England parish with not a single rite of initiation to be done, and hence was very short and some what sorrowful to my eyes. I am looking forward to seeing how it is done in my new parish. Given that we have been rehearsing the music for a few weeks now, I have a few ideas. But it will still be interesting.

I am curious as to what you all have been experiencing in your parishes and congregations this Lent. I would like to invite comments, especially about your Palm Sunday liturgy. What was the music? Was there a solemn procession? Did the congregation participate in the gospel readings? Were there any unusual events?
I will post the music from our Palm Sunday liturgy in the extended entry. Please realize that I have zero influence on the choices. It was a very mixed bag. Something to (dis)please everyone.

Entrance: All Glory Laud and Honor
Kyrie (was supposed to be chanted, in Greek, but was omitted)
Psalm 22 as done in the Gather Hymnal #29
Offertory: We Remember (Haugen)
Sanctus (Chant, done in Latin)
Anamnesis and Great Amen: Mass of Creation
Agnus dei: Latin, chant
Communion: Behold the Lamb of God (Dufford) (very catchy tune, new to me)
Recessional: Lift High the Cross


Our priest explained in our scripture study earlier this week that palms aren't mentioned because Luke chooses to show the people throwing their cloaks for Jesus' mount to walk on. As he was writing for the Gentiles, palms would have had little frame of reference for them while cloaks (that essential piece of clothing) would have shown them the same basic mindset that palms would show to the Jews. If that makes sense. He said it more elegantly, you may be sure. :-0

We have a procession with the palms and before it the readings and the blessing of the palms but it's all so casually done. Not much solemn about it. No Latin, that's a given. I am sensing a shift, a longing for a parish that is more traditional without necessarily being totally TRADentine.

The reading from Luke was poorly done. Sorry, but it's hard to hear Peter and Pilate read in a female voice in a group reading. The priest botched a part by reading Pilate's line and tossed it off with a laugh. He's a dear man, I care for him but sheesh...

I could say more but I'd rather not.

Instead of a full procession, our priest called the children to process with him. Since the orthodoxy of our priest is rather in doubt (he's made blatant universalist statements), I was inordinately pleased to hear him state explicitly (what priests should believe without question) that Easter is the center of our faith, and if He was not raised, all is in vain. There is hope yet.

I'm not sure what Passion Sunday is - and as you know, I have a Catholic background. However, in Orthodoxy, Palm Sunday is clearly about the Palms. And, we read the Gospel Accounts of the Crucifixtion at Holy Friday Matins (served on Thursday night).

However, Palm Sunday is outside of Lent in Orthodoxy, I wonder if it is also in the RCC?

A blessed Holy Week to you, we are on the same calendar this year.

..mumbles something under his breath about wishing he could attend a Catholic church on a regular basis...

I think I read recently that in the Catholic Church Passion Sunday and Palm Sunday did used to be on two different days. Of course, I can't remember where I saw that now.

We had a solemn blessing of the palms in the chapel, with incense. Then a procession out the door and around to the front of the church. Not many people participated in the procession and few who were in the procession sang. It would help if they interspersed choir members into the procession to help lead the singing. Processional hymn was All Glory Laud and Honor.

I can't report on the other music because I've forgotten it all. All eminently forgettable, I'm afraid. I often try to tune out the music at mass, I'm afraid. If I paid attention, I'd get mad and distracted from prayer. Of course, I seldom really succeed in tuning it out. I spend far too much time in mass fuming over the music.

We didn't have a procession, and palms weren't even given out until after mass (the priest explained that he didn't want people to be distracted in mass). We did sing "All Glory, Laud, and Honor", which I always love.

I agree with Owen about female readers being assigned the speaker role for the Passion Dialogue. Why can't the female lector be given the narrator role? It makes more sense to have a male speaker, and if people really care about that sort of thing, the narrator part is much longer.

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This page contains a single entry by alicia published on April 1, 2007 8:06 PM.

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