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Source: (consider it) Thread: Palm Sunday
bib
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How was your Palm Sunday? Ours was certainly a little different from our usual experience. Firstly we were unable to obtain any palm branches which seems to have been a problem elsewhere in the state. We made do with a few bits and pieces that were able to be scrounged. Palm Sunday itself turned into a torrential downpour which meant we were unable to have an outdoor procession, but we managed instead to gather just inside the church entrance and processed from there, which became somewhat of a mess as some people kept stopping and holding up traffic. All very messy when you are trying to do a figure of eight procession. I think it would have been better for the congregation to just process to their seats and not try to participate in the entire figure of eight. As is the case in many churches, we had a very lengthy Gospel reading which seemed to go on forever. Some of the congregation gave up and left! This was followed by an equally lengthy sermon (why have a sermon following such long readings!!). The outcome of all this was that church lasted two hours which meant that many of us were hungry and irritable after what should have been a wonderful service. I always look forward to Palm Sunday, but this year's was a service to forget.

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"My Lord, my Life, my Way, my End, accept the praise I bring"

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Ascension-ite
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I went to my Episcopal church's late service this morning, there was no outdoor procession, that was saved for the earlier service with the kids and a donkey. The Liturgy of the Palms took place at the rear of the nave, "All Glory Laud and Honor" was the processional hymn. The Passion was read by several members of the congregation, the gentleman reading as narrator lost his composure after the last words of Jesus, and struggled a little to regain it. It was a lovely moment. We sang "Ah, Holy Jesus" before the Passion, and "My Song is Love Unknown" and "O Sacred Head, Sore Wounded" during Communion. The recessional was silent. The church was full for this, the fourth service of the morning. Looking forard to the remainer of Holy Week.
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Gee D
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We had a small procession only for an early service, but a long one through along the nearby street with those able to walk it - singing All glory laud and honour over and over again. I know it's appropriate, but the constant repetition grates after a while. No great crowd of witnesses for an inner-city church. No figure-of-8 inside this year. but when we do, it's choir and sanctuary party only, not congregation. For the first time, I had a speaking part for the Gospel reading and found it intensely moving, much more so than just listening.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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dj_ordinaire
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quote:
Originally posted by bib:
As is the case in many churches, we had a very lengthy Gospel reading which seemed to go on forever. Some of the congregation gave up and left! This was followed by an equally lengthy sermon (why have a sermon following such long readings!!).

Several times I have heard priests get around this by saying something like 'what could I say that competes with what we have heard?' or offering a very brief reflection on the Cross. A full-length sermon does not seem right for the day.

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Flinging wide the gates...

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Amanda B. Reckondwythe

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The best Palm Sunday sermon I ever heard was the following, and I quote verbatim: "Does anyone know the name of the 'good thief'? His name was Dismas. Dismas was the only saint to be canonized not by any pope, but by Jesus himself."

Ten seconds tops.

[ 10. April 2017, 11:40: Message edited by: Amanda B. Reckondwythe ]

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"Stop your noisy songs; I do not want to listen to your praise bands." -- Amos 5:23, Good News Bible (modified)

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Arethosemyfeet
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We had the readings (though not for this year in the lectionary) for the triumphal entry and a sermon related to them. No palms, no procession, no passion gospel, not even a donkey. The perils of a vacancy. [Frown]
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stonespring
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In the Passion reading at the US Episcopal church I attended, the Rector (the presiding celebrant at the Eucharist) read the voices of the High Priest and other Jewish leaders, the priest serving as deacon was the narrator, an associate priest attending in choir was read the voice of Pilate, and the subdeacon (a layperson) read the voice of Jesus. I am used to the Roman Catholic usual practice where, even when laypeople are brought in to read parts of the Passion, the presiding celebrant reads the part of Jesus (or at least a priest or deacon).

By having a layperson read the part of Jesus and having priests read the parts of the Jewish leaders and Roman leader who condemned him, is this parish trying to turn the Roman Catholic way of doing things on its head?(This is a very Anglo-Catholic parish, down to wearing birettas, but it is one that uses BCP 1979 Rite II, so I am sure they know about the practice in RC parishes, even if it is a post-Vatican II practice).

Is this a fad of sorts, to keep priests humble by having them read these parts during the Passion reading rather than read the part of Jesus?

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Emendator Liturgia
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At the Community of Our Lady of Advent worship in Norwest there were no donkeys leading a palm procession, but the sacred space was splendid in passion red and adored with palms. We had the Palm Sunday gospel with blessing of the palms and palm crosses, the set Old Testament, Psalm and New Testament readings, then the shorter form of the passion narrative with people taking the parts - as chief celebrant I took (for the first time) the role of Jesus. As others have said, very humbling and deeply evocative.

The opening hymn was 'All glory, praise and honour', then 'My song is love unknown' for the gradual, the offertory hymn was 'My God your table now is spread', then Shirley Erena Murray's hymn 'When human voices cannot sing' before we said the ‘Ave Regina Caelorum’.

At Our Lady of the Rocks we had a simplified service with just the New Testament and Palm Gospel for the readings.

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Don't judge all Anglicans in Sydney by prevailing Diocesan standards!

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Sipech
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I could say, but I'll let Miss Amanda know the details first. [Two face]

Actually, I ended the day in a church, but it wasn't a Palm Sunday service. I happened to be in Trafalgar Square and popped into St Martin's in the Fields where the choir was practising for a performance of Allegri's Miserere Mei, Deus, which is my favourite piece of church music. It was an unexpected delight.

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I try to be self-deprecating; I'm just not very good at it.
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Bishops Finger
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We did Palm Sunday more-or-less by the book, even though no priest was available (we've just started an interregnum). We had Communion from the Reserved Sacrament, preceded by the Palm Gospel, Procession (out in the street, as it was such a beautiful day), Passion Gospel with the congo joining in, suitable intercessions, and some nice hymns. The service was led by myself, and my fellow-Reader.

A very short homily (2 minutes) was praught by me, simply drawing attention to the two contrasting themes of the day - Procession and Passion - and reminding the Faithful Few of the importance of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday!

Even though we are a small congregation (ASA 30-35) with few resources, we still try to do things in as seemly and edifying a way as possible, and one of our newer young Mums told me afterwards what a lovely service it had been.

So, a fair start to Holy Week. Attendance was a bit low, but at least three families are away on holiday.

IJ

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

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Brenda Clough
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Our church has a semi-dramatized reading of the Passion story, pretty fairly elaborate. No donkey, thank God! But a life-sized wooden cross, suitable for home crucifixions, carried in and hung high. To allow for this, the table is hoicked off to the side. Then it is hoisted back into position by burly altar boys during the Peace and the following announcements, and we Altar Guild ladies scurry to set it for the Eucharist. As long as there are enough of this, we can conjure all the vessels and linens into place like magic, pop! And the priest can stroll up for the Great Thanksgiving as if it was always there.

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Og, King of Bashan

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Procession: In Denver this time of year, it is either beautiful, or there is a foot of snow on the ground. This year was one of the first (although still a bit chilly), so we processed outside around the block. We have a bagpiper play "Ode to Joy" to which we sing "Ride On Ride On in Majesty" (a forced marriage, to say the least, but it gets us around the block). Then we have the prayer at the rood, and enter the church to "All Glory Laud and Honor."

(We attempted an indoor procession as described above one year, and it was a disaster- about 3/4 of the congregation were in the aisles when we realized that we had hit critical mass and no one could move anywhere.)

Readings: We had the passion gospel from Mathew, with the Deacon reading the part of the narrator, and members of the adult confirmation class reading the parts. (Anyone else notice that, unless you read John, Jesus only has one or two lines? Everyone acts like he's the star of the show. [Biased] )

Sermon: Our sermon is typically an invitation to mark Holy Week with prayer and attendance of worship. Our Rector was in the Holy Land last summer, and thankfully has so far avoided the temptation to use Holy Week as an excuse to show her travel slides or (worse) begin advertising "Parish Pilgrimage 2018!". She even made the point that, while she appreciates the great privilege she had in visiting the Holy Land, she was struck by the way that it made her realize that one can appreciate the profundity of the week anywhere you are.

Music: Weelks "Hosanna to the Son of David" outside before the procession. No gradual hymn. Leighton's "Alone thou Goest" at the anthem, "My Song is Love Unknown" at the offertory. Bruckner's "Christus Factus Est" at communion, followed by the first three verses of "O Sacred Head." "Alone Though Goest Forth" from the hymnal as the recession.

Overall, a good service. My mother hates Palm Sunday, as it is always a bit chaotic. My father always likes to remind her that we are celebrating a chaotic event, so it's totally appropriate.

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leo
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Ours took 65 mins. Outdoor procesion in very warm weather. Penitential rite and OT lesson omitted. Short meditation based on the rubric from the end of the Matthew Passion ' The response is silence'.

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stonespring
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Does it seem to anyone else that for many parishes, due to low attendance on Good Friday, Palm Sunday has replaced Good Friday as the day most church attendees will commemorate The Passion of Our Lord and is also perhaps the only day in any parish where Penal Substitutionary Atonement (not that I'm a fan of it) is not the reigning soteriology that a sermon on the Passion/Crucifixion would be preached (except perhaps the Exaltation of the Holy Cross)?
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Og, King of Bashan

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quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
Does it seem to anyone else that for many parishes, due to low attendance on Good Friday, Palm Sunday has replaced Good Friday as the day most church attendees will commemorate The Passion of Our Lord and is also perhaps the only day in any parish where Penal Substitutionary Atonement (not that I'm a fan of it) is not the reigning soteriology that a sermon on the Passion/Crucifixion would be preached (except perhaps the Exaltation of the Holy Cross)?

This is why I have to disagree with the "what sermon do you need after that?" approach.

I am not sure that most of us can grasp the entire meaning of the crucifixion, and I think you have to at least give some assurance that it's OK to not totally get it.

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"I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?" ― Walker Percy

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Graven Image
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First time I attended Palm Sunday service at our local Methodist Church. Palm Sunday (a/k/a Sunday of the Passion) which in my experience in the Episcopal Church was "a mixed-character liturgy". Beginning in the triumphal entry, processing out after the Passion in silence. Not so in the Methodist service We experienced only the triumphal entry. Made it so much better I think. We will gather again on Thursday to remember the Last Supper and Friday for the Passion. I always found it strange to read the Passion on Palm Sunday then return again to hear it on Good Friday. By having the Passion read on Palm Sunday perhaps we make people feel it is less important to attend Good Friday services.
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BulldogSacristan
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quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
Does it seem to anyone else that for many parishes, due to low attendance on Good Friday, Palm Sunday has replaced Good Friday as the day most church attendees will commemorate The Passion of Our Lord and is also perhaps the only day in any parish where Penal Substitutionary Atonement (not that I'm a fan of it) is not the reigning soteriology that a sermon on the Passion/Crucifixion would be preached (except perhaps the Exaltation of the Holy Cross)?

It has always been the tradition to read the Passion on Palm Sunday and Good Friday. Palm Sunday was Matthew (now often one of the synoptics on a rotating basis) and Good Friday is John. Palm Sunday has always had a complex, dual nature.
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Nenya
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We visited a friend's church, which was very interesting with a cracker of a sermon. As a church they're looking at a Dead Horse issue and this was handled sensitively. The highlight, however, was the whistle-stop enactment of the events of Holy Week, an on-the-spot performance mostly by the children under the guidance of the minister. Jesus was pretty much killed by the Roman soldier who arrested him, long before he reached the cross, and eventually ended up under the altar in a makeshift tomb, from which he peeped out, giggling. Shades of Spamalot - "I'm not dead yet..."

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ThunderBunk

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quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:

Is this a fad of sorts, to keep priests humble by having them read these parts during the Passion reading rather than read the part of Jesus?

I believe it to be significant that the parts distributed among the ordained parties are those of religious authorities. Whatever you see as happening to Jesus, it's clear what the religious authorities (as described in the narratives) are looking to instigate.

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Currently mostly furious, and occasionally foolish. Normal service may resume eventually. Or it may not. And remember children, "feiern ist wichtig".

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by BulldogSacristan:
It has always been the tradition to read the Passion on Palm Sunday and Good Friday.

Well, that depends on one's tradition, so to speak. For Roman Catholics and Anglicans (and Lutherans?), yes, that's been the tradition. For some others, as reflected by Graven Image's post above, it's not the tradition.

At least among Presbyterians, the reading of the passion narrative on Palm Sunday is a fairly recent thing (as in the last few decades), and I'd wager it's probably only done in a minority of congregations. For us, the more long-standing tradition is that Palm Sunday is all about the entrance into Jerusalem. The passion readings come later in the week.

[ 10. April 2017, 20:05: Message edited by: Nick Tamen ]

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Ceremoniar
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In fact, until the 1970s, the tradition was to read all four gospel passion accounts during Holy Week.
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stonespring
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quote:
Originally posted by BulldogSacristan:
quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
Does it seem to anyone else that for many parishes, due to low attendance on Good Friday, Palm Sunday has replaced Good Friday as the day most church attendees will commemorate The Passion of Our Lord and is also perhaps the only day in any parish where Penal Substitutionary Atonement (not that I'm a fan of it) is not the reigning soteriology that a sermon on the Passion/Crucifixion would be preached (except perhaps the Exaltation of the Holy Cross)?

It has always been the tradition to read the Passion on Palm Sunday and Good Friday. Palm Sunday was Matthew (now often one of the synoptics on a rotating basis) and Good Friday is John. Palm Sunday has always had a complex, dual nature.
My point was that, since in many (but certainly not all) parishes, at least here in the US where Good Friday is generally not a public holiday except in a few places and even there not for everyone, Good Friday service attendance is significantly lower than Palm Sunday attendance, and in some places Good Friday attendance is quite small. Therefore, it has seems to me that in certain parishes Palm Sunday has become the de facto main "Passion" service, with a Good Friday being a much smaller affair.

Sadly, there are also places where the Fourth sunday in Advent is being filled with choral performances and children's pageants in order to give a "home parish Christmas" to the many families who will be away on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and for the many families who do not want to bother going to church during all their Christmas Eve/Day festivities at home. In the way, the Fourth Sunday of advent js beginning to take away from Christmas itself in terms of the scope of celebration, just as Palm Sunday is taking away from Good Friday - all due to the fact that fewer and fewer people want to attend church during the week or around a large family gathering.

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mousethief

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It certainly is not the tradition in Orthodoxy to collapse Holy Week. We drag that sucker out with at least one and often two services per day. Although it shifts and we start serving matins for the following day the evening before. So we kill Jesus on Thursday night, and start our paschal service at 11:30 on Saturday night.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Pangolin Guerre
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I opted not to go to the Cathedral, but to my neighbourhood church, where a close friend was bringing his two sons, 8 and 6, the boys also being my godsons. Procession (inside), congo numerous and in full voice, excellent sermon, one of my favourite communion hymns (To mock your reign, to the Tallis tune). What will live in memory, though, is my elder godson kneeling beside me, trying to keep up with Merbecke's setting of The Lord's Prayer, looking, if not exactly sounding, quite angelic. More perfect for the effort than the execution.
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Forthview
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I know that throughout the ages some Christians have accused the Jews of killing Jesus , but now do I really learn that it is the Orthodox who 'kill Jesus' ? .It is probably a loose use of words, possibly even a difference of usage between one side of the Atlantic and the other,but it certainly strikes me as uncomfortable.

Or is it a strong reminder of one of the traditional ideas that we,through our sinful ways of life, are ultimately the cause of the death of Jesus ?

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Og, King of Bashan

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Just that dry, subtle humor Americans are so famous for... [Razz]

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"I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?" ― Walker Percy

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Bishops Finger
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Yes, I rather thought it a typical example of mousethief's famous self-deprecating irony!

IJ

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

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Utrecht Catholic
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I am wondering what the readers think of a baptism
of a baby boy during the Palm Sunday Eucharist.
It happened in a parish,which I know quite well.
Some of the worshippers were not happy with this
practise,and asked why could this sacrament not be performed either at the Easter Vigil or at the Easterday Eucharist?
Eastermorning for a baby would it have been much better. .
Is the parish priest of this church a wise man or just pigheaded.?

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Robert Kennedy

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Zappa
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Sticking with my Māori church, where the liturgy is (often chaotic and) simple, understated, more like a loose house church than anything too formal. After 30 years of leading high blown full Holy Week and Easter dramatics if was a totally pleasant chill-out ... simple eucharist (in Māori), hymns (likewise, a brief blessing of palm crosses woven into the kauhau (sermon), eat and go home ...

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Lamb Chopped
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Why did they fuss so much about the baptism if they weren't directly involved (e.g. parents of the baby)? Seems a bit [Disappointed] to me. Even if the parish has a long tradition of not having baptism on Palm Sunday (which would seem to me weird), there could easily be pastoral reasons why the pastor chose that date instead of waiting a week. Health concerns spring to mind...

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Arethosemyfeet
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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
Why did they fuss so much about the baptism if they weren't directly involved (e.g. parents of the baby)? Seems a bit [Disappointed] to me. Even if the parish has a long tradition of not having baptism on Palm Sunday (which would seem to me weird), there could easily be pastoral reasons why the pastor chose that date instead of waiting a week. Health concerns spring to mind...

I don't see anything weird about not baptising on Palm Sunday as opposed to the other Sundays in Lent when one would not normally baptise. I would expect the minister to be aware if their church held to that tradition.
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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Utrecht Catholic:
I am wondering what the readers think of a baptism of a baby boy during the Palm Sunday Eucharist. It happened in a parish,which I know quite well.

It wouldn't be my first choice of date (or second, or ...) And yes, I agree that Easter would be a much better choice.

But perhaps the family can't be together at Easter, and it is a good thing for families to be present at baptisms. Given the choice between a baptism at Easter with just the parents, or a baptism a week or two earlier with grandparents and so on able to come as well, I'd incline towards the latter.

I'd find a baptism a slightly awkward fit with the extended reading of the Passion on Palm Sunday, but I think it's permissible, and if the family has a good reason for not being able to wait a week, I think it's OK.

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Utrecht Catholic
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I learned that the parents of the baptised baby boy, are not active church goers..
They were more or less unknown to most of the parishioners.Therefore it is not strange, that questions were asked.
If the baptism would occur next Sunday,most people would be happy with this event.
Easter Sunday is liturgically an excellent day for this sacrament.

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Bishops Finger
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Indeed, but there may have been good pastoral reasons for the baptism being held on Palm Sunday. Regular members of the congregation would not necessarily know what those reasons might be.

At what point in the service was the baptism held? Usually, it would be after the Creed, and before the prayers, but on Palm Sunday perhaps after the prayers, and before The Peace, would be better.

IJ

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Lamb Chopped
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Yes. I'd sort of hope charity would prevail, as in "There's probably a reason and it isn't my business anyway."

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Bishops Finger
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Precisely, and I hope the family in question was welcomed - baptisms always offer pastoral opportunities!

IJ

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Gee D
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And let's face it - this is a baby who was baptised, and who has parents who wanted the sacrament administered. 2 things to be grateful for.

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mousethief

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On Holy Friday we affix an icon/image of Jesus (ca. 1/2 life size) to a cross. (in the shape of his body with outstretched arms, not a big rectangle) In our parish we have pre-drilled holes and just slide the nails in, but I've also heard that some parishes actually nail him up with a hammer. So in effect we act out crucifying ergo killing Jesus.

[ 12. April 2017, 00:09: Message edited by: mousethief ]

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mousethief

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Example of the abovementioned.

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Forthview
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I have not seen that ceremony but I have been to a ceremony both in the Byzantine rite and also in the Roman rite where the body of Jesus was removed from the cross and 'buried' in a tomb on the evening of Good Friday.

FWIW I have just learned that the Greek Christian name 'Paris' is a contracted form of Parasceve,the word for Good Friday.The Latin name for Good Friday from my old Missal is 'Feria Sexta in Parasceve'.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Forthview:
I have not seen that ceremony but I have been to a ceremony both in the Byzantine rite and also in the Roman rite where the body of Jesus was removed from the cross and 'buried' in a tomb on the evening of Good Friday.

What goes up must come down.

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fletcher christian

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Posted by Forthview:
quote:

I have not seen that ceremony but I have been to a ceremony both in the Byzantine rite and also in the Roman rite where the body of Jesus was removed from the cross and 'buried' in a tomb on the evening of Good Friday.

If we're talking about the same thing, I had always presumed (most likely in ignorance) that this was a Medieval Irish church tradition. I can't recall the correct term now, but I think it might be something like 'Nave Sepulchre'??? It's usually a stone floored recess (not at al deep) with a gothic or Norman arch but unusually low to the floor and with minimal or no decoration. I've seen it done in an Episcopalian context where immediately after the communication from the reserved sacrament a procession went down to the sepulchre and the corpus in a white corporal was laid alongside the altar cloth, the cleaned communion vessels and a few other bits. The candles were placed either side, a little purple curtain pulled across and the two processional candles snuffed out at 3pm.

I might add I have only ever seen this done in one place, but there are two medieval churches in County Cork, both of which have nave sepulchres (?), both finely preserved.

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I think we're talking about the 'Easter Sepulchre', common in mediaeval England:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_Sepulchre

This is one of the old liturgical customs that seems not to have been revived in recent years, at least in England.

I wasn't aware that the Orthodox did something similar, albeit with an effigy rather than the Blessed Sacrament.

IJ

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Anselmina
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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
Why did they fuss so much about the baptism if they weren't directly involved (e.g. parents of the baby)? Seems a bit [Disappointed] to me. Even if the parish has a long tradition of not having baptism on Palm Sunday (which would seem to me weird), there could easily be pastoral reasons why the pastor chose that date instead of waiting a week. Health concerns spring to mind...

Could have been pastoral, as you say. Though maybe the priest involved just simply didn't see the problem of baptizing anyone on a Sunday. Even Lenten Sundays are celebrations of the Resurrection.

Generally, in some liturgical traditions, however, it was the practice to catechise those who were to be baptized during Lent and then baptize them during the Easter Vigil or the First Communion of Easter. The symbolism being obvious, of course, as Christian baptism is seen as new birth; dying to the old self, rising with Christ to the new etc. Lent, as the season of reflection on the passion and death of Christ, was more the time of instruction and penitence, so the new birth of baptism was more appropriately performed on Easter Day.

Am I right in thinking that some churches won't marry people during Lent?

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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
I think we're talking about the 'Easter Sepulchre', common in mediaeval England:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_Sepulchre

This is one of the old liturgical customs that seems not to have been revived in recent years, at least in England.

I wasn't aware that the Orthodox did something similar, albeit with an effigy rather than the Blessed Sacrament.

IJ

I think I have heard of various versions of this tradition popping up in different forms and in many different places. The medieval English tradition of the Sepulchre does not seem to have been subject to any serious revival, although the Sepulchres themselves are still visible in a fair few churches, usually as elaborate niches on the north side of the chancel wall, opposite the sedilia.

In a rather lovely modern twist, the one here has been repurposed as the Easter Garden although not, presumably, with the Sacrament buried in it.

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I came across one by chance a few years ago in a small church on the Somerset Levels somewhere between Cheddar and Wells. I was rather intrigued by the idea. I seem to remember there was a note explaining what it was. There was no mention though as to whether it was still used.

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The Scrumpmeister
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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
I think we're talking about the 'Easter Sepulchre', common in mediaeval England:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_Sepulchre

This is one of the old liturgical customs that seems not to have been revived in recent years, at least in England.

Oldham Parish Church does it. [Smile]

quote:
I wasn't aware that the Orthodox did something similar, albeit with an effigy rather than the Blessed Sacrament.
Yes and no. It depends on the parish. It isn't found in any rubrics as it's more of a pious custom in the Greek Church and some others following that example. It is largely unknown in the Russian and other Slavic churches.

The service (Holy Friday Matins, served on Thursday evening, as Mousethief rightly says) recalls the Passion through 12 (long!) Gospel readings. Various hymns and antiphons are sung between the readings. When the story gets to Golgotha, the rubrics call for a Cross to be processed out of the altar and set up in the nave during the chilling 15th antiphon. This is for the contemplation of the faithful during the remainder of the Passion story unfolding through the readings. At some point prior to Vespers on Holy Friday, the Cross is simply removed without ceremony.

At least, that's what the service books call for. In reality, in some places, the Cross is so heavy (I know one monastery where it has a marble base) that it couldn't be processed out during the service with any dignity, so it is set up in the nave from the start. In other places a plain Cross is set up at the beginning, and at the 15th antiphon just the corpus is processed out and is nailed to the Cross by the priest.

In places where this is done, instead of removing the Cross prior to the Vespers as the rubrics call for, they leave it up, and have a dramatic taking down of the corpus from the Cross during the service, and wrap it in a shroud, often having a procession.

A priest acquaintance of mine (an archimandrite in the Greek Church but liturgically formed in the Russian tradition) once said to me, rather grumpily, that icons are for veneration and not puppetry. While I might not have worded it in quite the same way I do take his point.

We are taught that the Orthodox theology of the icon is that the veneration shown to an icon passes to the one that the image represents, so hammering nails into one does raise questions.

I like plenty of the pious Holy Week customs that aren't in the rubrics, but with this one I definitely fall into the "do the red; say the black" camp.

Some of the nicer customs that aren't in the service books are to do with the Holy Myrrh-bearing women, such as decorating the tomb with petals and rose water, and the procession around the Church for the Paschal Vigil (symbolising the women going to the tomb) concluding with the reading of the St Mark Resurrection Gospel.

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sonata3
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We don't do a "dramatic" reading of the passion, but divide the reading into four segments, four readers (all lay) taking the parts in succession. After each reader's segment, we sing a simple chant setting of the Trisagion (in English).

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Utrecht Catholic
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Is not there an ancient liturgical law or custom,both Western and Eastern,
that babies should not be baptised during Holy Week ? and certainly not at the long Palm Sunday Eucharist. In case of an emergency this sacrament could be performed just after the Mass or during a separate ceremony in the afternoon,
a practice in the Church of England many years ago.The best solution is of course during the Easter Vigil or during the Easterday mass.

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Robert Kennedy

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BroJames
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There may be a custom, but apparently the canon law position (for Roman Catholics, at least) is that the only days on which baptism may not be celebrated are Good Friday and Holy Saturday. (And even then, I expect, a true emergency would permit a baptism.)

[ 13. April 2017, 10:36: Message edited by: BroJames ]

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