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.