Proclamation of the Passion on Palm Sunday

Photo by Dupont Media World
(Click on images in this post for larger versions)

I'm wondering how the gospel of the Passion was proclaimed in your parish on Palm Sunday.

Here at Holy Family it happened in three different ways:

- At the Saturday 5:00 p.m. liturgy, I proclaimed the long form of the Passion by myself.

- At the Sunday 7:30 a.m. liturgy, a visiting priest proclaimed the short form of the Passion by himself.

- At the 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. liturgies, the Passion was proclaimed by: two lectors (sharing the narrator's role); a chorus of 15 high school students (all taking the group parts and some also taking the individual parts of Peter, Judas, high priest, bystanders, centurion, maid); and me (the part of Christ).

Photo by Dupont Media World

How was the Passion proclaimed in your parish?

What about the manner in which the Passion was proclaimed did you find helpful?  Was anything not so helpful?  Did anyone experience a chanted proclamation of the Passion?

Please use the combox to offer your observations.

Photo by Dupont Media World

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  1. At St. Cecilia, we had three most excellent lectors proclaiming the Passion. They were vibrant and engaging (unusual words to describe the reading of the Passion, I know). It was the first of the many stories that make up the scriptures of Holy Week.

  2. I was fortunate to experience a beautiful, chanted version of the Passion this year. It was the first time that I ever heard the Passion proclaimed in that way, and it was truly special! Thank you, St. Ignatius of Loyola in NYC!

  3. Three lectors and the presiding priest proclaimed the Passion in turn. At each change of readers the assembly responded with a sung chant. I've never heard it chanted, and would like to!

    I find the measured pace and being able to pay full attention to listening, without having to worry about following the text to know when to the assembly's part appears, to help me deeply engage with the text. Each time I hear it in this way I hear something different in the account, catch some nuance that I've not appreciated in quite that way before.

  4. At St. Andrew in Columbus, Ohio the Passion was read by the Celebrant as Christ, our Deacon as the narrator and a lector filling in the other voices. At the beginning of the reading we were told to sit. We all knelt at the appropriate time and then stood for the remainder of the reading. That was a first for me, but kept us all from shifting from one foot to the other and enabled better concentration on the scripture. And yes, our statues are covered.

  5. Chanted!That sounds so intriguing, would love to hear that.

    At St. Edward the Confessor we had 3 lectors at each mass, one narrator, Jesus and one voice for the other parts. I was privileged to be the lector for narration at 4pm on Saturday. I was at the 11am mass on Sunday and the lector who was the narrator was amazing... truly. They all were actually, but I'm grateful that I got to hear her.

    At all masses, a deacon, except at 4pm when there was no deacon, proclaimed the Gospel from the rear of the church.

  6. At Christ Our Hope Catholic Church, a brand new parish in downtown Seattle (we're still opening churches in the West Coast!), we used the version of LTP's old book the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The passion was divided into sections for 3 readers, based on the scene. A priest, a deacon and a lay women. Jesus's lines weren't reserved for the priest.
    (PS. Father, 2 questions from your pictures:
    1. Did the assembly not process in with palms?
    2. Are you using the altar as a prop for the Passion account, holding your book? That doesn't seem like you!

  7. Chuck: this year we did not process in as an assembly, we used one of the other options the ritual provides as an option.

    The third photo shows the readers at the point of the death of Jesus in the narrative. I have a sciatic condition and standing as I did for 99% of the proclamation was a good Lenten penance for me! At this moment of reverence, I came from my position at the side of the altar (see photo above) and leaned on the altar for a moment - taking the pressure of my back and leg for a sweet minute.


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