Passion Sunday is only a few days away. Get your purple cloth ready!
Here’s a shot of our mantel from last year:
Passion Sunday is also Judica Sunday
On Passion Sunday, Psalm 42 is highlighted in the Introit and pleadingly states,
“Judge me, O God, and distinguish my cause from the nation that is not holy: deliver me from the unjust and deceitful man: for Thou art God my strength.”
“Judica” is the latin word for “judge,” which is where we get the name.
If you’ll remember in the TLM, Psalm 42 is also prayed every Sunday during the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, but on Passion Sunday these prayers are omitted and will not return until Easter Sunday. This is something like the Gloria and the Alleluia, which disappeared earlier, however, at the beginning of the “Gesima” Sundays. All of these are omitted because they are associated with the Paschal joy of the Risen Christ.
In other words, we have this stripping away of Pascal references in order to sharpen our awareness of Christ’s Passion, which is why we refer to these final two weeks of Lent as Passiontide.
It’s beautiful how it all comes together.
Veiling of Images for Passiontide
My children always look forward to Passion Sunday, if only to see the images disappear from our fireplace mantel and the church.
This tradition of veiling images began sometime in the ninth century to reflect the readings of the TLM. For example, the Gospel for Passion Sunday is always John 8 wherein the Jews take up stones to cast at Jesus, but he mysteriously passes through the crowd unseen and then hides. Therefore, the veiling of images reminds us that Christ’s Divinity was hidden at the time of His Passion and death.
Think about that for a minute. Again, it’s astounding how all these things come together. Of course His Divinity was hidden! Otherwise everyone would have believed, not just that centurion at the foot of the cross.
Secondly, veiling also strips us of visual stimuli. Throughout the year we may become accustomed to looking at and praying with our crucifixes and icons, and so taking them away for a time helps us paradoxically to become more aware of them.
Give It a Try
If you’ve never veiled your images at home before, give it a try. It’s pretty easy to do. I just bought a yard of purple cloth at Hobby Lobby and cut it into squares. I’ve also heard of families using purple tissue paper in a pinch.
And speaking of veiling…
Ah, what a lovely thing to do for love of Jesus. Dear ladies, have you ever tried veiling yourself? We, too, “hide” ourselves to be only visible to Him.