This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Palm Sunday Dilemmas

Fr X. Pell de Mons, our resident exorcist and liturgical consultant, answers your Palm Sunday questions.

hymn sheet

St Theodulph of Orleans (tr J.M. Neale) wrote a cracking good hymn.

Q. In today's Palm Sunday procession, I accidentally started singing "The company of angels..." instead of "Thou art the King of Israel...", since I am used to reading text downwards in columns rather than across. After two lines of this I noticed that people were glaring at me, and so I switched back to Verse 1.

My question is: when we got to Verse 2, should I have sung "The company of angels..." again, or gone back to sing the omitted bit from Verse 1? I didn't want people to think I was denying "Thou art the King of Israel".

A: You could try muttering "Thou art the King of Israel..." sotto voce - or sub voce as we Latinists have it.

Q: I had another problem with Verse 3.

A: You mean "with palms before thee went"? Did you sing "psalms" by mistake, even though you have a visual aid to remind you?

entry into Jerusalem

Actually, He requested psalms.

Q: Mea culpa, but there's another problem, in Line 3. "Our prayer & prayers & anthems..." I suppose that's a typo?

A: Yes, St Theodulph of Orleans never wrote Inwoodisms like that. It's "Our prayer and praise and anthems". Er, or possibly, "Our praise and prayer and anthems". I'd need to look it up. Still, in these circumstances, you should always sing what is written on the service sheet.

Pope Francis blesses palms

A pope showers people with holy water.

Q: I am a Catholic priest, and at the Palm Sunday procession my attention was distracted by an idiot who was singing the wrong verse of "All glory, laud and honour." So much so, that some of my holy water fell onto a pile of unsold Tablet newspapers, which promptly burst into flames, severely damaging the bespoke mass-trousers worn by one of the servers. Is this a known problem?

burning Tablet

The Tablet. Keep away from holy water.

A: Yes, indeed. I even heard a rumour that a certain Tablet journalist was severely burned when she came into contact with some holy water; however, this is probably just malicious gossip.

fuel tablet

The Tablet in easy-to-burn form - you can fuel some people all of the time.


  1. Darling eccles - one of the many delights of Easter will be that you will be back with us and we can stop taking the Tablets. There is, I am told, a known problem with The Tablet - it claims to be Catholic and isn't xx Jess

  2. Dear Fr X

    I am writing to complain about the woeful traddy priest at the parish where I deigned to attend Mass today. I believe that in Arundel and Brighton, they have liturgical dancing donkeys jumping out of giant Easter Eggs at the Consecration, and fair-trade palms ethically sourced from the glebe surrounding the Jihadist missile silos on the Gaza Strip.

    Instead we were made to line up outside in the sunshine and sing hymns to which everyone knew the tune, and hold out perfectly cruciform palms while he threw water at them with a pastry brush. (I heard later that the children of the parish had been employed as slave labour in making these up, and instead of receiving the statutory minimum wage, their grannies had promised them a day off Purgatory for each one they made.)

    Once inside the church, I discovered that all the statues had been covered up and there were no decent flowers on the altar. Then we had to stand for hours while he wittered on reading almost the whole of St Matthew's Gospel (but leaving out the interesting stuff at the end, presumably because there was an emergency when a server set fire to his cassock while trying to fire up the incense with a page this week's Tablet that had been specially pre-torn by Mulier Fortis' cat). Pure torture.

    So my query, Fr X, is this - how can we ensure that this biretta-wearing, Fr Z-reading, molly-marriage-loathing dinosaur is moved away, and replaced by the luvvly Fr Darryl. Would a photoshopped picture of him shaking hands with Deacon Nick or Fr Hunwicke do the trick?

  3. The Talbet - "Light Here" and "Light There"; in fact, "Light Everywhere".

  4. Yes the background graphics to the pope with holy water id "The People are DEF". Never a truer word spoken. And then again so are the novus ordo clergy.

  5. Rumour has it that he will be riding a donkey next year to save money on bus fares.

  6. Happy Easter, darling eccles :) xx Jess

    1. Thanks, Jess, and to you too and all readers!
      I'll write some more stuff soon...