My whine session about Palm Sunday Mass yesterday - reading the "short form" of the Passion


We had a nice procession with the palms and singing. But apparently because he had written a long homily, Father had us do the “short form” of the Passion! :eek: It was a confusion of figuring out what was going on, what page in the missalette, and by the time that was sorted out, it was like coming into a movie in the middle.

There have been other long Gospels recently where we’ve had the “short form in brackets” and I’ve wished for the entire reading to be read.

But I feel like I “missed” the Passion reading experience in a way this year. There’s another thread on here where people are griping about pronunciations - well, to those posters I say, if you at least got to read and experience the entire Passion, be grateful! :tsktsk: I write, and there’s a reason why stories have beginnings, middles, and ends. The beginning allows the reader to settle in and get acclimated to the setting. The middle develops the heart of the narrative, and brings it toward the climax of the ending.

When we read the Passion on Palm Sunday or Good Friday, it’s the only time we laypeople get to be that involved in the proclamation of the Gospel - even if we are reliving our part as the sinners who crucified Our Lord, which we indeed are, throughout time. That’s the point of it. But if we are distracted and haven’t settled in and felt ourselves part of the story, it doesn’t have the same impact.

Mind you, I’m not normally one to complain about things like this, and I know the Mass is valid if we don’t feel a single emotion or have a contemplation or mental image at all. And I don’t mean to diss Father, either. It’s just that, well, I’ve been in a spiritual slump and I was hoping the reading of the Passion in the context of Palm Sunday Mass might help pull me out of said slump. I can still read it in my Bible, I know. But isn’t that why we’re Catholics - to do more than study our Bibles privately at home - to incorporate in community, liturgy, and sacramentality what happened and why it’s important to us today? :shrug:


Since the “short form” is an approved liturgical text, I find it odd that people feel there is something wrong with using it.


We did the long version. My husband was the Narrator-who does most of the reading.
We were standing for a good 20 minutes.
I felt properly mortified afterwards :slight_smile:


I’m sorry to hear about your slump.

Could you set aside a time to read the Gospel narratives of the Passion, perhaps by setting a meditative mood with a crucifix and a candle?

It is also likely that there is a reading on YouTube in which you could participate…

Just trying to help. :embarrassed:


Perhaps Father used the long version at other Masses and was just tired by the time of your Mass? I assisted at three Masses over Palm Sunday weekend, and by the third Mass, I would have welcomed the short version.


We had the short version but I think it’s because our priest tends to two churches… the home parish and then the mission over fifteen miles away over a winding mountain road which generally takes almost thirty minutes to travel. We attended Mass at the mission church at 9 a.m. and he had to be at the home church by 11:00. I don’t know if the home church Mass had the long version, though.


Good point.

There are, after all, four different accounts of the Passion, not just an abbreviated version of one.


We did the long form of the Gospel.
The time for the kneeling after Jesus expired was very devout.


At my parish we used the shorter version. It wasn’t any less devout. I don’t mean to be rude but I don’t see the point of complaining. If you’re in a spiritual slump as you say, needless complaining won’t help. You could go to Confession, watch The Passion of the Christ, pray the Rosary and Stations of the Cross, fast, etc.

God bless you.


No, I asked my friend who went to the Saturday vigil and she said it was the same.

I am already aware that I shouldn’t be criticising and complaining so I will have to knock some sense into myself :banghead: :blackeye: put on my big girl panties and get over it. :o Going to Adoration today, that’s always a surefire attitude adjuster. :wink:


We had the long version, and were asked to be seated. The Deacon read the entire thing.

The Liturgy of the Word is one of my most favorite times of the Mass. But I have to remember that it is just ‘part’ of the Mass. The whole of the Mass is what I’m there for, not any one part. Not for the priest or his homily, not for the entrance or the prayers, but the ‘whole’ of the Mass. I used to become disturbed when one part of the Mass didn’t ‘meet my expectations’ or my own selfish needs. I have both ADD and OCD (short term perfectionist LOL), so it can be a challenge. There are things that go on during Mass around me that bother me; and sometimes the priest’s homily can be boring, or the lector isn’t as gifted, or the cantor is out of tune, or the songs are just…well, you get the picture.

I’m sorry to say that when we were part of the Church before, the only hour I really spent with God was the one at Mass. Now, He’s more than a major part of my life; I’m trying to make Him my WHOLE life. But it helps me to put things in context. It’s one hour. It’s one Mass. I’ll be going again this week, maybe two or three times. I want each of them to exalt and honor the Lord in the most perfect way. But as long as humans are involved, it will never be perfect. The readings (Scripture) is available to me in the Bible and in various other ways. It might not match the dramatic reading at Mass, but that’s okay. We are so blessed to be able to read it (listen to it, watch it) anywhere, any time.


We had the short version. We often do. I don’t know why but his works out better for our community I believe.
As an example of how…if we did the long version, the smaller children would return from their liturgy during the gospel and it would be extremely disruptive.
I enjoy the homilies our Deacon gives. They are always relevant and informative.
The long masses are difficult for some the little kids, esp those with adhd, etc to sit through


ccmcmg, I have ADD & OCD both too - I love that - “Short-Term Perfectionist” - so true! :smiley: Gonna steal it!


3DOCTORS, you are very much correct about the sense of change and otherworldliness that comes with lay-people being so involved in the Gospel reading!

On Sunday, I was asked to be the voice of Peter/Judas/Pilate/the People. There were at least 100-150 people for the evening Mass. It was quite exhilarating. Father omitted the homily so we could do the long reading. I was very relieved about that, because the short version does indeed begin “in media res”… to an unacceptable degree, in my opinion. The full reading was hard, but it was worth it.

My gripe is that the priest didn’t get us to kneel long enough! It was barely 10 seconds! :wink:


I don’t have anything to complain about. I just wanted to share my grandson’s comment. He told us about his buddy who arrived a little too late to serve the Palm Sunday Mass. He was not on the schedule but wanted to fill in if needed and was disappointed that he got there a little too late because another boy was asked to fill in. I was pleased to hear that these boys love to serve Mass even when they are not on the schedule, then my eleven year old grandson added, "Yeah, all the altar servers want to serve these Masses because Number 1. You’ve got a reserved seat, Number 2. Father won’t yell at you because he is nervous enough trying to remember what he has to do, and Number 3. You don’t have to sit with your family.


I see some things never change. :slight_smile:


3Doctors, how was Adoration? I hope your spirit get a bit o’ balm. :hug:


Clearly there is nothing wrong with it , and you do well to point this out . :slight_smile:

I wonder sometimes why some Roman Catholics go to mass .

For some their sole objective seems to be to find fault .

They need to assess their relationship with Jesus Christ .


My parish did the long one with 3 readers (1 of them the priest) then he did a short homily after it. We stood the whole reading of the Passion (perhaps some of the older people did sit down during it).


We had the long version read by the Pastor, the Deacon & 2 lay people.
They did a wonderful job! :thumbsup:

Just before they began reading, the Pastor, who is a friend of mine, and one of the most holy and compassionate priests I have ever met, told people that while this is the Gospel and we should, if we can, stand and kneel when appropriate, he would rather our minds, hearts & bodies were on the words we were hearing rather than the pain we may be feeling, so if you have to, SIT! :smiley:

We then had a short homily by the Deacon.

I work at a nearby parish, and was able to catch part of the Saturday evening Mass. The used the shorter version, but their Pastor preached a very beautiful, thought-provoking homily, that, at least for me, helped me to experience the Passion in a whole new way.

So I guess I got the best of both worlds, and after reading through this thread, a real lesson in “perspective”. :wink:

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