Palm Sunday Questions
  • Claire H
    Posts: 368

    I am trying to better understand the Entrance and Liturgy of the Word for Palm Sunday, according to the new missal. The directives in our missalette are slightly confusing, and our Diocese sent something but it doesn't clear everything up either.

    If we use the Solemn entrance, is this the correct form?

    1. Priest and people gather outside the Church doors

    2. "Hosanna to the son of David" is sung (I am confused about this. Our diocesan directive says that "chant is provided" for this, but it doesn't appear on the ICEL site on the Missal Chants page...)

    3. Priest prays, blesses branches, and proclaims the Gospel for the Procession

    4. There is a Homily (?)

    5. There is a procession to the Church, with the chant "Glory and honor and praise be to You" from the missal

    6. During the Church entrance, "All Glory, Laud and Honor" or something similar is sung.

    7. Liturgy of the Word proceeds with the First Reading...

    #5 & 6 seem especially unclear...would 5 only apply if we are doing the first form of procession, which is different from the Solemn Entrance?
  • It is my understanding that the Solemn Entrance (Option II) proceeds in the same way as the Procession (Option I), just with no long, outdoor procession. So, 1. Outside the doors or right inside of the doors...depending on the church. 2. Yes, the Hosanna filio David is sung) is where you'll find the music. 3. Yep. 4. Can be. Doesn't have to be. 5. Yes. That chant or another chant. You could sing that chant the entire time or sing All Glory, Laud, and Honor the entire time. Given that it would probably be a fairly short procession, I would just sing one or the other. 6. See #5. 7. The collect first. Then the readings.
  • 1. "The faithful gather either outside, in front of the church door, or inside the church itself. The Priest and ministers and a representative group of the faithful go to a suitable place in the church outside the sanctuary, where at least the greater part of the faithful can see the rite."

    2. "Hosanna" is sung as the Priest goes to the appointed place, so it's a processional chant (but not for the main procession). Hosanna to the Son of David is available here from the ICEL website:

    3. Yes.

    4. Perhaps — a brief homily is explicitly optional in the Procession (First Form).

    5. Only applies to the First Form.

    6. Yes. The Missal prescribes the Responsory "As the Lord entered the holy city", or "another chant, which should speak of the Lord's entrance." "All Glory, Laud, and Honor" qualifies as "another chant", but at the risk of sounding pedantic, it doesn't speak of the Lord's entrance but only of the procession (entrance is implicit).

    7. Priest prays the Collect; Mass continues with Liturgy of the Word.
  • tomboysuzetomboysuze
    Posts: 289
    Since no one else has weighed in here, I'll take a stab. You have it almost right, but usually homily does not take place until after the reading of Christ's Passion...if one is done, it is brief.

    Technically, if your congregation is processing into the church from outside, it's called:
    The Commemoration of the Lord's Entrance into Jerusalem. I think this is what you meant. The Solemn form is when the congregation is staying inside the church.

    While I could just leave it there, I'm going to write out what needs to happen for both of us....priests play with this a lot and often do whatever suits them. So, it's very confusing.
    I'll use a. b. c. to designate the three music selections you may need.

    pls. someone correct me if I'm wrong......

    Your preparation BEFORE:
    I. Pick a chant/hymn etc: Hosanna to the Son of David (chant a.) from somewhere...there are many sources. Pick something with a refrain so the congregation and pick it up and sing it.
    II. You also need to prepare: "All Glory Laud and Honor" (hymn c.) from whatever hymnal is in your church.
    III. Just in case your priest is going to do this ritual exactly as laid out in the rubrics, pick another chant with a Hosanna text. (chant c.)

    (I'm using Richard Rice's Simple Choral Gradual for all of this: )

    On Palm Sunday the order is:

    1.People show up for mass.
    2.They are given palms and directed to stand somewhere outside the church. (Location A)
    3. Some choir members join them there (Location A) to lead the music.

    (usually other choir members and the organist stay in the church to do music while the priest is processing to the altar.....they are waiting)

    4.Priest and procession stay in Sacristy until a "SIGNAL" is given to begin.
    6. Priest and Procession walk to Location A. WHILE they are walking to that place, the choir chants Hosanna to the Son of David (pick one from many sources.)

    Think, Christ arriving at the gates of Jerusalem.

    7. Priest arrives. CHOIR STOPS. Priest blesses palms and PROCLAIMS the Gospel. (He reads it -- so someone will have to hold the book for him, but he should arrange that.)
    8. Priest ends this portion saying, ".....let us go forth in peace...."

    At this point, you have three options:
    a. Resume chanting the Hosanna to the Son of David you were chanting before
    b. Chant or sing another Hosanna text
    c. Go directly into "All Glory Laud and Honor and continue that until the priest and procession arrive at the altar and is ready to continue the mass.

    If you chose a. or b. above, then: continue with the "hosanna text" for the priest to get to the altar, then you can do All Glory Laud and Honor (hymn c.) as the entrance hymn once he is on the altar.

    If you chose c. then just stretch out All Glory Laud and Honor until the priest catches his breath and is standing in front of his chair ready to begin the mass.

    9. Then, First reading; Isaiah 50;4-7
    10. Psalm: My God, My God....etc.
    11. Then the reading of the passion with the congregation.
    12. Then homily, which is usually short.

    Mass continues as usual. But the Recessional should be in silence or something somber. The Palm Sunday liturgy begins with a joyous event, but foreshadows Good Friday.

    That's my best shot. If I've made a mistake or someone has a better explanation, then I'll delete my's confusing enough.

    Best of luck Clare. You can email me if you need to.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Claire H
    Posts: 368
    Thank you, all, for your answers.

    Aristotle, thank you for providing the link to "Hosanna" I missed that on the ICEL page is a mystery (perhaps because it wasn't next to "Gloria, Laus et Honor"?)

    Homily directives still seem a bit inconsistent...our Missal says "after the [processional] Gospel, a brief homily may be given".
  • Liam
    Posts: 5,006
    A homily is typically omitted just because it prolongs a liturgy most priests dread to lengthen any further than necessary (some priest even give only the briefest of homilies, if you can call them that, after the reading of the Passion, preferring instead some extended silence)

    That said, a homily after the proclamation of the first Gospel is an opportune moment to touch on the oldest liturgical commemoration of Christ the King (older than Epiphany and way way older than the current CTK feast).

  • Looking over the rubrics and plans again for Palm Sunday. We do the Solemn entrance at each of our Masses and have traditionally sung All Glory Laud and Honor (in one form or another) during the short procession to the altar. I'm trying to figure out if I could also work in the proper responsory, "As the Lord entered...". Technically, speaking the "hymn to Christ the King" should take place outside the church during an extended procession, and in the case of the briefer Solemn entrance should be omitted in favor of the responsory. However, I don't expect most parishes do this, and I wold be remiss if we didn't sing All Glory Laud and Honor.

    What do you think about having the choir sing the responsory after the invitation "let us go forth in peace" followed by a congregational singing of All Glory Laud and Honor?
  • And as a follow up question, would it make sense to sing the other processional antiphons as a prelude before the Solemn entrance? Since we never do the procession we never get to sing them. I suppose almost anything goes for prelude music, but wondered what others thought.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,780
    We've never made it as far as the responsory Ingrediente Dom., but there is time to fill between the Blessing of Branches and their distribution to the entire congregation in the back of the church before beginning the procession to VALET WILL ICH DIR GEBEN. This is the only time the choir gets to sing from the West balcony and we do as many of the Schubert antiphons as time allows.
    Thanked by 1Earl_Grey
  • Unfortunately it is a local custom to take the unblessed palms and simply hold them up to be blessed so there isn't much time for any extra music. It was the Schubert settings I had in mind. It just seem a shame not to ever sing them.