Passion Sunday is the fifth and penultimate Sunday in Lent. It is a semi-double Sunday of the first class.
The most apparent and visually striking feature of this Sunday is the Roman practice of veiling all crosses and images with violet cloth. The custom seems to have developed from the words in the day's Gospel 'Jesus autem abscondit se' - but Jesus hid himself. The veiling takes place after Mass on Saturday morning after Mass and before Vespers are sung.
Yesterday morning's Vespers, along with the veiling, brought in certain more penitential aspects to 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 on both Passion 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 Vespers the antiphons and psalms were those of Saturday, the chapter proper to the Sunday. The Office hymn changed to the poignant and magnificent Vexilla Regis prodeunt. This hymn is sung at Vespers throughout Passiontide and at the Mass of the Pre-Sanctified on Good Friday. The antiphon on the Magnificat and collect were proper to the Sunday. As noted above the Suffrage of hte Saints was omitted. At Compline the Lesser Doxology was omitted from the short responsory. The Dominical preces were sung.
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 ...Lauream. The same invitatory and hymn are sung from today until the Sacred Triduum in the Office of the Season. 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 the lessons are taken from the ninth sermon on Lent by St. Leo the Great. In the third nocturn the lessons are a homily of St. Gregory on St. John's Gospel. The Te Deum is omitted as on other Lenten Sundays and a ninth responsory, Quis dabit capiti, sung in its place. At Lauds the antiphons, Vide Dominum etc., are proper to the Sunday and the second scheme of Psalms sung (50, 117, 62, Benedictus es, 148). The chapter is proper to the Sunday and hymn is Lustra sex.
At Prime and the Hours the antiphons, Ego daemoninum etc., are proper to the Sunday. At Prime the psalms are 92, 99 (displaced from Lauds) and the first two stanzas of psalm 118. At Prime the Dominical preces are sung.
Mass is sung after Terce. The ministers wear folded chasubles. The Gloria is not sung. The second collect is for the Church, Ecclesiae. There is no third collect in Passiontide. As usual in Lent a Tract is sung after the Gradual. The Creed is sung, the preface is of the Cross and the dismissal Benedicamus Domino.
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. A commemoration is sung of the following feast of St. Leo. At Compline the Dominical preces are omitted because of the commemorated double feast at Vespers.
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 Dominical preces are omitted at Prime and Compline. At Mass there is only one collect and the dismissal is Ite, missa est. The ministers wear dalmatic and tunicle instead of folded chasubles. At Vespers there are no commemorations.
Art (top): Jerome Nadal