March 9, 2015
The Dominican Parish of St. Dominic in Washington, DC is having its first annual Passiontide vigil on Saturday, March 21, at 7:00pm. Similar to an evening sung version of Stations of the Cross, the night called Passiontide will include both songs, scriptural readings, and preaching relevant to the saving work of Christ in his earthly life, in particular on the cross. Passiontide is the name the Church gives the two weeks that precede Holy Week in Lent. Considered a “mini-Lent” within Lent, the purpose of Passiontide is to aid the faithful in preparing to share in what Christ offered for us during the first Holy Week in Bethlehem. Passiontide is also typically the time when churches would cover their statues with dark purple veils in preparation for the conclusion of Lent and their unveiling at Easter. Br. Athanasius Murphy, OP, who is helping with this Lenten celebration, commented on the event: “This is one attempt to help Christians participate in the Church’s celebration of the Lenten liturgical season at a local level. We hope the night helps to prepare those coming for their participation in Holy Week this Lent.” The setting of Passiontide will be in a dark church with hundreds of candles near the sanctuary and around the church. Readings and short preaching will alternate with hymns, chant, and polyphony music traditional to the Lenten season. The night will conclude with a candlelit procession to the steps of the sanctuary to venerate a piece of the original cross of Christ. The event is open to all who would like to come. See here for more details and to RSVP. A reception is to follow from 8-9pm. ✠ Image: Andrea Mantegna, The Crucifixion, The Louvre, Paris.