This Sunday is Passion Sunday. Get your purple cloth ready!
Since many of us are on Mandatory House Arrest–how very penitential–veiling may be difficult to do, if you don’t already have your supplies ready to go. But, there’s no need to fret after all. I’m sure Jesus will understand if your images are veiled with some bathroom towels or an old sheet!
In any case I’ll leave you with 3 things:
- Here’s our mantel, which I prepared a few days early:
- Earlier today, when I was minding my own business and scrambling eggs, I suddenly heard my husband laughing from our bedroom, where his makeshift office is located. Something was obviously so hilarious that he had to call me up. “Kim, you’ve got to see this.” He was “on break” and watching THIS 1987 video of Rick Astley dancing. It’s ridiculous, but made me smile. I remember that song after all.
- Lastly, here’s my post from last year, for those of you unfamiliar with the beautiful tradition of veiling.
My Old Post From Last Year: Passion Sunday
There’s some crazy stuff in the Old Calendar that is just interesting to learn about. My husband is forever telling me this. (By Old Calendar I mean those things connected to the Traditional Latin Mass.)
For example, this coming Sunday is called Passion Sunday. It always falls on the Sunday immediately before Palm Sunday and serves to move our thoughts toward the Passion and death of Christ. (In the New Calendar, this Sunday is called the Fifth Sunday of Lent.)
Passion Sunday is also Judica Sunday
Now I know that the prayers of the Mass are supposed to reflect the liturgical season the Church is observing, but there’s some real beauty and depth to be found in the prayers of the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) that I’ve never noticed before. I’ll give you one example.
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.”
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 it’s omitted and will be until Easter Sunday. This is something like the Gloria. Both 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.
Sometimes this Sunday is also called “Judica Sunday.” Judica being Latin for the opening word of Psalm 42, “Judge.”
It’s amazing how it all comes together. I’ve got a lot to learn.
Veiling of Images
In any case, my children always look forward to Passion Sunday, for my family likes to observe a unique tradition that all churches used to do, and many still do. We veil our images with purple cloth.
This tradition 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.
So if you’ve never done it before, try veiling a couple of images in your home. 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.