Sunday, 25 March 2012

Passion Sunday

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 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 yesterday morning the antiphons and psalms were those of Saturday, the chapter proper to the Sunday. The Office hymn, for the first time this year, was 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. After the collect of the Sunday a commemoration was sung of St. Gabriel the Archangel. At Compline the Lesser Doxology was omitted from the short responsory. The Dominical preces were omitted due to the concurring double feast.

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 sung. 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 divisi of Ps. 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 is Benedicamus Domino sung by the deacon whilst facing the celebrant and altar.

Vespers are first Vespers of the great feast of the Annunciaton with a corresponding colour change to white. The antiphons Missus est etc are sung with Ps. 109, 112, 121, 126 & 147. The chapter is proper to the feast and the Office hymn is Ave, maris stella. After the collect of the feast a commemoration is sung of the Sunday. At Compline Te lucis is sung with the Doxology (and tone) of the Incarnation: Jesu tibi sit gloria, Qui natus es de Virgine etc.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' Passion Sunday becomes rebranded as 'First Sunday of the Passion'. There is no commemoration at Vespers. Mattins is slashed down to three lessons as usual. At Prime the psalmody is Ps. 53 and the first two divisi of Ps. 118. The Dominical preces are omitted at Prime. At Mass there is only one collect and the dismissal is Ite, missa est. The ministers wear dalmatic and tunicle instead of folded chasubles. Vespers are of the Sunday, in violet, with a commemoration of the following feast of the Annunciation. At Compline the ordinary Doxlogy and tone are used for Te lucis.

Art: Jerome Nadal


Svastik said...


A question:

What was the collect for the Salve Regina before Omnípotens sempitérne Deus, qui gloriósæ Vírginis Matris Maríæ corpus et ánimam, etc was introduced?

I supposed this dates from 1854?

Rubricarius said...


The same collect is in the 1568 Breviary and earlier ones too.

Anonymous said...

Dear Rubricarius,
A belated Happy New Year to you on the occasion of the Annunciation! And likewise, all the best for a good and holy Great Week, as I know you will, most likely, be quite busy. Oremus pro invicem!
--Fr. Capreolus