The Office begins, as usual in Lent, with Vespers yesterday morning. First Vespers were sung with a commemoration of the preceding Office of St. Isidore and St. Vincent Ferrer. At Compline the Dominical preces were omitted because of the ocurring double feasts at Vespers.
At Mattins there are three nocturns. In the first nocturn the book of Jeremiah the Prophet is read. In the second nocturn the lessons are a sermon of St. Leo the Great and in the third a homily of St. Ambrose. There is no Te Deum but a ninth responsory in its place. At Lauds the antiphons are proper to the Sunday and the second scheme of Psalms sung (50, 117, 62, Canticle Benedictus es, 148). The chapter is proper to the Sunday and hymn is Lustra sex. A commemoration of St. Vincent Ferrer is made.
The photograph below is from a celebration of Palm Sunday Mattins and Lauds, on the Saturdya evening, at a private chapel in Central London from 1997. The large 'Rood Cross' should, of course, have been veiled but unfortunately this was not practically possible.
At Prime and the Hours the antiphons are proper to the Sunday. At Prime the anitphon is Pueri Hebraeorum (that will be heard later at the distribution of Palms) psalms are 92, 99 (displaced from Lauds) and the first two stanzas of 118. The Dominical preces are not sung due to the occuring double feast and the short lesson is Faciem meam. At Terce the antiphon is Pueri Hebraeorum vestimenta which again will be heard shortly afterwards at the distribution of Palms.
After Terce, as usual the Asperges ceremony takes place before Mass. The deacon and subdeacon wear violet folded chasubles. After the Asperges the celebrant and ministers proceed to the Epistle corner and begin the elaborate blessing of Palms. The rubrics give a direction that the Palms to be blessed are either to the Epistle side or be placed in the centre. At the London celebration pictured below the complete liturgy was sung, including all the Little Hours, Vespers and Compline. The blessing starts with an 'introit' Hosanna Filio David followed by a collect Deus, quim diligere followed by an Epistle, 'gradual' and Gospel with the associated ceremonies from High Mass.
Following the Gospel a further collect Auge fidem followed by a preface, Sanctus and four further collects Deus, qui dispersa, Deus, qui miro, Deus, qui per olivae and Benedic quaesumus. The celebrant then puts on incense and blesses it. The Palms are then aspersed with lustral water and then censed. Another collect, Deus, qui Filium is then sung. The antiphons Pueri Hebraeorum and Pueri Hebraeorum vestimenta are then sung whilst the Palms are distributed. After the distribution the collect Omnipotens sempiterne is sung. A Procession is then formed and the following antiphons sung Cum appropinquaret, Cum audisset, Ante sex dies, Occurrunt turbae, Cum angelis et pueris and Turba multa. Following the Procession some cantors re-enter the church and close the door. The beautiful hymn of Theodolph Gloria, laus, et honor is sung. At the end of the hymn the subdeacon strikes the church door with the foot of the processional Cross and the party enters to the singing of Ingrediente Domino.
The photograph above and the one immediately below and the one showing the Deacons of the Passion below are taken from the excellent series by Mark Coleman from St. Clement's Church in Philadelphia, USA. (It is surely ironic that an Anglican Church is taking such exceptional care to celebrate the glorious patrimony of the Roman rite whilst it is virtually abandoned by the Roman Church). Note the Palm is kissed then the celebrant's hand.
The photograph above is taken from 'Cardinal Bourne - A Life in Pictures', a memorial tribute to Cardinal Bourne, Archbishop of Westminster, and is from Palm Sunday 1919. Note the elaborate Palm the Cardinal is holding and the folded chasubles worn by the Assistant Deacons. The photograph is at the stage when Gloria laus is being sung before the re-entry into the Cathedral.
Mass then follows the usual form. No commemoration is made of an occuring Office on Palm Sunday. Psalm 21 is sung in its entirety as a Tract. The major difference from any other Sunday is singing of the Passion according to St. Matthew by three additional deacons of the Passion. After the Passion the Gospel is sung by the deacon of the Mass to a most haunting tone. The Creed is sung, the preface is of the Cross and the dismissal Benedicamus Domino.
Sext and None again have proper antiphons. At Vespers a commemoration is made of St. Vincent.
In the 'liturgical books of 1962' devestation might be a pertinent word to describewhat has happened to Palm Sunday. Mattins has its usual truncation to three lessons. No commemoration is made of St. Vincent. Prime has psalms 53 and the first two stanzas of psalm 118.
The Asperges is omitted. Why one might ask? The ministers wear dalmatic and tunicle, along with the celebrant's chasuble of red colour. (It would be too distracting to argue the point but when red was worn in Passiontide in Medieval times the colour was a distinctly different shade from the red of martyrs and a dull 'ox blood' red.) The blessing of Palms takes place at a table facing the people. Only one of the former collects, Benedic quaesumus, is used and then the palms are distributed (without the ceremonial kissing of the celebrant's hand) with the Pueri Hebraeorum antiphons interpolated into the 1945 version of psalms 23 and 46. The Gospel follows, the ceremonies of Mass are not followed. In the procession the first three antiphons of the Old Rite are omitted. The first is Occurunt turbae (with Hosanna in excelsis omitted), then Cum angelis and Turba multa. Then a new antiphon Coeperunt omnes followed by the Gloria laus. However, vernacular hymns in honour of Christ the King may be sung. Then Lauda, Jerusalem, Fulgentibus palmis, Ave, Rex noster and Ingrediente. There is no ceremonial re-entry (although Econe would pick this and incorporate it into their adaptation of 1962).
The sacred ministers then change from red to violet. No folded chasubles of course. The prayers at the foot of the altar are omitted entirely and the celebrant kisses the altar and censes it. The deacons of the Passion receive a blessing, rather than the deacon of the Mass, and sing a shortened version of the Passion. The former Gospel is omitted both textually and ceremonially. The dismissal is Ite, missa est and the last Gospel is omitted. There are no commemorations at Vespers.
There is an excellent article by Signor Gregory DiPippo on the changes here. Likewise an article by Fr. Anthony Cekada here although I would beg to differ with Fr. Cekada that the blessing of Palms is a 'dry Mass'. Whilst it certainly has the appearance of one in the post-Trent books my own view is that it is a non-Roman form of solemn blessing - however time precludes that discussion at the moment.