Monday, April 18, 2011

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday in Jerusalem. This is a very nice video with good resolution. It's worth watching in full-screen.

My Palm Sunday was on a smaller (much smaller!) scale but equally moving. Perhaps more. We went to the traditional Mass at St Mary by the Sea. We had one priest, a tiny schola, and a smallish congregation which fit quite handily into the little courtyard for the blessing of palms. But unlike the new rite, our blessing in the old rite prayed for protection from the wiles of the demon. . .a sentiment that becomes more pertinent by the day. We had a little procession with our blessed (and almost exorcized) palms into the church. The Mass included the solemn chanting of the Passion Gospel. I think it was designed for the three deacons but Fr Alphonsus sang it by himself and did so wonderfully. I was fascinated by the pitches chosen in the chant for the various characters. It reverses Verdi's standard choices. The Gregorian prefers the bad guys - Judas, the pharisees, etc. - to be tenors. Our Lord seems to a bass baritone. Those of us who naturally reside in the lower registers are duly chuffed.

The rest of the day was sunny and warm and contained rumors of traditional Holy Week ceremonies to come. But I don't have all the details yet.