A week before Palm Sunday, the 5th. Sunday of Lent, is called Passion Sunday. All the crucifixes, statues and paintings of the saints are to be covered (veiled) by purple cloth or sewn coverings Saturday evening after vespers. Only the Stations of Cross are not covered. The veiling is removed at the Gloria of Holy Saturday Mass.
There are two reasons for this. One is because when the Jews pick of stones to kill Jesus, He hides until He allows Himself to be arrested on the Thursday after the Passover Meal. So the hiding the statues reminds us of Jesus being in hiding. The second reason is that in some places of Europe, a large cloth was hung in front of the sanctuary on the first day of lent. It was a reminder to repenting sinners of being banished from the Holy Mysteries till Easter. It was not removed till “the veil was torn in two” at the death of Jesus on Good Friday.
Dom Gueranger reminds us that the Church begins (on Passion Sunday) to make the suffering of Jesus, our redeemer, to be the main thought focused on during these days leading up to and including Good Friday.
The Passion Narrative was originally read on this (5th) Sunday of Lent. Now, in the Missal of 1962, it is only read on Palm Sunday (St. Matthew’s Gospel), Tuesday (St. Mark’s Gospel), Wednesday (St. Luke’s Gospel) and Friday of Holy Week (St. John’s Gospel).
Besides the veiling, from Passion Sunday on, there are these changes in the Holy Mass:
1) NO Judica Me Psalm (in prayers at the foot of the Altar). The prayers start right off with “Introibo ad altare Dei” (altar boy responds “Ad Deum wii leatificat juventutem mean”) and the priest skips Psalm 42 to say “Adjutorium nostrum in nominee Domini” with the altar boy saying “Qui Fecit caelum et terram” and goes on to say the Confiteor……
2) NO Gloria Patri… said after the Introit,
3) NO Gloria Patri… after the Lavabo.
These are also left out in the Requiem Mass. These omissions are not done on feast days during these two weeks.
All of you traditional bishops and priests, thank you for all the work you are doing and will be doing in these next two weeks. May God, and Our Lady give you the strength to do all you have to do for love of Jesus’ Church.
And all of you lay people, get ready for a lot of long readings and sacrifices during this passion time. But God will be pouring out on you very many special graces to help you become saints at this holy time. That is why Holy Week is called Holy Week. It is the most Holy time of the Year. We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics, as difficult as that may be.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.