This is a very busy time for priests. Many confessions. So Palm Sunday will be here very quickly. With Palm Sunday, we officially begin the Solemn Holy Week. Priests and Laity alike, please begin to prepare and plan time for the Holy Rites that will make up Holy Week.
This is called Holy Week because it is the holiest time of the year. Every Catholic should set aside everything that is not absolutely necessary, to make time to participate in all the Holy Week Events.
For us priests who are learning to do the Tridentine Rites and still are in a Novus Ordo parish, there is alway much more to learn and do. And on top of all the other events in the parish, there are the very important Traditional rites to get ready for. So I wish to help with a simple list that is not at all comprehensive. And this list is for priests offering the masses and rites by themselves (Low Mass) and that will not be doing Solemn High Masses.
You will need to schedule the altar boys and set up time to practice with them.
Have Palms, Holy Water and Incense ready in the Sanctuary.
Blessing of the Palms. In a red cope the Celebrant prays:
C. Dominus vobiscum. R. Et cum spiritu tuo. Oremus: Benedic quaesimus, Domine, his palm arum, ramos: et praestas; ut, quod populous thus in tui venerationem hodierna die corpora liter gait, hoc spiritualiter summa devotion perficiat, de hoste victoriam reportando, et opus misericordiae sumopere diligendo. Per Dominun ….
Then he puts incense in the thurible, the sprinkles the palms with Holy Water 3 X and then incenses them 3 X. The priest then gives out the palms to the altar boys first and then the faithful. When they receive the palms, they are to genuflect and kiss both the palm and the hand of the priest.
The Palm Sunday Procession. Then comes the procession. The order is 1) Thurifer carrying the thurible precedes. 2) Altar boys with Processional Cross and two lighted candles follow. 3) The priest. 4) The People follow carrying their palms. The procession should be outside of church and songs and psalms being sung if possible. The procession is a very important part of the Palm Sunday Liturgy.
When the priest and people arrive back in Church, he says or sings from the altar, facing the people:
C. Dominus vobiscum. R. Et cum spiritu tuo. Oremus: Domine Jesu Christe, Rex ac Redemptor nosher, in cujus honorem, his ramos gestantes, solemnes laudes decantavimus: concede propitious: ut, quocumque hi rami deportati fuerint, obi tuae benedictions gratis descendat, et, quavis daemonum iniquitate gel illusione profligata, dextera tea protegat, quod redemit. Qui vivis ….
The priest then proceeds to the sedilia and takes off the red cope and puts on Purple vestments.
There are no prayers at the foot of the altar. There is no Last Gospel.
The rest of the Holy Week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday) are normal days except for the long gospels (passion narratives) on Tuesday and Wednesday. Vestments are violet.
But Holy Thursday begins the Triduum with the Mass of the Last Supper with washing of the feet, procession to the altar of repose after mass and stripping of the main altar. This Holy Mass should not begin before 5 pm and no latter than 8 pm. The vestments are white or gold.
The Good Friday should be celebrated at 3 pm. It consist of: 1) prostration of the priest wearing only a black stole, 2) readings and the Passion of St. John, 3) the great intercessions, 4) Adoration of the cross, 5) distribution of the Holy Communion reserved in the altar of repose , (there is no Holy Mass on Good Friday), 6) Returning the Eucharist to altar of repose and altar stripped of corporal with no ceremony.
Remember that Good Friday is a day of Fasting (1 full meal and 2 small meals with no food in-between) and Abstinence, (no meat, only fish).
Some parishes will have the traditional Holy Saturday night vigil. Then there is Easter Sunday.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.