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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Fifth Sunday of Lent: Leaving the Sweetness of Laetere Sunday Behind and Entering Passiontide.

Jesus Farewell Address, Ducio, PD-OLD
Things are heating up.

We have been through the contemplative period, of temptation and fasting in the desert, during weeks one, two, and three of Lent.

We have seen a sweet lightening of the journey, with a glimpse of the joy that awaits us at the end, during mid-Lent, the week surrounding Laetere Sunday (the fourth Sunday of Lent).

Now, we enter the final two weeks before Holy Week.  Easter is three weeks away.

This Sunday will be the fifth Sunday of Lent.  In the pre-Vatican II Roman Rite, and in the old Anglican usage (1928 Book of Common Prayer), this Sunday was called (First) Passion Sunday.  It began a two week period of Passiontide.  

In traditional usage, veiling of the crosses begins on (First) Passion Sunday, the fifth Sunday of Lent.  (Although, in the Sarum, or Old English, rite, crosses and images are veiled from Ash Wednesday to Easter.)  There will be more on veiling of crosses later. For now, it is important that we note the change in atmosphere in this, our Lenten journey.

Via Wikipedia Commons, No name given. Click for license
The gospel reading for this (First) Passion Sunday is John 12: 20-33. In it, we begin to hear about Jesus death.  His enemies are getting increasingly angry with him about now.  His death is imminent. He's not sugar coating the future.

I suppose for the disciples, this period must have been, on some level, something akin to the financial period that many families find themselves in now.  Many people are unsure of the stability of their jobs, of impending increases in gas prices, of whether they will be able to pay their bills....of what the future brings. But, many can't help but feel that whatever it is, it's not going to be good.

I would imagine that this week was something like that for the disciples.  Jesus was talking scarily now.

There were soon to be no more training wheels.  They were going to have to decide where they stood, and learn to stand firm, despite the fact that their world would be turned upside down.

Gird yourselves and stand fast, friends,
Things are heating up.


A related post on the topic of Passion Sunday is here.

1 comment:

  1. I enter this period of Lent with trepidation ~ we learned we would have to move cross country (again) during this time last year. I'm hoping this years will be something quite a bit more stay-in-placish.


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