2nd Reading for Palm Sunday

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I so appreciate the wisdom you so generously share with those of us in liturgy.  I recently started a new ministry in a parish and as we near Palm Sunday, I’m told that the second scripture reading for Palm Sunday is moved to after the announcements and sung by a member of the choir.  The rationale given is that the reading is a summation of what Holy Week is about and it’s a great way to send people forth.

I’m concerned that the relocation of the scripture reading outside of the Liturgy of the Word isn’t appropriate and that it is the Eucharist that sends us forth.  

Your insights, please?  Thank you!


A: Thanks for your comments on my blog.

I’m with you on this. That particular reading has an impressive history, as I’ve noted in Glory in the Cross. It can be traced to the 5th c. Würzburg Lectionary, the earliest record of readings assigned to particular days. It’s been part of the liturgy of the word for at least 1600 years.

Having said that, the lectionary gives permission to eliminate one or both of the first readings on Palm Sunday for “pastoral reasons.” See 38ABC At the Mass.

So, the custom is not as completely outré as it may seem.

Still, I like the way 38 begins: “It i strongly recommended that all three [readings] be used.”