Liturgical Customary of the Church of the Advent, Boston

© Julianne E. Turé and William J. Theisen 1999

The Liturgical Customary of the Church of the Advent
Holy Week: Palm Sunday


On the High Altar, the Altar Guild overlays the Lenten Array frontal (oxblood color) and fair linen with the red frontal. The sacristan will change the frontal during the Palm Procession.

MC places a small table covered with a linen cloth against the north choir stalls. On it are placed palms for SMs and MC. Palms for CHOIR and CHOIR CLERGY are placed in their stalls.

The notebook with the Palm Gospel and Palm Blessing is placed in the Verger's stall.

MC places holy water bucket and aspergillum nearby (on floor in front of north choir stalls).

Mass setup includes a total of 3 chalices and ciboria each.

The wooden processional cross is veiled and adorned with palms.

The missal is placed on the missal stand at the credence.

D will not carry gospel book in procession — cantors from the Choir will chant the Passion Gospel.

CEL is vested in red cope and stole; D in red stole and dalmatic; SD in tunicle. Maniples are not worn.

CHOIR CLERGY are vested in red copes and stoles. Purple or oxblood stoles are placed in their stalls to be donned after the Procession. Servers and Choir are vested in cottas and black cassocks.

AA and TT light torches in Smoke Sacristy. TH prepares thurible prior to Preparatory Prayers. Incense is not charged and blessed in Smoke Sacristy.


CHOIR enter via Smoke Sacristy and proceed in silence to choir stalls before Mass begins. They face altar, genuflect, and begin entrance anthem.

For entrance, MC cues servers and SMs to enter solemnly from north crossing door (the short entrance) in the following order, while Choir sings entrance anthem:


In center of choir chancel, TH turns to his/her left to take position abutting north choir stalls upstage of table holding palms. CR goes into his/her stall and puts up cross. AA split and stand at the base of the choir chancel in front of crucifer and verger stalls, facing the altar.

CHOIR CLERGY and MC2 take their places in stalls.

TT line up below altar rail, facing altar.

MC1, SD, D, and CEL proceed to middle of choir chancel and face the altar in the following order:

When all are in place, MC1 cues genuflection. The CHOIR does not genuflect here. After the genuflection, TT, turning inward, face the congregation. (Do not wait for entrance anthem to conclude. The music will cover the genuflection and laying on of incense.) SMs and AA remain facing altar, as MC cues TH to approach SMs for charging and blessing of incense. MC, SMs, and TH turn to face congregation. AA turn inward to face each other and frame SMs.


After conclusion of entrance anthem, Verger gives ritual notebook to SD. SD holds book while CEL says the Salutation and Collect. SD hands ritual book to MC1, who gives it to D for the CEL's blessing. After CEL blesses it, SD moves to middle chancel step to hold book for D.

TH gives thurible to D, who censes book and reads Gospel (said, not sung).

After Gospel, SD ascends steps and presents book to CEL, who kisses it. SD holds onto book for the Palm ritual.


MC1 places table with palms on it in front of CEL. (NOTE: MC1 should rearrange palms on table so that tips face congregation, to allow easy movement around the table.) While SD holds book, CEL intones the palm blessing.

CHOIR begins anthem. SD hands notebook to Verger. MC1 hands water bucket and aspergillum to SD. SD gives water bucket and aspergillum to CEL, who asperses palms on the table.

With D and SD holding the edges of his cope, CEL proceeds down main nave aisle to west door and back, aspersing people's palms. At the back of the church, D and SD switch positions - D on CEL's right, SD on his left. Upon returning, at the first pew, SD, D, and CEL, in that order, return single file to their places behind the palm table.

CEL gives bucket and aspergillum to MC1, who puts them on the floor out of harm's way.

TH gives thurible to CEL, who censes palms on the table. CEL then moves to top of chancel steps and thrice censes the people's palms. CEL gives thurible to TH.

MC1 distributes palms to SMs and removes table.

Led by TH, MC1 and SMs proceed single file to their usual places at altar steps. TT turn to face altar. AA and CR take their procession positions in the center of the choir chancel. TH has incense laid on and takes his/her position below (= west of) A CR A, also facing altar. MC2 joins TH.


D turns to congregation to bid the procession. After the response, s/he turns to face altar.

The organist plays the introduction to the processional hymn. MC1 cues ALL to genuflect after completion of the introduction. After the genuflection, simultaneously, TT turn inward, SD and D switch places, and, with CEL, MC1, A CR A, and TH, turn to face the congregation. TH leads the procession. At MC1's cue, TT meet in pairs at center, turn to congregation and process. SD and D hold edges of CEL’s cope.

Weather permitting, TH leads procession very slowly out South (Mt. Vernon Street) door, around corner, and in the West (Brimmer Street) doors, maintaining a slow pace at all times. MC2 is responsible for keeping the procession on pace.

No "360's" may be done outdoors. If the singing of the hymn falters, silence should be kept. No talking is permitted.

When most of the congregation has exited the building, the Sacristan changes the frontal from red to oxblood (by lifting the red frontal off, folding it from the ends to the middle, and taking it out to the sacristy).

The procession re-enters the church at the West door. The head of the procession may need to wait at the back of the nave for the remaining parishioners to leave the church. Ushers will light extinguished torches at the back of the church, as needed.

Upon returning to the chancel, MC1 and SMs only genuflect below the altar rail, and, led by MC1, exit to the Priests' Sacristy to change into oxblood vestments. CR goes to his/her stall and puts up cross. ALL others take the customary entrance positions and remain standing.

Led by MC1, SMs re-enter chancel and assume their places in the line-up at the altar steps. MC1 cues ALL to genuflect. While the hymn is still being sung, SMs ascend the altar steps, TT exit to smoke sacristy to dispose of their torches and re-enter. MC1, AA, and TH take their places at the credence.


The altar is censed in the usual manner during the remainder of the hymn(s). MC1 places Altar Book on altar at Epistle horn. During the censing, CR and Verger collect copes and red stoles from Choir Clergy and take them out to sacristy while Choir Clergy change to oxblood/purple stoles.

CEL reads the Collect of the Day, after which he, D, and MC1 take their places at sedilia. Immediately after Collect, SD genuflects, turns, and proceeds to the lectern to read the Lesson. (NOTE: only one Lesson today!).

SD returns to altar, genuflects, ascends altar steps and moves Altar Book to Gospel side. SD takes short route to sedilia, where he/she sits.

ALL will remain seated for gradual, tract, and first portion of the Passion Gospel. Three Choir Cantors enter, genuflect, and kneel at the altar steps. Seated on his sedile, CEL blesses them according to the usual form. Cantors stand and take their places for the Passion Gospel.

ALL remain seated through the words, "And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross." ALL stand, and remain standing through the words,"Jesus, when he cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost." ALL genuflect and observe a pause. At CEL’s cue, ALL rise. The Passion Gospel resumes.

At the conclusion of the Passion Gospel, the three cantors proceed to the altar rail, where they genuflect and return to their places in choir.

Since the Passion Gospel is rather long, TH should avoid firing up the coals for the Offertory prematurely.

The Celebrant or other cleric may give a very brief homily. The Verger does not escort the homilist to the pulpit.

There is no Creed. Out of repugnance for the kiss of Judas, the Peace is not exchanged. Allowing time for the congregation to sit, MC1 postpones cueing the SMs to stand until the CHOIR begins singing the anthem. MC cues TH and TT to enter. They genuflect at center. TH proceeds to sedilia, where incense is laid on.

The Mass follows according to custom. MC2 will serve the chalice in the All Saints' Chapel.


At the conclusion of the Mass, ALL, leaving palms at sedilia and in stalls, line up for the last hymn (Ah, Holy Jesus) in the standard formation. ALL remain standing in place, facing the altar, to sing the entire hymn, during which the organ accompaniment gradually fades out.

At the conclusion of the hymn, MC1 cues ALL (except A CR A) to genuflect. ALL turn to face the congregation and solemnly and silently exit via the north crossing door (the "short" exit).