It was a nice Palm Sunday today. Here's how it went from my perspective...
Up at 6 am; I have to admit, when the alarm went off, I wondered what day it was; for a moment, I thought it was Monday and I was thinking, "why'd I leave the alarm on?" (Monday I get to sleep in.) Then I realized, uh, no, it's Sunday, you still have to offer Mass today etc....
At the 7 am Mass, we did the "simple" entrance for Palm Sunday: that means no first Gospel and no procession; we began Mass as we would any other Sunday. The Missal wasn't explicit on this point, but when it said, "in the usual way," I took that to mean a penitential rite--which was omitted at the other Masses. A little glitch in the proclamation of the Passion; the reader thought I would do a line, I thought he would; we figured it out. Mass went about 1:05, 15 minutes longer than usual. My homily, as you can see, was brief. I did use the Roman Canon.
Why the Roman Canon (the first Eucharistic Prayer)? Because it seemed to me to hit the right notes of sacrifice and salvation history. I was thinking, "Palm Sunday is supposed to take longer--that's how it is."
Quick breakfast before the 9 am Mass--at which we had incense and a full procession. Apparently my wireless mic didn't work from the walk in front of the rectory, so the folks in church couldn't hear me for the rites outside. Part of the choir came outside to intone the chant to begin Mass, and then began the hymn for the procession; and for the first time, we really did seem to get the folks inside and outside singing about the same time! (This is hard to do.) Incense wasn't so great; I think I'll throw this stuff away since I just bought a box of something else. This was stuff I found in the closet and was using up.
Yes, I wore a cope for the procession, and then put on the chasuble after incensing the altar.
The music was so good! Our choir has been using the propers at the 9 am Mass, and they were so suitable.
We usually end Mass on Palm Sunday with no hymn, no music--and it worked this year! (Past years it seemed everyone took that to mean to go--and the procession back down the aisle gets balled up.)
With the retired priests feeling reasonably well, each of them took a Mass, so I only had two this morning, as well as one last night. But I have to tell you, even after several years, Palm Sunday stresses me a bit, thinking about the various moving parts. But as far as I can tell, all went well.
Meanwhile, I've been having a heck of a time getting the new "solemn tone" in the Missal just right; took me till the last prayer to finally get it right!
I'd actually have liked chanting the Eucharistic Prayer, but I wonder if that would be too taxing for folks. I may try it for the Vigil, but in all honesty, I'm usually pretty wiped out by that point so we'll see.
The youth group had a showing of Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" this afternoon--seems very appropriate.
We didn't veil the statues; I'd like to have started that tradition up again, here, but I never got to it.
I just realized I never ate lunch, so I think I'll go get some dinner shortly.