Passion Sunday

Here is my recording of Mass and Sermon for Passion Sunday. The rite is the Use of Sarum in Latin except the Epistle and Gospel.

I intend to record also the Masses of Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, the Mass of the Presanctified and ceremonies of the Easter Sepulchre on Good Friday, the Paschal Vigil and Easter Sunday. I will try to incorporate some singing, especially the Exultet. It is not easy to do everything alone, but I have a few years’ experience at this.

For those troubled at inaccuracies like liturgical colours and the absence of an apparelled amice, I have simply not got round to doing everything. Also, much of my liturgical materials is from the time when I used the Roman rite. I wear gothic and “fiddleback” vestment indifferently. I was given this black chasuble more than thirty years ago. The “correct” colour for Sarum Passiontide is bull’s blood red with black orphreys. This chasuble is the other way around. I used accessories from a dull red French set. I have reason to believe that in the early sixteenth century, liturgical observance was far from uniform. This is not a theatrical performance but a real Mass celebrated pro populo as are all my Masses whether or not they are recorded.

Another thing to consider is that we Anglicans normally celebrate Mass and Office in the language of the people. I habitually celebrate in Latin, because there are no people present at my Mass, and also because I think a priest in an expatriate chaplaincy needs to transcend denominational frontiers. I have no illusion of being “acceptable” to traditionalist Roman Catholics, because they have all they need. My Bishop is also recording his Mass celebrated in his home chapel because of the quarantine, and he uses the Anglican Missal. Other priests of our Diocese are also recording their Mass or doing a live broadcast via feature on Facebook like “watch parties”.

Many of the clergy are concerned that people may not return to church at the end of our quarantine period. They consider the lowest common denominator of people going by habit, hanging by a slender thread. It is a pastoral concern. However, the pandemic and the quarantine will be a trial for us that we have to overcome in ourselves. Some of us may lose loved ones, and not be allowed to go to their funeral. We cannot afford to remain at the same shallowness of faith, commitment and spiritual life. What remains when the externals are taken away are the measure of what there was in the first place. Much of the institutional Church will not survive, any more than the present world economy and monetary system. Much will have to be swept away. The gold will be tried in the crucible by fire.

I wish you all a holy Passiontide in our common prayer for new life after this confinement and our Paschal joy.

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4 Responses to Passion Sunday

  1. Father, this is really cool! May I ask how you light your candles. I know the old rule, “light right, snuff left,” but what do you do about the candles on the riddels? D they come before or after the altar-candles, or is there a rule?

  2. Stephen K says:

    We cannot afford to remain at the same shallowness of faith, commitment and spiritual life. What remains when the externals are taken away are the measure of what there was in the first place.

    Oh! How concise and authentic your summation is! It seems much of the institutional religious energy over centuries has been devoted to the maintenance of the institution qua political and economic corporation/empire, contrasted with the energy expenditure of individuals wanting to do the right thing, think and feel a good way towards their fellow human beings and creation. Sacramental forms are supposed to help people learn and live the Way of Love, not prop up corrupt or degenerate or sterile structures.

    It’s a wake-up call for me. And when the various structural collapses have taken full place, and the Augean stables cleansed (so to speak), the essence of sacraments of all kinds may have a chance to breathe deeply again, and we may take to heart more clearly our underpinning value: ubi caritas et amor, deus ibi est

  3. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    Thank you for this and your further plans! It makes me think it would be good to live a liturgical year with the Sarum Use (which is not meant as a hint, much less a prod – though if the various degrees and sorts of ‘lock-down’ and so on continue around much of the world as they currently seem likely to, it would be fine to have the Masses of the Ascension, Pentecost, Trinity, and Corpus Christi, as well).

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