This blog contains regular postings relating to the Traditional Latin Liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church. It includes regular commentary on the saints days and the liturgical cycle, with brief background and extracts from the liturgy both in Latin and English. Much of the material has been extracted from the 'St Andrew's Daily Missal', Dom Gueranger's 'Liturgical Year', or similar sources.

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Sunday 22 March 2015

Passiontide - Historical Note

From the St Andrew's Daily Missal

While the purpose of Passiontide is to call to our minds the persecutions of which our Lord was the object during His public life, it is concerned more especially, with the last year of His ministry. Then it was that the hatred of His enemies which increased daily began to reveal itself in more tangible form, culminating in the drama which the Church reproduces in Holy Week, when day by day she follows the footsteps of her Lord.

The second year: After having cured the son of the widow of Naim, our Lord absolves Mary Magdalen, the woman who was a sinner but who did not fear to come and throw herself at His feet while He reclined at the table of Simon the Pharisee. Judas' avarice foreshadows his crime.

The third year: After the Transfiguration, Jesus returns to Capharnaum, immediately afterwards making the pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles. He proclaims Himself the Fountain of living water, refreshing the souls of men and foretells His approaching death. When the festivities are over He gives proofs of His Divinity to the Jews who in consequence try to stone Him. He returns to Galilee but again visits Jerusalem in the winter for the Feast of the Dedication. The Jews again wished to stone Him, for is not He a blasphemer who claims to be one with the Father in heaven. Subsequently going into Perea, our Lord is called from thence to Bethany, where He raises Lazarus from the dead; a miracle which wins Him such renown that the Jews, no longer able to contain their jealous hatred, definitely decide upon His death. Our Lord therefore, takes refuge at Ephrem, returning six days before the Passover to Bethany where, "for His burial," Mary Magdalen pours a precious ointment over His feet.

The Great Week. The next day Jesus makes His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The same evening He leaves the town returning the next day, i.e. the Monday in Holy Week, when He receives certain Gentiles in the Temple. On the Wednesday evening He goes towards the Mount of Olives, foretelling to His disciples His Passion, now close at hand. He does not return to Jerusalem until the Thursday evening for the Last Supper; is crucified the next day on Calvary at the city gates; is buried the same day in the sepulchre from whence He issues triumphant on the Sunday morning.

Note: The St Andrew's Daily Missal, 1945 edition - probably the best Latin-English handmissal ever - has been reprinted by St Bonaventure Press. Every traditional Catholic home should have one!

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