018 Palm Sunday (Holy Week Series No. 1)

The first in a four-part series about Holy Week. We begin with Palm Sunday.

Download this episode (mp3).

  • On the rubric at the Eucharist (When the Liturgy of the Palms immediately precedes the Eucharist, the celebration begins with the Salutation and Collect of the Day)Byron D. Stuhlman in Prayer Book Rubrics Expanded has this to say: "This liturgy replaces the ordinary entrance rite for the principal Eucharist of the day." (85). "At services other than the principal celebration, all or part of this liturgy may be used, as suitable." (86).
  • Opening rubrics for the Liturgy of the Palms (BCP, 270):
    The Liturgy of the Palms
    When circumstances permit, the congregation may gather at a place
    apart from the church, so that all may go into the church in procession.

    The branches of palm or of other trees or shrubs to be carried in the
    procession may be distributed to the people before the service, or after
    the prayer of blessing.
  • The use of bagpipes on Palm Sunday appears to also be a practice of Palestinian Orthodox Christians, particularly scouts, as seen in the following examples:
  • The processional Psalm is #157 in the Hymnal 1982, with additional Palm Processional options found at #154-156.
  • Last year's Palm Procession at Trinity Wall Street can be viewed here.
  • Full text of the Blessing of the Palms (BCP, 271): 
    It is right to praise you, Almighty God, for the acts of love by
    which you have redeemed us through your Son Jesus Christ

    our Lord. On this day he entered the holy city of Jerusalem in
    triumph, and was proclaimed as King of kings by those who
    spread their garments and branches of palm along his way.
    Let these branches be for us signs of his victory, and grant that
    we who bear them in his name may ever hail him as our King,
    and follow him in the way that leads to eternal life; who lives
    and reigns in glory with you and the Holy Spirit, now and 
    for ever. Amen.
  • From The Catholic Encyclopedia (1913):
    "Precisely when, in the development of the liturgy, the history of the Passion of Our Lord ceased, during Holy Week, to be merely read and became a solemn recitation, has not yet been ascertained. As early as the eighth century the deacon of the Mass, in alb, solemnly declaimed, in front of the altar, on a fixed tone, the history of the Passion."

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