Sunday 6 April 2014


There was some discussion in the combox under a recent post about whether Passiontide had been suppressed in the New Calendar.

Since then, I have got my copy of Bugnini, and here is what he has to say:
The Septuagesima season is suppressed, and the three Sundays making it up become Sundays of Ordinary Time.
Also suppressed, as a title, is "Passiontide." The whole of it now becomes, even externally, part of Lent.
So it seems I was right, and that is why in my new Missal today is simply listed as the Fifth Sunday in Lent. Moreover, the veiling of statues and crucifixes is merely a pious tradition and should not be done (if that is what 'even externally' means, which I think it must).

This seems to my to typify much of the impoverishment of Bugnini's changes. Instead of the emotional crescendo of Septuagesima - Lent - Passiontide - the Triduum, we know have a binary system: Ordinary time to Lent.  Likewise with the suppression of the Octave of Pentecost, we have Pentecost, then Ordinary time.

It is all very logical and all very much poorer.

I am pleased that I managed to get to an Extraordinary Form Mass, where we celebrated Passion Sunday with dignity and solemnity.

For Passiontide, then, here is a recording of the four different settings of the Passion Chorale in Bach's St Matthew Passion. The harmonies get richer and more plangent each time.  Magnificent stuff!

(Though I cannot resist quoting Beecham on Bach: Too much counterpoint - and what's worse, Protestant counterpoint! But that does not apply here.)


Mulier Fortis said...

The Southwark Directory says that statues can be veiled though it doesn't talk about Passiontide...

Ttony said...

I agree, obviously, about the impoverishment. But it began before VII, it began before Bugnini. The St Lawrence Press publishes a wonderful Ordo each year according to the rubrics in place during the time of Pius XI, but as I am showing, this is still a stripped down version of what Pius X inherited.

This doesn't absolve Bugnini, but it sets him in a context: the foundations of liturgical praxis had been severely weakened already, even if nobody (or almost nobody) had noticed or complained.

Monica said...

The OF Missal has a rubric which says that statues etc may be veiled from 5th Sunday of Lent, so I don't think the custom has been abolished - merely optional.

Patricius said...

I think there is a certain ambivalence. The Divine Office gives some emphasis to Holy Week- Holy Week hymns are distinguished from those given for the rest of Lent, however, from Monday of Week 5 the option is given of using either "Lenten-" or "Holy Week-" hymns for the Office of Readings, Morning Prayer(Lauds) and Evening Prayer(Vespers). Also, in the Missal the rubric specifies the Preface of the Passion. This morning I was in a church- not known for traditionalists- with veiled statues.
One thing I have noticed over the years is that while few, if any, churches were veiling, say, fifteen years ago, later one might find statues veiled just for Holy Week. My feeling is that the "Reform of the Reform" is behind this and is by no means just has a good way to go yet.