Sunday, 13 March 2016

Passion Sunday

Today, in the traditional calendar, is Passion Sunday.

Here is what my (old, in fact my late Father's) Missal has to say on the subject.
This, the fifth Sunday in Lent, takes its name from its being the day on which Holy Church begins her solemn and mournful commemoration of our Lord's Passion. Henceforth, in the Divine Office, hymns in honour of our Lord suffering, take the place of those proper to Lent; the Preface of the Holy Cross is said at daily Mass; the psalm Judica Me Deus, and the Glory be to the Father are omitted, as in Masses of the Dead; and the portions of the Holy Gospels appointed to be read, are those referring to the plotting of the Jews against Christ, and to the incidents of the last days of his ministry upon earth. Very striking is the veiling in churches - in allusion to the words 'Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple' read in the Gospel of the day - of all the crosses, statues and sacred pictures, at other times so helpful to the devotion of the faithful.
I have blogged before about Passiontide, and the suppression thereof, both here, and as a followup, here, so I won't go on about it any more.

However, do notice that many churches have reintroduced (and some of course had never abandoned) the veiling of the statues and crucifixes today. But one wonders why? (Although I am of course in favour.) But what do they think they are doing? There is no more Passiontide, and the Gospel read at Mass today was the woman taken in adultery, not Our Lord's declaration that 'Before Abraham was, I AM' and his subsequent leaving the temple. 

The integration and resonance of tradition has been lost, and we are the poorer for it.


Rubricarius said...

Looking at your earlier post about the preface in the current Roman Missal I cannot see how your correspondent can say the fifth Sunday has the preface of the Passion I. A rubric quite clearly states that if the preface of Lazarus is not used then the preface is I or II of Lent - Quando non legitur Evangelium de Lazaro, adhibetur Praefatio I vel II de Quadragesima, pp. 448-449. In the preface section of the latest RM the rubric before the first preface of the Passion state that it is used in within the fifth week and in mysteries of the Passion and Cross, no mention of the fifth Sunday.

Ben Trovato said...

Does he say that? Or is he saying that during the fifth week, the Preface of the Passion I is said?

Sig Sønnesyn said...

Good post, Ben, and a very pointed and poignant final conclusion. I wonder if it might be worth blowing the dust off the old allegorical understandings of the Mass and the Office? There is such a richness of Patristic and Medieval meditation on what happens in the liturgy and the sacraments, which the modern Church has deliberately left behind as superstitious mumbo-jumbo. But if we treat that mode of thought not as an academic analysis of the liturgy qua religious text, but as an aid to becoming aware of the Mystery and the organic unity of the worship of the Church, I think we would be immeasurably richer for it.