Reason we read the Passion on Palm Sunday and Good Friday?


#1

So, I was asking myself why we read the Passion on Palm Sunday and Good Friday. I looked up some information, and some sources say it's because some people cannot make it to the Good Friday service to celebrate the Passion of the Lord, so we read it on Palm Sunday. Others say it's because we read the Passion on Palm Sunday from the Gospel writer according to what year we are in (i.e. we read the Passion according to Luke this past Sunday), and we always read the Passion according to St. John on Good Friday. So, what's the correct answer?


#2

[quote="CatholicZ09, post:1, topic:320367"]
So, I was asking myself why we read the Passion on Palm Sunday and Good Friday. I looked up some information, and some sources say it's because some people cannot make it to the Good Friday service to celebrate the Passion of the Lord, so we read it on Palm Sunday. Others say it's because we read the Passion on Palm Sunday from the Gospel writer according to what year we are in (i.e. we read the Passion according to Luke this past Sunday), and we always read the Passion according to St. John on Good Friday. So, what's the correct answer?

[/quote]

First of all, you have to remember that before the new cycle of readings were introduced after Vatican II, the Passion narrative read during Palm Sunday was that of Matthew. John 18-19 was always the gospel for Good Friday. The accounts of Matthew and John have always had special prominence because they are the longest and most detailed.

Originally in Rome, the Sunday before Easter was not so much 'Palm Sunday' as it was 'Passion Sunday': it hadn't adopted the idea of the blessing and the procession of palms yet (which ultimately comes from Jerusalem and spread first into Spain and Gaul - modern France - before Rome finally embraced it in the 12th century). We know that the custom of reading Matthew 26-27 on Passion Sunday already existed in the time of Pope St. Leo the Great (390-461): seven of his sermons for this Sunday focus on the Passion, and in one of these he postpones the rest of the explanation to the following Wednesday, "when a reading of the Lord's passion will be read again."

Eventually, both Mark and Luke are also assigned to Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, so that except for Monday and Holy Thursday, the gospel reading for Holy Week will be that of the Passion. Things stayed that way until the introduction of the OF Mass.


#3

My Pastor said it very bluntly and he didn't include liturgical guidelines at all. He says pay attention to the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem in the first Gospel before you process in with palm fronds singing Hosanna, it is in stark contrast with the Passion reading during the Mass that comes from Matthew. Find yourself in it. How quickly we humans who are fickle, turn on Our Lord and end up crucifying Him. For meditation this Holy Week keep in mind from Palms to Passion it is literally 5 days.


#4

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