Odd reading of the Passion on Good Friday

I’m a recent revert (been away from the Church about 10 years), and I went to the Passion service at Catholic church close to where I work (not my regular parish). Now, it’s been a while since I’ve been in a church for the Good Friday Passion reading, but a couple of things struck me as odd:

  1. Instead of the reading being done with the priest reading the part of Christ, a lay person reading for the Narrator and the congregation reading for the crowds, the Passion gospel was split up and read in sections by lay people, with the priest reading the last segment. In between sections, the choir chanted a short refrain. Is this common? I’ve never seen it done this way before.

  2. We were instructed to sit for the entire Gospel reading. When we got to the part where Jesus dies, no one—and I mean no one—knelt. The priest just asked us to bow our heads and reflect before he continued on with the reading. :eek:

Both of these things just seemed strange to me, but again, I’ve been away from the church for a while. Is this common?

only the priest is allowed to say the parts of Christ please see here: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=551229

as for the kneeling it saddens me when no one does this.

That does not seem normal. No.

We had the deacon reading it.

Sounds like liturgical abuse to me

Same here.

The priest did it on Palm Sunday, but the Deacon did it today. :slight_smile: I didn’t think anything of it since either is allowed to do the reading of the Gospel at the Mass (s’matter of fact, the Deacon is supposed to do the reading of the Gospel during a regular Mass) :rolleyes:

While the deacon is the one who proclaims the Gospel, when the Passion is read in parts, the priest is to take the part of Christ (unless there are three deacons chanting/proclaiming the Passion, as is the case with the Papal liturgies).

What the OP witnessed was ilicit. According to Paschallis Sollemnitatis:

  1. The passion narrative occupies a special place. It should be sung or read in the traditional way, that is, by three persons who take the part of Christ, the narrator, and the people. The passion is proclaimed by deacons or priests, or by lay readers. In the latter case, the part of the Christ should be reserved to the priest.

Tonight, the deacon read the part of the narrator, a layman was the speaker (other than Christ) and our parochial vicar read the part of Christ.

What about when the entire Passion is chanted/sung by the choir only? We had, I believe, 2 priests and several deacons but none of them did any of the parts and we didn’t do our part either, the choir did the whole thing, it was like their “show.”

I was pretty shocked that we, the congregation, were not invited to do the usual parts, but I’ve never been to Good Friday services at this particular church.

Is that also liturgical abuse?

Yes. In the case of the solemn chanting of the Passion at the Vatican, it was done by three deacons.

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