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?