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Palm Sunday

Customary of Grace Church

1.   The Liturgy of the Palms takes place in the crossing.  The altar candles are lighted beforehand, but the electric lights in the chancel are not turned on.

2.   The choir assembles in the north transept, occupying the pews in front of St. Mary’s altar.

3.   Palms for the celebrant and assisting priest are placed on a small table near the font. A vat containing holy water is also placed on this table.

4.   Palms are distributed to the people as they enter the church.

5.   A chasuble for the celebrant is placed at the south side of the sanctuary.

6.   The marked lectionary is left at the first lector’s stall.

7.   An extra server is needed to carry the cross.

8.   Incense is put on and blessed in the chapel (and not put on and blessed again before the Gospel).

9.   When the choir begins the antiphon, Hosanna to the Son of David, the ministers enter in the following order:

  • Thurifer

  • Crossbearer, flanked by candlebearers

  • Readers (carrying palms branches)

  • Lay Eucharistic Ministers (carrying palm branches)

  • MC (holding the service book)

  • Assisting Priest (vested in alb and stole, carrying the Gospel Book)

  • Celebrant (vested in alb, stole, and cope, holding nothing)

10.  The  thurifer, crossbearer, and candlebearers go all the way to the rail of the Blessed Sacrament altar (south of the ambo), where they stand facing north.

11.   The readers stand on the south side of the crossing, in front of the radiators, facing east (close to the center alley).

12.   The lay eucharistic ministers stand on the north side of the crossing, in front of the radiators, facing east (close to the center alley).

13.   The MC, assisting priest, and MC stand at the head of the center alley (in line with the font), facing west—the MC at the celebrant’s left, the assisting priest at the celebrant’s right.

14. The MC holds the service book while the celebrant [reads the allocution and] sings the opening collect.

15. After the collect, one of the lectors, having passed his palm branch to the other lector, steps forward and takes the service book from the MC.

16. The MC leads the assisting priest to the ambo.

17.  When the assisting priest has reached the ambo, the thurifer ascends to the MC’s left.   After the announcement of the Gospel, the MC receives the thurible from the thurifer, and passes it to the assisting priest, who censes the book, as usual.

18. At the conclusion of the Gospel, the assisting priest gives the Gospel book to the MC. who places it on the table adjacent to his chair, as usual. The thurifer, moving by the left, descends to the place where he was standing before.  The assisting priest, passing behind the celebrant, descends the steps to his right.  The MC, passing behind the celebrant and assisting priest, goes to stand at the celebrant’s left.

19. The lector who is holding the service book returns it to the MC and takes back his palm branch from the other lector.

20. The MC holds the book while the celebrant sings the blessing.

21. At the conclusion of the blessing, the choir begins the antiphon, The children of the Hebrews.

22. The celebrant and assisting priest go to the table small table on which the palms and vat have been placed.  The celebrant sprinkles the palms on the table and, accompanied by the assisting priest, walks down the center alley, sprinkling the palms held by the people.

23. Returning the vat to the table, the celebrant and MC take their own palm branches and return to the places where they were standing before.

24. The assisting priest sings, “Let us go forth in peace.”

25. When the hymn, All glory laud and honor, begins, the thurifer starts to move toward the north porch.    The crossbearer and candlebearers fall in behind him.  The readers join the procession next, then the lay eucharistic ministers. 

26. The celebrant, before joining the procession, give the people a signal to fall in behind him.

27. The celebrant, assisting priest, and MC walk three abreast, the MC holding the book.

28. The choir goes LAST.

29. The procession moves out of the church through the north porch door along the walk, back into the church through the west door, and up the center alley.

30.  While the procession is in progress, a designated person turn on the chancel lights.

31. When the crossbearer and candlebearer have ascended the chancel steps, the procession stops.  The crossbearer, candlebearers, and thurifer turn west.

32. At the conclusion of the hymn, the celebrant sings the [versicle and] collect, Almighty God, whose most dear Son...

33. At the conclusion of the collect, the choir begins the responsory, When the Lord was entering the holy city.  The procession moves toward the altar.  All go to their usual places.

34. After censing the altar and before going to his chair, the celebrant goes to the south side of the sanctuary and exchanges the cope for a chasuble. 

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