A lot of Catholics were befuddled by mass on Palm Sunday this year by the order of the mass. And I guess I would have been too if I had not watched mass with the Pope beforehand and sat and read in the missals that our church has available before mass (I got there early anticipating a rush so I had time to kill). Here is a run down I found online. It’s for Year A and we’re in Year C, but you get the idea.
Everything happened at mass in St Peter’s exactly to the letter as it is in that online resource. Now, our church doesn’t do the procession of the palms, because, as I stated we have nowhere to gather and even if we did, the weather this year made that impossible. So our priest processed in to All Glory Laud in Honor, did the opening prayer and then the Gospel reading. Afterward we did not have a homily (we did not have one at all, actually) but we were seated for the readings and the “normal” Liturgy of the Word. I read in the missal that there are three entrances to mass, one which involves the procession, the second which does not involve the procession but proceeded as ours did and then a third “simple entrance” which is what most of us are probably used to. Now, as to why so many of us did something we are not accustomed to before, I have no idea.
I do know that it is not a rogue priest or strange parish thing. After all, as I said, it is how it was celebrated in St Peter’s and the missals were printed before Pope Francis’ election so it’s not some liturgical change related to the change in the Papacy. (And with the schedule he has been keeping, that I would have had to assume it was done in his sleep if it were.) I was glad that I got to hear Pope Francis’ homily especially since our priest did not offer one this week.