Going into Lenten Array

Here are links to what I have already written about Lenten Array and its use in the English and other northern European traditions. It would be pointless to repeat what has been said in those postings and elsewhere on the internet. I changed into Lenten Array today. It should normally be done on Shrove Tuesday, but I have things to do in town tomorrow – so today was the day. I only have last year’s palms to burn to make the ashes, and then everything is ready to begin Lent.

lent-array2015-01Here is the chapel just before I began the “operation”.

lent-array2015-02The frontal is changed and the antependium is ready to be installed.

lent-array2015-03Only the dossal remains to be done, by the lenten cloth being pinned to the dossal.

lent-array2015-04Only the cross remains to be veiled.

lent-array2015-05Here is the statue of Our Lady with a vase of flowers. The flowers are removed.

lent-array2015-06This an all the other statues are veiled. With a square cloth, one corner is passed behind the statue’s back and no pinning is needed. The veils all come off beautifully and easily on Holy Saturday.


I then climbed up a stepladder to veil the Rood and the little statues of Our Lady of Westminster and St Edward, King and Confessor. Whilst I was up there, I took a photo of the altar from above. The hanging pyx is clearly seen.

lent-array2015-08Here is the rood screen with the veils.

lent-array2015-09The altar of Our Lady of Walsingham, with the statue and altar cross veiled.

lent-array2015-10High altar in complete Lenten Array

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2 Responses to Going into Lenten Array

  1. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    Thank you for this and the links (though I have not yet read all the briefer links within links)! I can’t think of a characterization that does not seem inadequate or banal, and will make do with ‘striking’ – this is striking, shocking (in a good way), very different from the sharp, astringent shock of the Maundy Thursday “operation” – this looks like it would go on quietly, austerely shocking in a goodly agonizing ascetic way – there all the beautiful and familar is – and isn’t. (It reminds me of the effect described (as I remember it) in Hawthorne’s short story “The Minister’s Black Veil” – a sort of goodly oppressive awe.)

    • Of course, Maundy Thursday in the Sarum tradition is most unspectacular. The vestments are as in the rest of Passiontide (bull’s blood red with black orphreys), and the Easter Sepulchre is used from Good Friday until Easter Sunday morning, quite unlike the Roman altar of repose. The Gloria in excelsis is sung at the Bishop’s Mass only.

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