Sunday, April 02, 2006
Today we veiled the crosses, images, and statuary. Today we ceased singing all Glorias. Passtiontide begins today-- not with Holy Week, as Lutheran Worship wrongly has it, since they wrongly followed the late-20th century liturgical fad of messing with traditional forms. Passion Sunday and Palm Sunday are not the same thing. Two weeks for Passiontide provide ample space for liturgical focus on the Passion of Christ. Of course, those who mess with traditional forms also tend to think that all of Lent is sort of a Passion-tide. They're really wrong too, because then they miss the liturgical heart of Lent, which is penitence and self-denial, something which also figures prominently in the Eastern rite. The churches of the East don't do the veiling, however, because they tend to use all of Lent to focus on self-denial, fasting, and asceticism. I rather think that the traditional Western rite has this thing about right, actually. That is, using the first part of Lent to emphasize penitential sorrow (as opposed to mere asceticism) and then using this last part to mingle that sorrow with Passiontide. So we welcome Passiontide today, and take another step downward into the abyss of sorrows and darkness; until we reach Good Friday, when the veil comes off the processional cross, in token of the great removal of veils, sorrows, sadness, and darkness, at the Holy Feast of the Resurrection of our Lord.