Passion Gospels

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I’m not sure if this has been asked but I was wondering for the Passion Gospels on Palm Sunday and Good Friday, the Narrator part at my parish has always been proclaimed by a Deacon. Now that one of our deacon’s has retired, we only have one Deacon who only speak Spanish so our English masses never see a deacon. For the Passion Gospels coming up, can the narrator part of the gospel be proclaimed by a lector or lay minister if there is no Deacon present? There’s also the beginning part that says, “The Passion of our Lord according to Matthew (John on Good Friday) can that be said by the lector or lay minister?

A:  Any reader may read the narrator part of the passion. it does not have to be the deacon. Similarly, that person, as the narrator, introduces the proclamation. Incense, candles, the greeting (“The Lord be with you”), its responses, and the signs of the cross are all omitted. You can find documentation for all this in my book Glory in the Cross, on p. 14.