Is this normal for a Palm Sunday Mass?


I attended Vigil services last night after being away from Mass for many years. I know from being on the forums and seeing parts of Mass on EWTN that there would be changes to wording so this was not an issue. I however did not expect changes to how the Palm Sunday Mass would be ran. Some changes were extremely foreign and I wanted to ask about it because I’m not sure if it’s my longing for the pass and connection that I once had or if it was abnormal changes that I should question. Additionally I watched the full Mass from the EWTN chapel this morning and some of the changes at Vigil Mass last night were not reflected in the EWTN mass.

That said, for Palm Sunday Mass:
Why is there no longer congregation participation in the reading of the Passion? I went specifically for the Passion as I remembered it because it draws me so close to Jesus’ suffering and prepares me for Easter.

Is it normal to now skip the Penitential Act on this day?

Is it normal to not have the Creed recited on this day?

Thank you in advance for your answers. I greatly appreciate all of your help.


I’ve never been to a Palm Sunday Mass where the congregation didn’t read the “C” parts in the Passion, but my missal doesn’t specify that it has to be done that way.

There are 3 options given to begin the Mass; 2 of them allow for “omitting the other Introductory Rites of the Mass,” which do include the Penitential Act.

The Missal does specifically say, after the homily, “The Creed is said, and the Universal Prayer takes place.”


At my Parish, it was pretty much standing room only today. What I noticed was that they did have the reading of the Gospel and the congregation did participate in it. What I was interested in was that everyone sat down during the Gospel which I’m not used to. Also, there was no homily whatsoever.


At our Palm Sunday Mass the congregation spoke all of the parts labeled “Chorus”. We did stand for the entire reading. We did not recite the Penitential Act, but we did recite the Creed. Father also gave a short homily which included the Mass schedule for Holy Week.



Exactly the same as ours. We didn’t have the procession into the church either, but only because it was really muddy because it rained really hard early this morning.


Welcome back!

Why is there no longer congregation participation in the reading of the Passion? I went specifically for the Passion as I remembered it because it draws me so close to Jesus’ suffering and prepares me for Easter.

I like it too. However, it is worth mentioning strictly a modern tradition and has never been required. In my experience, whether this is done varies from region to region, and sometime from parish to parish or priest to priest.

Is it normal to now skip the Penitential Act on this day?

Yes. I don’t think that’s new, though.

Is it normal to not have the Creed recited on this day?

No. The Creed should have been said.


Thankfully our current priest reads it as a Gospel (I assume because time is short for him with immediately going onto the neigbouring parish) which is still too long for me standing there with the acolyte and swaying as I hate standing still and had meant to ask not to do that bit but other things got in the way.

Another priest has allowed me to sit at that point because 3 members of the congregation had read it out and took forever and we weren’t stood as per Gospel reading so I was able to sit easily enough. We had a full team of servers today so someone could have done that for me if I had been able to speak up sooner. I had stood there saying or meant to say, I’m not doing this bit as we stood up to move, but came out as I don’t know what we are doing and got missunderstood especially as organ wasn’t playing the acclamation response etc. But I learned my lesson and not serve this week again but sing in the choir as I do as I am able to make my own mind up about standing/sitting.

We don’t have the second reading either. We do process in from the hall next door. More people there than expected today because it snowed over the weekend and terribly icy for anyone off main roads so we did well for all that at 8.45 starting…


My priest read the Passion by himself.


The priest and two members of the congregation read the Passion for us.
We also stood the entire time, the priest addressed that it wasn’t necessary for the elderly or very young, but I could tell he expected us to stand.
We also didn’t have a homily.

~ PetiteFoi


It is normal for the penitential rite not to take place on this day if the Procession or Solemn Entrance form is used. The Simple Entrance form is when the penitential rite is said.

Some parishes don’t have the congregation read the parts of the crowd, and I don’t know why. My parish used to never have us read the crowd parts, but now they do.


Welcome Home, Fraggle!
This is so familiar because at first, I felt the same way after having been away for a while. It was wonderful to be back, yet at the same time, until I did some research & got educated on the what/when/why of perceived changes (like you are doing right now), it was like I had this invisible question mark lingering over my head.

For me, it was both. A silent yearning was there. Like you, EWTN (thank you Mother A!) helped get me there. Along the way, my Parish Priest & a retired Monsignor, with the Knights of Columbus & a group called the Samaritans helped me beyond words. Saved my life, really.

Reading these forums also played a huge part in my coming and staying Home. Thank you, CAF.

It changes according to the season, Mass (which time and what celebration, if there is a choir, etc.) and the Priest. My guess is that Masses on EWTN change for the same reasons.

From what I’ve read in posts here on CAF-
When Penitential Act A (Confiteor : “I confess to almighty God…”) or Penitential Act B (Have Mercy on us Lord for we have sinned against you…) are used, the Kyrie (Lord Have Mercy, Christ Have Mercy, Lord Have Mercy) is to be said/sung after.

When Penitenntial Act C (invocation like “You were sent to heal the contrite…” followed by the response “Lord, have Mercy,”) is used, the Kyrie is not required to be said/sung after, since it’s already in there.

After any of the above, the Priest prays " May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life," (Absolution) and we reply “Amen.”

Are you sure the Creed was not recited?

From what I remember, a Homily is optional.

edit I love the Passion, too. As stated earlier, what is included/omitted depends on the season, Mass (time of day, what particular celebration, etc.) and the Priest.


Since Canada got its new Lectionary there is no longer a suggestion that the congregation read anything and I, for one, am truly happy. I like to listen to the Passion and having to speak certain parts forced me to follow along in my missal. It was also extremely annoying that nobody was in sync so rather than responses we used to get mumbles. Now it’s simply the priest and two readers and it’s much easier follow.


At our abbey today, the choirmaster read the part of the narrator, the prior read the part of Jesus, and another priest read the other parts (all three are priests). Or I should say chanted. The entire passion was chanted, in French.


You do realize that each time you post you make me want to undertake a 1000 mile trip, don’t you?


I attend the EF, but our Mass today was similar, with 3 priests chanting the 3 parts in Latin. God bless those priests for having that kind of stamina! One of them is elderly, too, so I know it must’ve been difficult for him. And they get to do it again on Good Friday.

The Mass lasted 2’15", but it was well worth the time spent. I really enjoyed seeing all the kids (including my own) in the procession with palms behind the priests and servers. And who says there is no participation in the EF? :smiley:


It was chanted in English at the Mass I attended. It was performed by the professional choir so it didn’t sound like any chant I’ve ever heard. Closer to a Broadway musical. Very unique and beautiful.


I was out of town for work this weekend and the only Mass I was able to attend was the 7:30 a.m. Mass at the Cathedral. I had expected a quiet, no music Mass, but there was a pianist/cantor (while they seem to have an organ in the loft, the electronic piano is up front). I was sitting up front so am not sure whether the congregation didn’t join in or were just drowned out by the amplified cantor.

Father blessed the Palms at the back of the church and sprinkled everyone during the procession as we sang ‘All Glory, Praise and Honour’.

Father chanted the Doxology and the Mysterium Fidei and it led me to doubt that he ever chants much more than that if you get my drift.

The only surprise and disappointment was the cantor’s use of the Haugen Mass of Creation Agnus Dei which takes liberties with the text. I think the faithful have a right to expect the Cathedral parish to set the example for the other parishes in the Diocese.


Thank you all for your replies. It really helps. Growing up all three of the parishes that we attended (over the years we switched for various reasons) all had the congregation recite the crowd lines so I have grown up finding it beautiful. I did not even realize that there would be other options (my ignorance) for reading this Gospel. The priest read it alone as a gospel, so for me that was an extreme difference from what I have known as a normal occurrence.

This one I am very certain of as I have the Laudate application on my phone and in lieu of a Missal being available in the pew was using the Order of the Mass there to follow along as best as I could so that I would recite the appropriate responses. I was already confused due to the fact that he opted to skip the homily but make parish announcements at that point and after a reflection he immediately began the Liturgy of the Eucharist. In my scramble to find my place the person beside me was giving me looks for using my phone so to avoid appearing disrespectful I put it up and did my best to continue to follow.


Creed always recited, unless replaced by congregational baptismal promises which would not be appropriate for P.Sunday.
It’s been my experience that under option three of the Introit (Simple) that priests who then bless palms ritually with that collect, and then circumabulate sprinking those fronds held up by congregants regard this action rather like an asperges, and omit the confession and Kyrie.
There is no rubric that calls FOR the accretion of the turbae “chorus” voice taken up by the congregation. Observing what is normative at St. Peter’s, Vatican, three cantors (not necessarily clerics, tho’ that’s nice if they’re possessed of all the faculties necessary) chant the roles of “Narrator, Christus, and Voice,” with the latter canting the portions that the missal publishers appropriated for the turbae.
I’m sorry to say that after forty plus years, save the ones where we were afforded the right to chant Passions or do the choral (Victoria “St. John” eg) you could have Cicero, Abraham Lincoln and Abp. Sheen recite the Passion and I’d still feel something was missing. Everyone seems to want some particular aspect of the liturgy to be mandated as universally necessary. The chanting of the Passions is my quirk.


Ours was OF but lasted about the same time. We had the solemn procession as well, chanted in Latin.

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