Passion Sunday is the fifth and penultimate Sunday of Lent. It is a semi-double Sunday of the first class.
The most apparent feature of this Sunday is the Roman practice of veiling all crosses and images with violet cloth. The practice of veiling images at the beginning of Lent in some Western rite has been mentioned here. The practice of Passiontide veiling appears to have arisen from the words in the day's Gospel 'Jesus autem abscondit se' - but Jesus hid himself. It is probable too that the practice developed from an idea of wishing to focus on the sufferings of the Lord and not to be distracted by joyful images. The veiling takes place after None on the morning of Saturday before Passion Sunday.
From yesterday morning's Vespers along with the veiling certain more penitential aspects affect the Office. The Gloria Patri is omitted from the invitatory of mattins, from the responsories of mattins and from the short responsories of the Hours. It is also omitted from the Asperges ceremony before Mass this Sunday and on Palm Sunday. In Masses 'of the season' Gloria Patri is also omitted from the introit and Lavabo along with the psalm Judica me Deus. The Suffrage of the Saints is also omitted until after Trinity Sunday.
At Mattins the invitatory is Hodie, si vocem Domini audieritis, Nolite obdurare corda vestra from Ps. 94 and a special rubric indicates the omission of that verse in the psalm. The hymn is Pange, lingua. The same invitatory and hymn are sung until the Sacred Triduum. The antiphons given in the Psalter for Sundays are used. As usual Mattins has three nocturns and nine lessons. In the first nocturn the lessons are the Incipit of the book of Jeremiah. In the second nocturn they are from St. Leo the Great on Lent and preparing for Easter and in the third nocturn the lessons are a homily of St. Gregory on St. John's Gospel. 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.
At Prime and the Hours the antiphons are proper to the Sunday. At Prime the psalms are 92, 99 (displaced from Lauds) and the first two stanzas of 118. The Dominical preces are sung and the short lesson is Faciem meam.
Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is not sung. The second collect is Ecclesiae, for the Church (There is no third collect 'of the season' during Passiontide), a Tract is sung after the Gradual, the Credo is sung, the preface is of the Passion and the dismissal Benedicamus Domino. The ministers wear folded chasubles.
Vespers are of the Sunday (sung at the normal time). The antiphons and psalms are those used on Sundays, the chapter is proper and the hymn Vexilla regis prodeunt. At Compline the Dominical preces are sung.
In the 'liturgical books of 1962' Mattins is cut down to three lessons as usual. At Prime the psalms are 53 and the first two stanzas of 118, the Domincial preces are omitted. At Mass the second is omitted. The dismissal is Ite, missa est. At Compline the Dominical preces not sung.
My apologies for being late in the day posting this. I have been in Ireland for several days and got back late last night. That along with the curse of British Summer Time...
Art: Jerome Nadal