Does anyone else hate reading the "Crowd" part on Palm Sunday readings?

We are doing a “re-enactment” of sorts when we take part in the reading of the Passion on Palm Sunday, and we, the people, are always assigned the part of the accusing, hating crowd.

On another thread here, Benedictgal says of this practice: "… The crowds are speaking on our behalf because we, ourselves, are the ones who put Jesus to death because of our sins. When the crowd says “let His blood be on us and on our children”, we are assuming the guilt and blame. I think that we have, sadly, conditioned ourselves to gloss over the fact that we are just as guilty as the crowds were. When we speak their “lines”, we are actually speaking for ourselves."

What Benedictgal says here I have heard before, and perhaps represents the reason we are asked to be the crowd. But it doesn’t sit right with me.

I cannot see myself in that crowd EVER saying those things. I don’t think I am vain either. I would either be completely heart-broken and silent, in tears, or a coward and run away, but I would NOT be saying the things that crowd was saying. I think I know myself well enough to say that. I’ve never been a crowd follower. Does anyone else really think that they would have been yelling “Crucify Him!”? That they would have had no pity?

Certainly none of the apostles were in that crowd saying those things (excepting Judas who was crazy by then and not participating in that), and certainly none of His true disciples were in that crowd, either. And I am a true disciple. So like them, I would NOT have been there saying what that crowd said.

Therefore I do not like the implication that the crowd is speaking on my behalf. I have heard that before and I don’t get where it comes from. Nothing in the catechism I am sure.

I decided this year to be silent when the crowd parts are read. I want to worship at Mass, not speak words opposite of my nature and intent. And if I had a chance to be in a Mel Gibson movie saying those parts, I’d say “No, thank you.” Sure, someone has to do it, but not me. There will be other volunteers who can act it without taking it personally. And its definately not a role and words I want to speak at Mass.

Does anyone else feel this way too?

As the person quoted, allow me to step into this thread. Even the Apostles, with the exception of St. John, abandoned our Lord. Remember, St. Peter said the same thing you are saying, that he would never betray our Lord nor deny him, but, in the end, even the first Pope denied Jesus. Judas betrayed him. St. Peter, however, was given to untie the not that he had made for himself by his triple profession of love for Jesus.

What we tend to forget is that every time that we sin, we join the crowd who called for Jesus’ crucifixion. Sin makes us just as culpable for Our Lord’s death as the crowds were. You can’t try to sugar coat things and say, “Oh, I would not have said that.” Remember, our sins were the huge weight that Jesus carried on the cross.

According to Isaiah:

4 Surely he hath borne our infirmities and carried our sorrows: and we have thought him as it were a leper, and as one struck by God and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our iniquities, he was bruised for our sins: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his bruises we are healed.

6 All we like sheep have gone astray, every one hath turned aside into his own way: and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was offered because it was his own will, and he opened not his mouth: he shall be led as a sheep to the slaughter, and shall be dumb as a lamb before his shearer, and he shall not open his mouth. 8 He was taken away from distress, and from judgment: who shall declare his generation? because he is cut off out of the land of the living: for the wickedness of my people have I struck him. 9 And he shall give the ungodly for his burial, and the rich for his death: because he hath done no iniquity, neither was there deceit in his mouth. 10 And the Lord was pleased to bruise him in infirmity: if he shall lay down his life for sin, he shall see a long-lived seed, and the will of the Lord shall be prosperous in his hand.

We will be hearing these words on Good Friday. We need to reflect on them.

Yeah, I’ve felt weird about the particular wording in what the crowd says. “Hate” is a bit strong for me, I think.

I hath thoughteth that “hath” is a word that I don’t particularly like. :smiley: “Begotten” is another; difficult to understand since nobody says “begotten” nowadays (did they ever in common language?) Fodder for a different thread, methinks.

Please do!

Peter did NOT betray our Lord. He only denied him. That is not the same as betraying. There was only one betrayer, and that was Judas. Yes, they are both sins against he Lord, but one is thought-out and deliberate. That is not what Peter did when he turned coward.

Betrayal is an extremely serious sin. If you have ever been betrayed by someone you loved and entrusted your life to, you get a deep personal understanding of that.

The difference is that Peter’s love fell short. Judas’ love completely turned around into something oppostite. Jesus could make up for Peter’s shortfall when Peter was able to admit his weakness and accept God’s grace to make up for what he could not do. Judas on the other hand did what he wanted to do, to choose opposite of God, to reject the Perfect Love given him by Jesus. There was no grace to make up for him, because he didn’t want it.

Most of us are not-yet-saints and don’t love the Lord enough not to abandon him at times, running away like a coward, putting the cares of this world before love of the Lord are things we are all guilty of. I would hope that I would have been as wonderful as John and stayed with the Lord, but probably I too would have been overtaken by fear and run away. But* I never would have been Judas,* and I never would have yelled to condemn Jesus.

I don’t think its any sugar-coating to say I would not have said that. I wouldn’t. I realize Christ had to do that for ME, and would have done it if I were the only sinner. However, his true disciples were not in that crowd. I am a true disciple. Yes, a sinner He had to die for, but still a true disciple. And I think most of the people here on CAF are, too. So, if I was there I would not have been saying those words, demanding Our Lord die. I would have been with the true disciples.

It doesn’t say anywhere in scripture that His true disciples turned their hearts against Him and wanted Him to die.

And I do not see all sins the same and neither does the Chruch. I don’t see how every sin makes us join the crowd who calls for Jesus’ crucifixtion. Where does it say that in the catechism, or what theologian makes that leap??

I do see my sin as being a reason Jesus had to take on the cross. Thats not the same as being in that crowd of haters who wanted to see Jesus die. Not for their sins, either - they wanted it for their hate, for their fickleness, and because they foolishly listened to the evil Pharisees who stirred them up in their empty ignorance.

I love Isaiah’s words that you quoted. However they don’t make a case for me being like the crowd that wanted to see him die - not for our sins , but because they hated him and wanted to get rid of him. That connection is a theological leap you make that I don’t agree with. However you are not the only one, and I wonder where it originates from.

All of us, at some point, have betrayed our Lord when we have sinned. We continue to do so every time we sin. Jesus bore the weight of not only the sins of the people calling for his death, but the sins committed throughout the realm of history, even the sins that will be committed by our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Thus, even though we say we would never call for his Crucifixion, every time we sin, we are just as culpable as the folks who called out for his death. Every time we sin, we choose Barrabas over Jesus.

Now, had you lived at the time of Jesus, without the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, what would you have said and done? A very dear priest friend of mine admitted that he probably would have been like Saul of Tarsus, again, not knowing what we now know today.

That is the reality of Good Friday. That is the reality of the Passion. Our reading of it is not merely play-acting. The crowd stands for everyone throughout human history, from Adam all the way down to you and me. With all due respect, that is something that perhaps you do not want to admit, but, it is true.

Except the thing is that we have said “Not this one but Barabbas” and “Crucify him, crucify him”. We say it every time we sin, because our sins are what made it necessary. That, to me, is why it is so powerful.

I figure, each time I sin I send Jesus to be crucified again. For me, it’s a little cathartic to say it out loud, but to each his own.

Cross-posted with Lujack, but exactly the same sentiment!

No, I don’t hate it. I find it incredibly humbling to hear myself say “Crucify Him!”

We are asked to participate in that particular part of that particular reading, so I do.

I suppose Bishops came up with the idea (someone correct me if that’s not the case), I can go ahead and do what I’m asked to do.

I am really glad that, in our Diocese, this is no longer done. Instead, the Narrator simply says, “And then the crowd called out, ‘Crucify him, crucify him!’”

We used to do it the other way, and I remember one year, the entire congregation simply remained silent at that moment in the reading - because, yeah - they shouldn’t have done it then, and it would be wrong to do it now. We tell people, stand up for your convictions, don’t do what you know to be wrong, no matter who tells you to do it, and then they turn around and ask us to do this? I don’t think so. I’m glad we don’t do it that way, any more.

I think you wouldn’t recognize yourself in a world without grace. Like Sarah, I find it humbling.

Betrayal is actually a rather broad word that encompasses many sins. Anytime we are lazy, or disobedient, or malicious, we betray the trust, expectations, and obligations that we bear from our families, jobs, coworkers, neighbors, etc. Turning a Jew over to the Nazis (or for that matter Christ over to the Romans) may be more serious than a bit of snide gossip about a neighbor, but both are betrayals.

[quote=Eliza]The difference is that Peter’s love fell short. Judas’ love completely turned around into something oppostite. Jesus could make up for Peter’s shortfall when Peter was able to admit his weakness and accept God’s grace to make up for what he could not do. Judas on the other hand did what he wanted to do, to choose opposite of God, to reject the Perfect Love given him by Jesus. There was no grace to make up for him, because he didn’t want it.

Most of us are not-yet-saints and don’t love the Lord enough not to abandon him at times, running away like a coward, putting the cares of this world before love of the Lord are things we are all guilty of. I would hope that I would have been as wonderful as John and stayed with the Lord, but probably I too would have been overtaken by fear and run away. But* I never would have been Judas,* and I never would have yelled to condemn Jesus.

So, if I was there I would not have been saying those words, demanding Our Lord die. I would have been with the true disciples.
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I think benedictgal is pretty much on the money here.

You indeed may not have been one of those actually in the crowd crying out for crucifixion. Perhaps you would have simply been one of the many quieter folks in the crowd, but your presence in swelling the crowd gave more power to the cries of the loudest people there. Perhaps you would have been one of the true disciples, like Peter, staying off to the side, doing nothing to impede events, for fear that your own selfish needs would be compromised.

In the Confeitor, we confess both what we have done, and what we have failed to do. I’m sure moral theologians have dissected the differences between these two, but both are betrayals. They are two sides of the same coin, or if you prefer, on a continuum.

The question of Judas versus Peter is an interesting one. Why Judas, in his self-hatred, does not seek forgiveness, is not answered by scripture.

As for reciting the narrative itself, I’m not a huge fan, mainly because the whole “performance” often comes off awkward. On the other hand, it is powerful for exactly the reasons discussed above.

With all due respect, I don’t think you might have gotten the point of why there is a part in this particular Gospel for us. Oddly enough, even the proclamation of the Gospel at the Papal Mass had a part for the people. Inasmuch as it was sung by the choir, they were representing us. I do not know if there were any musical notes in the booklets given to the faithful for the Mass, but, if there were, I would probably have sung along in broken Italian.

I do not know if it is watered down catechesis (either at the CCD leverl or at the RCIA level) or the “let’s all feel good” factor that may make us think that we really have no part in the Crucifixion.

Amen. And that is why the Church has rendered the passion this way, be it the choir singing the crowd’s part, or the people. When we sin, especially sin, we choose to turn away from Our Lord.

That is a new and interesting perspective for me.

It has nothing to do with “let’s all feel good.” It has to do with “let’s not make the same mistake twice,” and “let’s not compound error upon error.” The fact that I’m a sinner doesn’t mean that I have to cry out “Crucify him! Crucify him!” on Passion Sunday or on Good Friday. I can say, “I have the choice to not commit sin. I am not condemned by my past sins to forever be crying out Crucify him! Today, I will not be that person. I might backslide tomorrow, but for today, I will not.”

What if Jesus comes back to us in the middle of a Good Friday service - do you really want to be standing there yelling out “Crucify him”? :shrug:

If you think the liturgy leads people to do something wrong, that’s a bigger problem than hang-ups over a re-enactment. I think you are free to be silent if you don’t want to participate, but it bothers me to see you imply others are wrong for following what’s in their missalettes. Someone doesn’t love our Lord less or isn’t less affected by His passion simply because they have no reservations about playing a part.

Like I said before, I’m glad that in our Diocese, we aren’t required to do this. :slight_smile:

As has been well said before this post, we are meant to take it personally.

Echoing what others have said, I’d ask you to remember what Jesus had to say about the man who prayed, “'O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity…” (Luke 18:9-14) It was the man who prayed “'O God, be merciful to me a sinner” who went home justified, not the man who considered himself different from other sinners. Even if we think we would not commit this particular sin, then, we are not inherently different than the people in the crowd who were yelling for Our Lord’s conviction. It is a great obstacle to repentance to entertain the thought that we are, because we all know that “there but for the grace of God…”. Even Our Lady would say the same, for when Elizabeth praised her she gave all the glory for her fullness of grace to God’s goodness to her. Even Our Lady is what she is entirely because of the salvation that comes through her Son.

For that matter, that salvation came because he “though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.” Phillipians 2:6-8 Consider also that Our Lady went through the ritual of purification after Jesus was born. What, pray tell, did she, the spotless one, have to be purified of? Yet she did it, just as her Son went through John’s baptism of repentance. They did not shrink from being associated with the rest of us. Even though John resisted, Jesus persuaded him, and John gave in. We should give in, too, then.

Another thought is this: this is the one time in the liturgical year when laypeople assist in proclaiming the Gospel. Will you not help, because you don’t like that you could be associated with the sinful “crowd”? Keep in mind that the priest or the deacon gets to proclaim the words of Jesus’ adversaries all the rest of the year. They also get to stand up in front of everyone wearing black suits and a Roman collar when they’re being painted with the same brush as pedophiles by doing it.

There are going to be days when being a Catholic means being taken for “the wrong people.” That’s part of our call, to be faithful even when that happens. I hope that for Good Friday you’ll reconsider.

Well, I’m glad we do it because it makes me grateful that God’s grace has overcome the natural hardness of my heart and granted me the grace of conversion. That WOULD be me yelling “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” if He hadn’t had mercy on the world and on me. :crossrc:

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