Friday, 18 April 2014

April 5th - Good Friday Evening - Tenebrae for Holy Saturday

Tenebrae for Holy Saturday takes place in the late afternoon or evening of Good Friday. The choir altar remains as it was after Vespers this morning with six candlesticks and altar Cross now unveiled. Choir reverences are omitted until after None tomorrow morning. All reverence the Cross with a genuflection.

At the usual time Compline is recited on a monotone, as the Little Hours were in the morning and yesterday. Its structure is exactly the same as yesterday. After the Canticle Christus factus est...Mortem autem crucis (only) is said, the Miserere and Respice follow as before. The altar candles remain unlit until Mattins.

At Mattins the first antiphon is In pace in idipsum. The psalms are strictly proper, in the first nocturn Pss. 4, 14 & 15. After the last verse of each psalm a candle is exstinguished on the hearse as on the previous evenings. These are longer than those found the more modern books. Three verses of Caph are added to the first lesson, vv 31-33 of the third chapter. The second lesson has the addition of Zain, v. 7 from the fourth chapter. The third lesson, the Prayer of Jeremy, has the addition of vv. 12-16 of chapter five. In the second nocturn Pss. 23, 26 & 29 are sung. The second nocturn lessons are again from St. Augustine on the psalms, these are slightly longer than those found in the later books. In the third nocturn Pss. 53, 75 & 87 are sung, the lessons are again from St. Paul to the Hebrews, these are arranged slightly differently to those found in the later books. The theme of the service is Christ in the Tomb.

Lauds follow immediately from Mattins with the first antiphon O mors ero mors etc. Psalms 50, 42, 62-66, Ego dixi and 148-149-150 are sung. The antiphon on the Benedictus is Mulieres sedentes etc, sung to the same tone as the previous two nights and doubled. Exactly the same ceremonies take place as the previous two nights. When the Christus factus est is sung Propter quod et Deus exaltavit illum, dedit illi nomen, quod est super omne nomen is added.

April 5th - Good Friday Morning - The Mass of the Pre-Sanctified

Good Friday, Feria VI in Parasceve, is of double rite. On Good Friday morning the altar is bare except for six candlesticks bearing candles of unbleached wax and the altar Cross veiled in black.

The Little Hours are chanted exactly as yesterday morning, the only difference being that Mortem autem crucis is added to Christus factus est and the altar candles are not lit.

After None the Hebdomadarius and ministers enter choir for the 'Mass of the Pre-Sanctified'. The celebrant wears black stole, maniple and chasuble; the deacon black stole, maniple and folded chasuble; and, the subdeacon black maniple and folded chasuble. The ministers prostrate before the altar (for the time of a Miserere according to the best authors). During this prostration the acolytes spread a single cloth on the altar mensa folded longitudinally back on itself so that at first it does not cover the front part of the mensa. The missal is placed at the Epistle corner. The celebrant and ministers rise and the celebrant kisses the altar and goes to the Epistle corner where he reads a prophecy from Osee whilst this is chanted by a lector in choir. This is followed by a Tract. After the Tract the celebrant, at the altar, chants Oremus, the deacon Flectamus genua and the subdeacon Levate. The celebrant then sings the collect Deus, a quo et Judas. Then, just as at High Mass, the subdeacon removes his folded chasuble and sings an 'Epistle' whilst the celebrant reads it at the altar. A second Tract is then sung. This is followed by the Passion of St. John. This is sung as on Palm Sunday and Tuesday and Wednesday by three Deacons of the Passion. Today they wear black stoles and use uncovered lecterns. Towards the end of the Passion the deacon takes off his chasuble and folds it over his shoulder or dons the 'broad stole'. The ceremonies for the Gospel take place as at High Mass except today no blessing is asked, there is no incense and the acolytes do not carry lights. After Oremus sung by the celebrant the deacon chants Flectamus genua and the subdeacon Levate. After the series of prayers the ministers return to the sedilia where the celebrant and subdeacon remove their chausbles. Meanwhile a violet carpet is laid from the altar steps and a cushion edged with gold and covered by a veil is laid to receive the Cross.

The celebrant and subdeacon stand before the Epistle side of the altar, in plano, facing the people. The deacon takes the altar Cross and brings it to the celebrant. The celebrant unveils the upper portion of the Cross and sings Ecce lignum crucis. The choir responds Venite adoremus and kneels. This is repeated twice until the whole Cross is unveiled and the celebrant is on the footpace at the centre of the altar. The celebrant then carries the Cross to the cushion, then genuflects and returns to the sedilia where he is met by the ministers. The minsisters then take off their maniples and shoes. Meanwhile all other crosses are unveiled, but not the other images. Veneration of the Cross follows with the celebrant making three prostrations before the Cross as he approaches it, then kissing the Cross, genuflecting and returning to his place.

At the sedilia the celebrant resumes his shoes, maniple and chasuble. The deacon and subdeacon then make their Veneration followed by the choir and people. After the unveiling of the Cross it is genuflected to by all in actu functionis and Choir reverences cease until None tomorrow. At the sedilia the ministers read the 'Reproaches' with the celebrant whilst they are sung by the choir. Of note is the use of the Greek Trisagion interolated with Popule meus. The Crucem tuam and then Crux fidelis interpolated with Pange, lingua, gloriosi Lauream. Towards the end of the Veneration acolytes light the altar candles and the candles they will carry. At the end of the Veneration the celebrant gives the Cross to the kneeling deacon who then returns it to the altar. A procession is then formed and goes to the altar of repose where two thuribles have been prepared. The deacon opens the capsula and incense is put on the thuribles but is not blessed. The reserved Sacrament is censed kneeling. The celebrant then puts on the white humeral veil and is given the Sacrament by the deacon. The party then processes back to the choir altar and the superb Vexilla regis is sung. Where resources permit a second subdeacon, in black folded chasuble carries the Processional Cross. In Cathedral and Collegiate Churches eight canons, in black copes, each hold a shaft of the large canopy held over the Sacrament. There is something very striking about the white humeral veil over the black chasuble as can be seen (just about) below:

At the choir altar the deacon takes the chalice from the celebrant and places it on the altar and unties the ribbon. More incense is put on and the Sacrament censed again the ministers kneel. The ministers go up to the altar the Host is slipped onto the paten. Acolytes bring up cruets although water is not blessed and the chalice made as at High Mass. The 'gifts' are then censed as at High Mass and the celebrant washes his hands as at Mass coram Sanctissimo. The celebrant then comes to the centre and says the prayer In spiritu humilitatis then turning to the Gospel side to say Orate, fratres turning back without making a circle. No answer is made. The celebrant then sings the Pater noster in the ferial tone followed by Libera nos. The celebrant then slips the paten under the Host. The Host is then elevated in his right hand whilst the left holds the paten. The Host is then held over the chalice and broken as at Mass. the fraction being placed in the cup. There is neither Pax nor Agnus Dei. The celebrant says Perceptio Corporis tuis, Panem caelestem, Domine non sum dignus and Corpus Domini before consuming the Host and contents of the Chalice. The ablutions follow and the celebrant says Quod ore the ministers reverence the altar and return, in silence, to the sacristy.

Vespers are now chanted to a monotone. The antiphons are the same as yesterday for the psalms but the antiphon on the Magnificat is proper to the day, Cum accepisset acetum. After the repetition of the antiphon Christus factus est, Pater, Miserere and Respice. After Vespers the candles are exstinguished.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

April 4th - Mandy Thursday Evening - Tenebrae of Good Friday

At the usual time Compline is recited on a monotone, as the Little Hours this morning. The altar candles are not lit. Again its form is absolute simplicity beginning with the Confiteorand the usual psalms (4, 30 vv. 1-6, 90 & 133, Nunc dimittis and then Christus factus est, Miserere and Respice as at the other Hours. At Compline this evening only Christus factus est pro nobis obediens usque ad mortem is said as it is still part of the Office of Mandy Thursday.

Tenebrae for Good Friday follows Compline, or after a short gap. In practice Compline can be chanted in the time it takes to light the altar candles and candles on the Tenebrae hearse. The service of Tenebrae is structurally the same as that sung for Mandy Thursday and the differences will be noted below.

The choir altar is as it was after the stripping this morning with six candlesticks containing candles of unbleached wax with the altar Cross veiled now in black. At Mattins the first antiphon is Astiterunt reges. The psalms are strictly proper: in the first nocturn Pss. 2, 21 & 26. The lessons are again from the Lamentation of Jeremy the Prophet. The lessons are longer than those found in the later editions. The first lesson has the addition of Lamech (Lamed). The second lesson has the addition of Phe, Ain and Sade (vv. 16-18). The third lesson has the addition of three verses of Daleth, vv 10-12 of the third chapter. In the second nocturn Pss. 37, 39 & 53 are sung. The lessons are, as yesterday evening from St. Augustine. These are significantly longer than those found in the later editions with the fourth lesson comprising of the text found in both the fourth and fifth lesson in the later editions. The text found in the sixth lesson is entirely absent from the later books. In the third nocturn Pss. 58, 87 & 93 are sung. The lessons, from St. Paul to the Hebrews, are slightly longer than those found in the later books.

Lauds immediately follow Mattins beginning with the antiphon Proprio Filio suo etc. Psalms 50, 142, 62-66, Domine audivi auditionem & 148-149-150. The antiphon on the Benedictus is Posuerunt super caput ejus etc, sung to the same tone as last night and doubled. Exactly the same ceremonies take place as last night. When the Christus factus est is sung Mortem autem crucis is now added.

After Tenebrae in Cathedral and larger churches the Ceremonial Washing of the Altars takes place. The bare mensae ar ewashed with a mixture of water and wine and the surface scoured with brushes and dried with towels whilst Diviserunt and psalm 21 is monotoned. After this service Christus factus est ... Mortem autem crucis is added.

April 4th - Mandy Thursday Afternoon - The Mandatum

In the afternoon the Mandatum ceremony takes place. A procession to a suitable place is made with the celebrant vested in violet stole and cope assisted by a deacon in white stole, maniple and dalmatic, and subdeacon in white tunicle and maniple. The ministers make the usual reverences to the altar and the deacon lays the Evangeliarium on the mensa. All follows exactly as for the Gospel at High Mass and the same Gospel that was sung this morning is again proclaimed.

After the Gospel the celebrant removes the violet cope and puts on an apron. The ministers remove their maniples. Meanwhile thirteen men seated on benches remove their shoes and socks. Acolytes take a basin, ewer, towels and a plate bearing coins to the first man. The celebrant kneels before the man and water is poured over his right foot, held by the subdeacon. The deacon passes a towel to the celebrant (with the usual oscula) and the celebrant dries the man's foot and kisses it. He then gives the man a coin who takes it and kisses the celebrant's hand. This process is repeated for all thirteen men.

During this the choir sings the antiphon Mandatum novum (the text giving Mandy Thursday its English name). Eight other antiphons are provided including the famous Ubi caritas. After the last man's foot is washed the celebrant and ministers return to the credence where the celebrant washes his hands and resumes the violet cope. They go to the Epistle corner and there the celebrant intones Pater noster (continued in silence), some versicles and the collect Adesto. All then return to the sacristy.

The Roman authors mention that the feet of thirteen paupers are washed and that after the service they are given a good dinner, new clothes and some money.

April 4th - Mandy Thursday Morning

The English name for today, Mandy Thursday (the spelling with a 'u' is relatively modern) derives from one of the key features of the day, the Mandatum, or Washing of Feet. Mandy Thursday is rather composite in its structure with many elements coming together before the celebration of the LORD's Pascha. Mandy Thursday is a Double of the First Class.
Anciently, Mandy Thursday was the day when the public penitents, previously expelled from the church on Ash Wednesday, were reconciled. When there were multiple Masses this day the first was for the reconciliation of the penitents. The rite for reconciliation, in some ways a mirror image of the rite of expulsion in that the penitents were led back into church, can still be found in the Pontificale Romanum. In the morning the Hours of Prime, Terce, Sext and None are chanted in aggregation. The choir altar remains vested as it was yesterday evening for Tenebrae with a violet antependium, lighted candles of unbleached wax and a violet veil on the Cross. The Little Hours take on a special and much simplified form during the Triduum in the Roman rite.
The choir enters the sanctuary, seniores ante inferiores, and kneels for Aperi, Domini then rises whilst a Pater noster, Ave Maria and Credo are said on the lips. The usual start of the Hours is omitted, as are antiphons, and Prime begins with the first verse of Psalm 53, Deus, in nomine tuo salvum me fac being intoned by the duty side cantor. The choir Signs itself at the opening words. The psalms are monotoned the verses taken by alternate sides of choir. Gloria Patri is not sung or said during the Triduum. After the last verse of Ps. 53 the choir continues, without break or intonation, with the first stanza of Ps. 118, Beati immaculati, and then with the second stanza Retribue. At the last verse a fall of a tone is made on the last syllable.
The choir kneels and Christus factus est recited as far as ad mortem. A Pater noster is then said by all and the Miserere monotoned in a subdued voice. Other than polyphonic settings that may be sung at Tenebrae the Miserere is never sung at the other Hours of the Triduum but always chanted as above. During the last verse of the Miserere again a fall of a tone is made on the last syllable. The Hebdomadarius then montones the collect Respice, falling a tone at the last syllable of tormentum and then the conclusion is said in silence.
The choir rises and says a Pater noster and Ave Maria on their lips. Terce then proceeds as Prime had done the choir Signing at Legem pone mihi. A fall of a tone is made at the end of the third stanza of Ps. 118 and everything repeated as at Prime: Christus factus est, Pater noster, Miserere and collect Respice. Sext and None follow in the same manner.
After None the choir rises and the Hebdomadarius and ministers for Mass go to the sacristy to vest. Meanwhile the choir altar is prepared for Mass. The unbleached candles are changed for ones of lighted bleached wax, a white antependium is laid over the violet one and a white veil placed over the altar Cross.
Mass is celebrated in white vestments. Today two Hosts are consecrated and thus placed on the paten before Mass. The organ may be played until the end of the Gloria in excelsis. The psalm Judica me is not said as the Mass is de Tempore. Gloria Patri is not sung at the introit, Nos autem, or at any of the other chants. As the Gloria in excelsis is sung may be rung. There is one collect. The Credo is sung. The preface is of the Cross, the Communicantes, Hanc igitur and Qui pridie are all proper in the Canon. The Agnus Dei is sung as usual but the Pax is not given.
When the celebrant has communicated he takes the second Host and places it in a second chalice. The deacon then covers this chalice with a pall then an upside down paten over which is placed a white silk veil which is then secured with a ribbon tied around the stem of the chalice. (If the celebrant is without a deacon the chalice is veiled but the ribbon not tied at this point as tying a ribbon with ones thumb and digit held together is not practical. In this case the tying takes place after the ablutions). Mass now proceeds following the rules coram Sanctissimo - basically no one turns their back to the Sacrament. Holy Communion is distibuted as normal following the Confiteor etc.
After the distribution of Communion Mass continues, Ite, missa est is the dismissal sung by the deacon and the blessing and last Gospel follow their normal course - with the coram Santissimo changes in ceremonial. The ministers reverence the altar at the end of Mass and go to the sedilia where they remove their maniples and the celebrant dons a white cope. The ministers return to the altar, prostrate and kneel on the lowest step. Incense is put on two thuribles but not blessed. The reserved Sacrament is censed. The celebrant is then given a white humeral veil and the deacon presents him with the veiled chalice. A procession is made to the altar of repose whilst Pange, lingua is sung. At the altar of repose a further censing takes place and the veiled chalice is placed inside the capsula.
After due reverence to the Sacrament the ministers of the Mass return to the sacristy to take off their white vestments. However, the rest of the choir return to the choir altar. During the procession and ceremonies at the altar of repose the white veil is removed from the altar Cross, the white frontal removed and the candles exchanged for ones of lighted unbleached wax.
Vespers are begun at once and are again chanted to a monotone or sung where this is the custom. Vespers does have antiphons for today and tomorrow. After a Pater noster and Ave Maria the service starts with the first antiphon, Calicem salutaris. As this is intoned, the choir Signs itself. The antiphon is doubled and the psalm follows. If Vespers are not sung a drop of a tone is made at the end of the last verse of each psalm before the repetition of the antiphon. The psalms of Vespers today, and tomorrow, are Pss. 115, 119, 139, 140 & 141. After the last antiphon has been repeated Christus factus est etc is chanted to a monotone as at the Little Hours. During the Miserere a second priest in white stole removes the Sacrament from the tabernacle (if present) and takes it to the place - not the altar of repose - where it will be reserved until Holy Saturday. This Sacrament is used for sick calls during the Triduum and is not adored.
In Cathedral churches the Holy Oils are consecrated during this, single, Mass. The consecration of the Oils is, of course, associated with the initiation of those who were to be baptised on Holy Saturday and today is the last day the Eucharist is celebrated before the various anointings after baptism.
After Vespers the ministers of Mass return with the priest and deacon in vested in violet stoles. The celebrant of the Mass monotones the antiphon Diviserunt sibi which the choir continues followed by Psalm 21. The choir altar (and then other altars if present) are then stripped of cloths, antependia etc leaving only the veiled Cross and candlesticks. The candles and sanctuary lamp are extinguished. Lustral water is removed from the entrances to the church. The brethren retire for their collation.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

April 3rd - Spy Wednesday Evening - Tenebrae of Mandy Thursday


During the late afternoon of Spy Wednesday Compline is sung followed by Tenebrae . At Compline the psalms still have the Lesser Doxology at their conclusion. The Dominical preces are sung and after the conclusion of the Office Ave regina caelorum is said for the last time this year. Tenebrae is Mattins and Lauds, as usual anticipated, of the following liturgical day but the Office of the Triduum shows signs of antiquity and has developed a ceremonial extinguishing of candles that mimetically represent the desertion of the LORD by his disciples and the days of darkness - hence the name. The choir altar retains its violet antependia but the Blessed Sacrament is removed if It is present on the choir altar. The altar cross is veiled in violet and the candlesticks, the plainest set used on Good Friday, have six lighted candles of unbleached wax. In the sanctuary in about the place where the Epistle is sung is placed the Tenebrae hearse. The hearse, for the Roman rite, bears fifteen lighted candles of unbleached wax.

The choir enters, seniores ante inferiores, and take their places and kneel to say Aperi, Domine and the Triple Prayer sub silentio. When the choir rises the sign of the Cross is made as the cantors intone the first antiphon of Mattins, Zelus domus tuae. This is sung in full and then the first psalm Salvum me fac, Deus intoned by the cantors. In the last verse of the psalm, after the asterisk, the tone changes and the psalm ends, regardless of the reciting tone, with a drop of a fourth. The psalms of the first nocturn are Pss. 68, 69 & 70. At the end of the psalm (the Lesser Doxology is omitted for the Triduum) the lowest candle on the Gospel side of the hearse is extinguished. Then the next antiphon is sung with its psalm etc. After the first three psalms there is a versicle and response and then all stand for a silent Pater noster. During the Triduum there are no absolutions and blessings at Mattins. The lessons of the first nocturn are from the Lament of Jeremy the Prophet. These are longer than those found in the post-Clement books. The first lesson begins with Aleph but continues with the addition of Vau after He. The second lesson begins with Zain and continues with both Jod and Caph after Teth. The third lesson begins with Lamech and, after Nun has the addition of Samech and Ain. A responsory follows each lesson. In the second nocturn, Pss. 71, 72 & 73, the lessons are from a treatise of St. Augustine on the psalms. These are the same as those found in the modern books. In the third nocturn, Pss. 74, 75 & 76, the lessons are from St. Paul to the Corinthians on the foundation of the Holy Eucharist. These are the same as in the post-Clement books. At Tenebrae the Hebdomadarius does not chant the ninth lesson. At the end of Mattins the Tenebrae Hearse has five candles exstinguished on the Gospel side and four on the Epistle side with six remaining candles still burning.

Lauds follow immediately. The psalms sung at Lauds are Pss. 50, 89, 62-66, Cantemus Domino and 148-149-150. After each psalm of Lauds a further candle is extinguished so that after the last psalm only the candle on the summit of the hearse is still alight. After the last antiphon is repeated a versicle and response follow. Then the antiphon on the Benedictus is intoned, for Mandy Thursday this is Traditor autem dedit eis signum, dicens: Quem osculatus fuero, ispe est, tenete eum. The concept of the betrayal of Judas is key to the day. The plainsong for the Benedictus is the haunting tone 1g. During the last six verses each of the altar candles is exstinguished beginning with the outside candle on the Gospel side. All other lamps in the church are now also extinguished. During the repetition of the antiphon the MC takes the candle from the hearse and places it on the mensa at the Epistle corner of the altar. All kneel and the choir now sings Christus factus est pro nobis obediens usque ad mortem. During this antiphon the MC hides the lit candle behind the altar. A Pater noster is now said in a low voice by all and then psalm 50, the Miserere is chanted in a subdued voice. This has been adapted by many composers into polyphonic masterpieces, perhaps the most famous being by Allegri. The Miserere is of course part of the ferial preces of Vespers. After the Miserere the collect Respice is chanted by the Hebdomadarius, still kneeling. Then a strepitus, is made. After the strepitus the MC brings forth the candle and returns this symbol of the light of Christ to the top of the hearse. It either remains there, or is extinguished or, what seems the better practice, is taken by the MC ahead the procession as the choir retires.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

March 31st - Dominica in Palmis - Palm Sunday


Palm Sunday is a privileged semi-double Sunday. It is the sixth Sunday in Lent and the beginning of Great or Holy Week. The liturgical colour is violet.

At Vespers yesterday morning the antiphons and psalms of Saturday (Pss. 143, 144, 145, 146 & 147) were sung. The chapter, Hoc enim in sentite vobis, was proper to the Sunday. The Office hymn was Vexilla regis. The Suffrages were not sung, as it is Passiontide. At Compline the Dominical preces were sung.

At Mattins, as last week and daily until the Triduum, the invitatory is Hodie, si vocem Domini audieritis, Nolite obdurare corda vestra from Ps. 94 and a special rubric indicates the omission of that verse in the psalm. The hymn is Pange, lingua. The antiphons given in the Psalter for Sundays are used. As usual Mattins has three nocturns and nine lessons. In the first nocturn psalms 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 & 14 are sung. The lessons in the first nocturn are from the book of Jeremiah. These are the same, as are their responsories, as those found in the post-Clement editions of the Breviary. In the second nocturn psalms 15, 16 and 17 are sung and the lessons are from a sermon on the Passion by St. Leo. The fifth lesson begins with the words Qui ut humanum genus and incorportates what is now the sixth lesson from Fefellit ergo illum.. until famulatae sunt Redemptori. The sixth lesson, Quod ergo...justitiae esse propositum is not found in the 'modern' Breviary. In the third nocturn psalms 18, 19 & 20 are sung and the lessons are a homily of St. Ambrose, their arrangement is slightly different to that found in the modern books. The Te Deum is omitted as on other Lenten Sundays and a ninth responsory, Circumderunt me viri mendaces..., sung in its place.

At Lauds the antiphons are proper to Palm Sunday, Dominus Deusetc, and sung with Pss. 50, 117, 62-66, Benedicite, 148-149-150. The hymn is Lustra sex. The versicle after the hymn Eripe me, chapter, antiphon on the Benedictus and collect are proper to the Sunday.

At Prime the order of psalmody is Pss. 53, 92, 118(i), 118(ii) and Quicumque. The Dominical preces are sung. At all the Hours the antiphons and chapters are proper.

The Asperges, the magnificent Blessing and Procession of Palms and Mass takes place after Terce. The ministers wear violet folded chasubles. After the Asperges the celebrant and ministers proceed to the Epistle corner and begin the solemn blessing of Palms whilst the choir sing the antiphon Hosanna fili David, O Rex Israel etc. The rubrics give a direction that the Palms to be blessed at the Epistle side.  The blessing begins with the celebrant reading the antiphon Hosanna Filio David followed by a collect Deus, quim diligere and then the reading of an Epistle and Gospel. The normal ceremonies of High Mass are followed. The subdeacon removes his folded chasuble to sing the Epistle taken from the Book of Exodus. Following the Epistle two texts are given, Collegerunt pontifices and In monte Oliveti (the latter will appear again as a responsory during the Triduum) to be sung as a 'gradual', both may be sung.  Following the Gospel the deacon resumes his folded chasuble and the collect Auge fidem is sung followed by a preface, Sanctus and four further collects Deus, qui dispersa, Deus, qui miro, Deus, qui per olivae and Benedic quaesumus. The presence of a preface is indicative of the solemn blessing (c.f. the great blessing of waters at Epiphany). The collect Deus, qui miro is a didactic masterpiece. Readers will note the strong correlation between the text of the collect and of the second lesson of Mattins for the Saturday before Palm Sunday from St. Augustine:
O God, who, by the wonderful order of Thy disposition, hast been pleased to manifest the dispensation of our salvation even from things insensible: grant, we beseech Thee, that the devout hearts of Thy faithful may understand to their benefit what is mystically signified by the fact that on this day the multitude, taught by a heavenly illumination, went forth to meet their Redeemer, and strewed branches of palms and olive at His feet. The branches of palms, therefore, represent His triumphs over the prince of death; and the branches of olive proclaim, in a manner, the coming of a spiritual unction. For that pious multitude understood that these things were then prefigured; that our Redeemer, compassionating human miseries, was about to fight with the prince of death for the life of the whole world, and, by dying, to triumph. For which cause they dutifully ministered such things as signified in Him the triumphs of victory and the richness of mercy. And we also, with full faith, retaining this as done and signified, humbly beseech Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, that in Him and through Him, whose members Thou hast been pleased to make us, we may become victorious over the empire of death, and may deserve to be partakers of His glorious Resurrection.

The celebrant then puts on incense and blesses it. The Palms are then aspersed with lustral water, the celebrant saying in a low voice Asperges me etc, and then censed. Another collect, Deus, qui Filium is then sung. The celebrant then receives his Palm from the senior canon present. If no other priest is present the celebrant kneels and takes the Palm from the of the altar, kisses it then passes it to the subdeacon who places it again on the mensa. The celebrant then gives Palms to the deacon and subdeacon and other ministers and then the people. The Palm is kissed first and then the celebrant's hand. During the distribution the antiphons Pueri Hebraeorum and Pueri Hebraeorum vestimenta are sung. After the distribution the celebrant and ministers go back to the altar, bow to the Cross and then go to the Epistle corner where the celebrant's hands are washed. Then, at the missal, he sings the collect Omnipotens sempiterne.

The celebrant's hands are washed after the distribution of Palms whilst the Processional Cross is decorated with the blessed Palms. A Procession is then formed, led by the thurifer, followed by the subdeacon (of the Mass, not this day an additional subdeacon) bearing the Processional Cross. The deacon sings Procedamus in pace and the following antiphons are sung during the Procession Cum appropinquaret, Cum audisset, Ante sex dies, Occurrunt turbae, Cum angelis et pueris and Turba multa.  Ideally, the Procession goes outside and around the church. Often circumstances dictate the Procession must simply go around the aisles of the church. Towards he end of the Procession cantors re-enter the church and the door is closed. The beautiful hymn of Theodolph Gloria, laus, et honor is then sung in alternation between the cantors inside the church and everyone else outside. At the end of the hymn the subdeacon strikes the church door three times with the foot of the Processional Cross and the party re-enters the church to the singing of Ingrediente Domino.

Mass then follows the usual manner. The celebrant removes his cope and dons his chasuble. The preparatory prayers are said but the psalm Judica me is omitted being in Passiontide. The introit is Domine, ne longe etc. There is no Gloria. No commemoration is made of an occuring Office on Palm Sunday so there is only one collect. Psalm 21 is sung in its entirety as a Tract. The major difference from any other Sunday is singing of the Passion according to St. Matthew by three additional deacons of the Passion. The text of the Passion is Matthew 26: 1-75; 27: 1-66. After the singing of the Passion the last part, Altera autem die...lapidem cum custodibus, is sung with the ceremonies of a Gospel by the deacon of the Mass (having removed his folded chasuble etc).  The choir and people hold their Palms during the singing of the Passion. The Creed is sung, the preface is of the Cross and the dismissal is Benedicamus Domino sung by the deacon facing the celebrant and altar.

Vespers are of the Sunday. At Compline the Dominical preces are sung. The additional Offices of the Little Office of the BVM, the Office of the Dead, the Gradual Psalms and the Penitential Psalms and Litany are omitted in Great Week.