A Sublime Meditation on Passiontide


Today begins the fortnight
of immediate preparation for Easter,
which in the third century,
included a twelve days' fast
preceding the dawn of the Resurrection.
In the sacred Liturgy
and more especially in the Breviary,
we can still distinguish this special cycle
formed by this holy Passion-tide.

The season of Lent,
which was of later institution than Passion-tide.

In Lent
the Church was chiefly occupied
in the preparation of the penitents
for their solemn reconciliation on Holy Thursday,

Sacred Instruction into the Mysteries of the Faith.

and the instruction of catechumens
in preparation for their reception of Holy Baptism.

St. Peter baptizes those who were Catechumens.

Throughout Passiontide
these important occupations of Lent
take a secondary place.

The Pharisees take counsel with the Herodians.

During Passion-tide
but one thought predominates
in the Missal and in the Breviary
-the thought of Our Lord Jesus Christ,
who realizes the bitter persecution
which His enemies are plotting against Him.

During this fortnight,
in which the Liturgy illustrates with dramatic force
the ever-growing hatred of the enemies of our Lord,
the early Ordines Romani
forbid the final doxology to be said
after either the antiphonic or the responsorial psalmody.

Psalm 42, introduced in the 8th century,
is also omitted at the beginning of Mass.

Passion Sunday.
Station at St. Peter.

S. Pietro.)

The station at the Vatican today is the last remaining trace of the pannuchis which,
in the time of Pope Gelasius,
was celebrated at the tomb of the Apostles
during the night previous to the solemn Ordination of the priests and deacons
of Rome.

The Crucifixion of St Peter.

The Liturgical cycle of the Passion
begins with the Mass at the Vatican,
where Nero crucified the first Vicar of Christ
and where Pope Symmachus had built an oratory
named - Sancta Hierusalem -Holy Jerusalem
in honour of the triumphant Cross.

Who didst save Peter in the sea...

It was from that oratory near St. Peter's
that the following verses were introduced into the Liturgy:
Salve nos, Chrtiste Salvator,
per virtutem Crucis;

qui salvasti Petrum in mare,
miserere nobis.

Save us, Christ our Saviour,
by the virtue of Thy holy cross;

Thou who didst save Peter in the sea,
have mercy upon us.

The Mass of this Sunday
is entirely dominated by the memory
of the Sacrifice on Golgotha,
and is one of the most beautiful and pathetic
of the whole Roman Antiphonary.

Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord...
Thou wilt lift me up above them that rise up against me
From the unjust man Thou wilt deliver me.

(Gradual Ps. 17:48)
Quo vadis Domine?
Where art Thou going Lord?

Let us pray.

Domine Jesu Christe, qui de coelis...
O Lord Jesus Christ,
Who didst come down to earth from heaven,
from the bosom of the Father,
and didst pour out Thy Precious Blood
for the remission of sins,
we humbly beseech Thee,
that on the day of judgment,
standing on Thy right hand,
we may be considered worthy to hear:
Come ye blessed.
Who livest and reignest for ever and ever.

Deus, qui errata...
O God, who settest straight
what has gone astray,
and gatherest together what is scattered,
and keeping what Thou hast gathered together,
we beseech Thee in Thy mercy
to pour down on Christian people
the grace of union with Thee,
and putting aside disunion
and attaching themselves
to the true shepherd of Thy Church,
they may be able to render Thee due service.
Through our Lord.

Twitch of the mantilla to the Transalpine Redemptorists at Home blog, where I found this. I had been planning to concoct my own meditaiton on Passiontide, but this one is far superior. 


  1. Thank you so much for this post Mary and thanks also to the TRs.
    It has given me all that I require in the run up to Easter. God bless.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

I do not believe The Third Secret of Fatima came to pass with the attempted assassination of John Paul II in 1981

Our Lady appeared on the 13th of the month at Fatima so we may avoid the fate of Judas