See also:Sunday before
See also:Easter, so called from the
See also:custom, still observed in the
See also:Roman Catholic
See also:Church, of blessing palm branches and carrying them in procession in
See also:commemoration of Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem . In the Western Church, Palm Sunday is counted as the first
See also:day of
See also:Holy Week, and its ceremonies
See also:usher in the series of services, culminating in those of
See also:Friday, which commemorate the Passion of the
See also:Lord . The ceremonies on Palm Sunday as celebrated now in the Roman Catholic Church are divided in three distinct parts: (1) The
See also:solemn blessing of the palms, (2) the procession, (3) the mass . Branches of palm,
See also:olive or sprouting
See also:willow (hence in England known as " palm ") having been placed before the
See also:altar, or at the
See also:Epistle side, after Terce and the sprinkling of holy
See also:water, the
See also:priest, either in a
See also:cope or an
See also:alb without
See also:chasuble, proceeds to bless them . The ceremony begins with the singing by the
See also:choir of the
See also:Hosanna Filio
See also:David; the collect follows; then the singing of a lesson from Exodus xv. by the subdeacon; then the Gradual, reciting antiphonally the
See also:conspiracy of the chief priests and
See also:Pharisees. and concluding with Christ's prayer on Mt Olivet; then the
See also:Gospel, sung by the deacon in the ordinary way, followed by a " continuation of the Holy Gospel " (Matt. xxi. and sqq.) . After this the priest blesses the palms in a series of prayers, that those who receive them " may be protected in soul and
See also:body," and that " into whatever place they may be brought the inhabitants of that place may obtain Thy benediction: and all adversity being removed, &c." The priest then sprinkles the palms thrice with holy water, saying the prayer Asperges me, &c., and also incenses them thrice . The
See also:principal of the
See also:present then approaches and gives a palm to the celebrant, who then, in his turn, distributes the branches, first to the principal of the clergy, then to the deacon and sub-deacon, and to the other clergy in
See also:order of
See also:rank, and lastly to the laity, all of whom receive the palms kneeling, and
See also:kiss the palm and the
See also:hand of the celebrant . During the distribution antiphons are sung . The deacon now turns to the
See also:people and says Procedamus in
See also:pace, and the procession begins . It is headed by a thurifer carrying a smoking
See also:thurible; then conies the sub-deacon carrying the
See also:cross between two acolytes with lighted tapers; the clergy next in order, the celebrant coming last with the deacon on his
See also:left, all carrying branches and singing antiphonally, so long as the procession lasts, the account of the entry into Jerusalem, ending with "
See also:Benedictus qui venit in nomine Doming: Hosanna in excelsis." On returning to the church, two or four singers enter first and close the doors, then, turning towards the procession outside, sing the first two verses of the hymn " Gloria,
See also:laws et honor," those outside repeating them, and so on till the hymn is finished . This done, the subdeacon strikes the
See also:door with the
See also:staff of the cross, when it is immediately opened, and the procession enters singing . The mass that follows, characterized by all the outward signs of sorrow proper to Passion Week, is in striking contrast with the joyous
See also:triumph of the procession .
In the Orthodox Eastern Church Palm Sunday (evpeaa$ or ioprr} rwv 0aiwv, &pr') f3a'iocbpos, or it j3aio¢bpos) is not included in Holy Week, but is regarded as a joyous festival commemorating Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem . There is no longer a procession; but the palms (inRussia willow twigs) are blessed, and are held by the worshippers during the service . The earliest extant account of a liturgical celebration of Palm Sunday is that given in the Peregrinatio Silviae (Eleutheriae),1 which
See also:dates from the 4th century and contains a detailed account of the Holy Week ceremonies at Jerusalem by a
See also:lady of rank: The actual festival began at one o'
See also:clock with a service in the church on the
See also:Mount of Olives; at three o'clock clergy and people went in procession, singing
See also:hymns, to the scene of the Ascension; two
See also:hours of prayer, singing and
See also:reading of appropriate Scriptures followed, until, at five o'clock the reading of the passage from the Gospel telling how " the
See also:children with olive branches and palms go to meet the Lord, and cry: ' Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord ' " gave the
See also:signal for the
See also:crowd to break up, and, carrying branches of olive and palm, to conduct the
See also:bishop, in eo typo quo tune Dominus deductus eat? with cries of " Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord!" to the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem. where a further service was held . This celebration would seem to have been long established at Jerusalem, and there is evidence that in the 4th and 5th centuries it had already been copied in other parts of the East . In the West, however, it was not introduced until much later . To
See also:Leo I . (d . 461) the present
See also:Dominica paimarum was I The text is published among the appendices to Duchesne's Origines du culte Chretien (2nd ed., 1898), p . 486, " Procession du soir." 2 Drews takes this to mean "
See also:riding on an ass."known as Dominica passionis, Passion Sunday, and the Western Church treated it as a day, not of rejoicing, but of
See also:mourning . The earliest record in the West of the blessing of the palms and the subsequent procession is the
See also:liber ordinum of the West
See also:Gothic Church (published by Ferotin,
See also:Paris, 1904, pp . 178 sqq.), which dates from the 6th century; this shows plainly that the ceremonial of the procession had been borrowed from Jerusalem . As to how far, and at what
See also:period, it became
See also:common there is very little evidence .
For England, the earliest record is the mention by
See also:Aldhelm, bishop of
See also:Sherborne (d . 709), in his De laudibus virginitatis (cap . 30,
See also:Migne Patrol .
See also:Lat . 89, p . 128), of a sacrosancta palmarum solemnitas, which probably means a procession, since he speaks of the Benedictus qui venit, &c., being sung antiphonally . As the
See also:middle ages advanced the procession became more and more popular and increasingly a dramatic
See also:representation of the triumphal progress of Christ, the bishop riding on an ass or
See also:horse, as in the East .3
See also:Flowers, too, were blessed, as well as palms and willow, and carried in the procession (hence the names pasche floridum, dominica florum et ramorum,
See also:les pdques fleuries) . The origin of the ceremony of blessing the palms is more obscure . It is not essential to the dramatic character of the celebration and for centuries seems to have formed no usual
See also:part of it . Herr Drews (Realencyklop . XXI. p . 417, 40-60) ascribes to it an entirely
See also:separate and
See also:pagan origin .
It 1s significant that olive and willow should have been chosen for benediction together with, or as substitutes for palm, and that an exorcizingpower should have been ascribed to the consecrated branches: they were to heal disease,
See also:ward off devils, protect the houses where they were set up against
See also:lightning and
See also:fire, and the
See also:fields where they were planted against
See also:hail and storms . But healing power had been ascribed to the olive in pagan antiquity, and in the same way the willow had from
See also:time immemorial been credited by the Teutonic peoples with the possession of protective qualities . It was natural that olive and willow should have been chosen for the Palm Sunday ceremony, for they are the earliest trees to bud in the
See also:spring; their consecration, however, may be explained by the intention to Christianize a pagan belief, and it is easy to see how their mystic virtues came in this way to be ascribed to the palm also . When and where the custom first arose is unknown . Of the reformed churches, the Church of England alone includes Palm Sunday in the Holy Week celebrations . The blessing of the palms and the procession were, however, abolished at the Reformation, and the name "Palm Sunday," though it survives in popular usage, is not mentioned in the
See also:Book of Common Prayer . The intention of the compilers of the Prayer-book seems to have been to restore the " Sunday next before Easter," as it is styled, to its earlier Western character of Passion Sunday, the second lesson at
See also:matins (Matt.
See also:xxvi . 5) and the
See also:special collect, Epistle (Phil. ii . 5) and Gospel (Matt.
See also:xxvii . 1) at the celebration of Holy Communion all dwelling on the humiliation and passion of Christ, with no reference to the triumphal entry into Jerusalem . The
See also:modern revival, in certain churches of an " advanced " type, of the ceremonies of blessing the palms and carrying them in procession has no official
See also:warrant, and is therefore without any significance as illustrating the authoritative point of view of the Church of England . Of the Lutheran churches only that of
See also:Brandenburg seems to have kept the Palm Sunday procession for a while .
This was prescribed by the Church order (Kirchenordnung) of 1540, but without the ceremony of blessing the palms; it was abolished by the revised Church order of 1572• See thearticle "Palmsonntag" in Wetzer and Welte, Kirchenlexikon (2nd ed.), ix . 1319 sqq.: article " Woche, grease," by Drews in Herzog-Hauck, Realencyklopadie (3rd ed.,
See also:Leipzig, 1908), xxi . 413; Wiepen, Palmsonntags prozessionen and Palmesel (
See also:Bonn, 1903); L . Duchesne, Origines du
See also:tulle Chretien (and ed., Paris, 1898), p . 237 . For ceremonies anciently observed in England on Palm Sunday see M . E . C .
See also:Walcott, Sacred Archaeology (1868) and J . Brand, Popular antiquities (ed . 187o) .
JOHANN PHILIPP PALM (1768-1806)
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