PALM SUNDAY: The General Introduction of the Roman Missal, 3rd Edition (GIRM), which governs the celebration of the Eucharist, begins its instruction on Palm Sunday thusly:
On this day the Church recalls the entrance of Christ the Lord into Jerusalem to accomplish his Paschal Mystery. Accordingly, the memorial of this entrance of the Lord takes place at all Masses, by means of the Procession or the Solemn Entrance before the principal Mass or the Simple Entrance before other Masses. The Solemn Entrance, but not the Procession, may be repeated before other Masses that are usually celebrated with a large gathering of people.
Cutting through the liturgical gobbledygook, this paragraph indicates that only ONE procession takes place in a parish and then only at the PRINCIPAL Mass. For the Our Lady Queen of the Yough Community the principal Masses are:
Saint Rita - 4pm
Saint Aloysius - 9am
Immaculate Conception - 9:30am
Saint John - 11:30am
The GIRM then goes on to describe where and how the Precession is to take place:
At an appropriate hour, a gathering takes place at a smaller church or other suitable place other than inside the church to which the procession will go. The faithful hold branches in their hands.
Wearing the red sacred vestments as for Mass, the Priest and the Deacon, accompanied by other ministers, approach the place where the people are gathered.
At Saint Rita we gather at the Grotto, at Immaculate Conception in front and on the side of the Waters House veranda, and at Saint John in front of the train station. (This being the first year I am responsible for Saint Aloysius, I am not yet certain where the gathering will be.)
Once everyone is gathered, the Priest begins Mass as usual, gives a brief introduction, blesses the palms, and then proclaims the Gospel passage which relates the story of Jesus’ entry into the Holy City. Following the Gospel the GIRM states: a brief homily may be given; I have always omitted this. With the Procession and the Proclamation of the Lord’s Passion during the Liturgy of the Word, one BRIEF homily (given after the Passion) is enough! Finally, the entire congregation processes to the Church:
The Procession to the church where Mass will be celebrated then sets off in the usual way. If incense is used, the thurifer [the one bearing the thurible [in which the incense is burned; also known as a censer] goes first, carrying a thurible with burning incense, then an acolyte or another minister, carrying a cross decorated with palm branches according to local custom, between two ministers with lighted candles …Then follow the Deacon carrying the Book of the Gospels, the Priest with the ministers, and, after them, all the faithful carrying branches. As the Procession moves forward … suitable chants in honour of Christ the King are sung by the choir and people.
The priests will be keeping to the rotation of Masses which we have been following since the beginning of Lent, with one exception. That Passion/Palm Sunday weekend would be Father Julius’ turn to take the Dunbar Masses. However since this is his first year AND Saint Aloysius’ first year I didn’t think it fair to put all of that on him. Therefore he and I will switch Sunday morning. He will take my place at 8am and I will take his place at 9am.
WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER! Last Sunday’s Saint John Chicken Dinner was indeed a WINNER … at least for those who got there early enough to enjoy all that delicious chicken-y goodness! The kitchen had sold every last bird by 1pm. This isn’t the first time they have sold out but NEVER in the course of human events have they sold out so EARLY. A hearty THANK YOU to the women and men who laboured long and hard to make this event a rousing success. This is what happens when people LOVE their parish family and work together toward a common goal!
NEEDED: SAINT ALOYSIUS MINISTERS FOR TRIDUUM! As our faith community will come together for one common celebration of the Paschal Triduum, I want to be sure that our newest family member is represented. If you are a Eucharistic Minister, Lector, or Altar Server at Saint Aloysius and would like to serve any of the Triduum services please contact Chris Sparks at 724.628.7510 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. THANK YOU!
COVER PHOTO: A shot I took whilst driving around somewhat aimlessly after visiting my little nephew in Scottdale last Thursday. The loneliness of the scene seems apropos as we continue our journey through the Lenten desert.
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