Father Dawid Kwiatkowski celebrating the 12:10 PM Mass for Palm Sunday:
The Blessing of the Palms and reading of the outside Gospel and procession:
The three cantors had such strong voices, they did not need to have microphones in our Neo-Gothic, Romanesque Revival church. The reason for my nervousness was doing something different with what had become a tradition in this parish, but only for the last 8 years since I came here. Prior to that the pastor now retired and still living in the parish who became pastor in 1974 continued to encourage, until his retirement in July of 2004, the acting out of the Passion at every Palm Sunday Mass by the parish’s youth group. It had been a tradition since 1968.
The parish was in a time warp and warped by the wrong time period marked by liturgical literalism. My first Palm Sunday in 2005 we did not act out the passion but read it from the missalette in parts. Many were very unhappy with me about that major change as well as the other liturgical changes I was introducing but others were thrilled. Today, though, I think everyone was awe struck by what they heard in their participation. I hope it will become a new tradition for us. I am sure some may have felt it was too long especially those with children. But I kept my homily to about a minute and prayed Eucharistic Prayer II chanting the epiclesis and words of institution. Normally our regular 9:30 AM Mass ends about 10:40 AM. Today, even with going outside for the blessing of palms, reading of the Gospel outside and procession, we concluded at 10:50 AM.
The entire experience of Palm Sunday from start to finish was magnificent. I love the EF Mass, but I love the OF Mass as much (and I love its flexibility) and it can be just as stunning and spiritual when celebrated with dignity, care and flair.