The Armchair Liturgist Starts That Procession … Or Stops It

Another first for me. Even after more than thirty years of liturgy and music, I continue to experience novel things. I tapped a young man to lead least night’s Palm Sunday procession (we walk around the church building). But he was nervous and asked a young woman with him to do it in his stead. So I gave a second set of instructions.

After inviting the assembly to empty the pews and leave the building, I attended to finding a fall-back position in case Passion reader #1 (still not in the building) didn’t show. By the time the substitute had been found and briefed, I went out to the parking lot. To my amazement, the procession was already on the move. Had that time really sped by so quickly? Blessing of branches, reading, and that longish introduction with the awkward elevated language?

None of it happened. Apparently, the woman with the cross just kept moving once she got out the door. So all the rituals took place once we were back in the building.

So armchair liturgists, a question for you. Suppose your liturgy runs off the rails like this. To what extent will you try to wrangle wayward sheep to “do it right”? How far afield does it have to go before you just shrug your shoulders and let it go?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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2 Responses to The Armchair Liturgist Starts That Procession … Or Stops It

  1. Liam says:

    At that point, it’s not the liturgist’s job but the presiding priest’s.

    • Katherine says:

      This is the sort of occasion when a master of ceremonies is useful — the priest has enough on his plate, and an MC could intervene less conspicuously, especially if aware of the last-minute switch of leader, so alert to the possibility of confusion.

      But once it runs off the rails like that, probably what happened — everything done, but inside — is about as good as anything. Then careful thought about how to prevent it happening again …

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