Answered by Legionary of Christ Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy and sacramental theology and director of the Sacerdos Institute at the Regina Apostolorum university.
Q: In the new decree “In Time of COVID-19 (II),” issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments for the pandemic, there is a part: “1 – Palm Sunday. The Commemoration of the Lord’s Entrance into Jerusalem is to be celebrated within sacred buildings; in Cathedral churches the second form given in the Roman Missal is to be adopted; in parish churches and in other places the third form is to be used. ” I have a look at the third form in the Roman Missal, and there is no instruction on the blessing of the palms. I would like to know if, according to the decree, parishioners in parish churches will not be able to receive the blessed palms this year since there is no blessing of palms in the third form of entrance for Palm Sunday. Second, is it allowed for a priest to bless the palms outside the Mass? If yes, which rite could the priest follow? – MKN, Bangkok, Thailand.
A: The introduction to the rites of Palm Sunday describes the rite as follows.