Liturgical Year
Part 3 Easter

Chapter y32 Passion Sunday

Preliminary Questions

Bibliography

Theology

To Think About

Preliminary Questions

"Every year we come to the liturgical cycle of the seasons and find them different because we are different too." Chittister, The Liturgical Year, p 43.

Why has the name changed from "Palm Sunday" (1614) to "Passion Sunday" (1970) to "Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion"(2011)?

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Bibliography

Publications on Holy Week Authored by Thomas Richstatter

38. Richstatter, Thomas, O.F.M. "Lent: A 40-Day Retreat: Rediscovering Your Baptismal Call," Catholic Update, Cincinnati: St. Anthony Messenger Press, February 1990. CU 0290

45. Richstatter, Thomas, O.F.M. "Our Holiest Week: A Practical Guide for the Holy Week Liturgies," Catholic Update, Cincinnati: St. Anthony Messenger Press, April, 1992. C0492. 

[May 28, 1993, Catholic Press Association award for general-interest newsletter, Best Article, second place to Catholic Update, April 1992, "Our Holiest Week."

July 1, 1993, Cincinnati Editors Association Publication Contest, writing, feature, or newsletter. First place for Our Holiest Week: Practical Guide for the Holy Week Liturgy.]

46. Thomas Richstatter, O.F.M. "Getting the Most out of Holy Week," St. Anthony Messenger, 99:11 (April, 1992) pp 28-33.

59. Richstatter, Thomas, O.F.M. "Spirituality of the Seasons: Triduum: How Much Love," St. Anthony Messenger, 102:11 (April, 1995) p 56.

Church Documents

Paul VI. Poenitemini. Apostolic Letter of February 17, 1966.

Second Vatican Council. Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy. Sacrosanctum Concilium. Number 110, Para. 2.

Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy. Norms Governing Liturgical Calendars.  The Liturgy Documentary Series Number 6.  Washington DC: Office of Publishing and Promotion Services, USCC, 1984.  USCC publication number 928.  $6.95 paper. Numbers 18 and 20, p. 16.

Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy. Lectionary for Mass.  The Liturgy Documentary Series Number 1. Washington DC: Office of Publishing and Promotion Services, United States Catholic Conference, 1982.  USCC publication number 839.  $6.95 paper. Number 41, pp. 89-93.

Code of Canon Law. Book IV, Part III, Title II: Sacred Times (cc 1244-1253). Canons 1251-1253. CLSA Commentary, pp 853-855.

Required for 12:633 The Liturgical Year Course

Jounel, "The Easter Cycle" Martimort, A. G. (Editor). The Liturgy and Time, Volume IV of The Church at Prayer. New Edition. Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 1986, pp 31-76.

Thomas J. Talley, "History and Eschatology in the Primitive Pascha" Chapter 6, pp 99-110 in Maxwell Johnson, Editor. Between Memory and Hope: Readings on the Liturgical Year. The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, 2000. ISBN 0-8146-6025-8.

Paul F. Bradshaw, "The Origins of Easter" Chapter 7, pp 111-124, in Maxwell Johnson, Editor. Between Memory and Hope: Readings on the Liturgical Year. The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, 2000. ISBN 0-8146-6025-8.

Patrick Regan, "The Three Days and the Forty Days" Chapter 8, pp 125-142 in Maxwell Johnson, Editor. Between Memory and Hope: Readings on the Liturgical Year. The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, 2000. ISBN 0-8146-6025-8.

Patrick Regan,  "Veneration of the Cross" Chapter 9, pp 143-154 in Maxwell Johnson, Editor. Between Memory and Hope: Readings on the Liturgical Year. The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, 2000. ISBN 0-8146-6025-8.

Paul Turner,  Glory in the Cross: Holy Week in the Third Edition of The Roman Missal

Recommended Reading

Brown, Raymond. "The Passion According to John" Worship 49:2 (March 1975) pp 126-134. [I have found this article very useful for preparing my homily on this day.]

Brock, Rita Nakashima. Journeys by Heart: A Christology of Erotic Power. New York: Crossroad, 1993, pp. 55-58.

Fischer, Kathleen. Women at the Well: Feminist Perspectives on Spiritual Direction. New York: Paulist Press, 1988, pp. 78-91.

Hellriegel, Martin B. "Holy Week in the Parish." Worship. Vol. 30, No. 4, 1956. 234-257 (especially 247-254).

Huck, Gabe. Liturgy with Style and Grace. Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 1984. 102-103.

Lewis, David. "Touch Wood." Expository Times. February 1986. 148-149.

Martz, Robert G. "A Day for Foolishness." Dialogue. Fall 1983. 306-307.

Nocent, Adrian. The Liturgical Year. Volume 3: The Easter Season. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1977. 64-93.

Parsch, Pius. The Church's Year of Grace. Vol. 2. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1953. 332-338.

Cycle A:

Raymond E. Brown. "The Passion According to Matthew" Worship 58:2 (March 1984) pp 98-107. [I have found this article very useful for preparing my homily on this day.]

Cycle B:

Raymond E. Brown. "The Passion According to Mark" Worship 59:2 (March 1985) pp 116-126. [I have found this article very useful for preparing my homily on this day.]

Cycle C:

Raymond E. Brown. "The Passion According to Luke" Worship 60:1 (January 1986) pp 2-9. [I have found this article very useful for preparing my homily on this day.]

Raymond E. Brown S.S. A Crucified Christ in Holy Week. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1986.

 

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Theology

Lex orandi legem credendi constituit. Take the theme from the prayers themselves.

Passion: "Passion Sunday" better than "Palm Sunday".

Entrance: "On this day the Church celebrates Christ's entrance into Jerusalem to accomplish his paschal mystery..." Congregation enters the church together on this day instead of coming one by one. Entering into Holy Week. Entering into the Holy City. Entering into the "Liturgical Today."

Note the frequent use of "His vel similibus verbis." It is important that the introductions be real introductions; that invitations be invitations, to this people, on this day.

First Gospel. Gives meaning to the Great Entrance of this day. Sets the stage for the theology of the feast (see below). -- Contrast with the second gospel of the passion.

How is the passion to be read? Proclamation -- One reader; Several readers (not taking parts but paragraphs) -- Unification and participation by hymn or refrain; In parts; priest = Jesus. priest = listen attentively? congregation = the crowd. congregation = listen attentively? Scripture Mosaic? A passion play?

Be attentive to: The integrity of the particular Passion being read. Luke is not Mark nor John. Strongly recommended that the presider and all the planers read: Raymond E. Brown S.S. A Crucified Christ in Holy Week. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1986. Text or no text? All present should have the text in their hands because.... All present should not have the text in their hands because ...

Homily -- one moment we cry "Hosanna" and the next we cry "Crucify him."

MATTHEW

MARK

LUKE: Luke-Acts: What happens to Jesus happens to the disciples and happens to us. Jesus trial parallel to that of Stephen, the first martyr, and the four-fold trial of Paul (before four judges, slapped, four-fold proclamation of innocence, etc). Innocent -- Rome proclaims Jesus innocent. Dignity of Jesus -- the ideal Christian martyr.

The Liturgical HODIE TODAY: This passion is happening now, we are not merely thinking about something that happened long ago.

The same people (us) who one moment shout "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord" the next moment shout "Crucify him, crucify him!" Mirror for our lives. [Note parallel with other sacraments and Sacramentals].

It is often when we are standing out in the cold that we best see who comes in the name of the Lord. It is often comfortably seated inside when we say crucify him.

"Entrance" is the key word for this whole liturgy. When there is no procession, how to keep the attention [and piety] from moving from the action to the thing, the palm. When the things are separated from the action which gives meaning to the object the result is magic: e.g. palm keeps away lightening etc.

Palm: Originally the palm was a "stage prop" for the people to carry and wave during the procession (verb). When the procession drops out the attention turns to the palm (noun). [Reflect on the parallels with the other sacramentals.] Note: the new prayer B is for those carrying the palm. Dramatize the event: enter, crowd, swinging and throwing down the palm branches, etc. Have sufficient palm. Minimal symbols in USA. Efficiency. Twice the number of people as on ordinary Sundays.

Procession: General Liturgical Principle: Processions go from some place to some place. They image the pilgrim Church. (They should not image a Church going in circles getting nowhere.)

Color: Violet of penance replaced now with the red of blood, passion, martyrdom, royalty, (Holy Spirit).

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To Think About

General Liturgical Principle: On days when things are "different" the parish is more likely to accept other "different" things. e.g. is a good day for implementing long-range goals: E.g. Greetings. Music. Communion under both kinds. Movement. Lay ministries. Etc.

Have people remove palm from their homes on Ash Wednesday so that the absence makes this day more meaningful.

Having the people prepare their family's palms at home ahead of time gives a healthy anticipation to the celebration. Involve children.

Should be procession only be held once?

What is the danger of "historicism?"

What is the function of palm on Passion Sunday?

What gospel is read on this day?

Why has the name changed from "Palm Sunday" to "Passion Sunday?"

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Copyright: Tom Richstatter, Franciscan Province of St. John the Baptist, Cincinnati Ohio, Order of Friars Minor. All Rights Reserved.  This page was created by Fr. Thomas Richstatter, O.F.M.  Every effort has been, and is being made, to acknowledge sources when the ideas are not my own.  Any failure to comply with the United States Copyright Act (Title 17, United States Code) will be corrected immediately should I become aware of it.  This site was updated on 04/01/16 .  Your comments on this site are welcome at trichstatter@franciscan.org