As if Lent did not already put a damper on the Liturgy by eliminating the Alleluia and the Gloria in Excelsis, the Gloria Patri is now silenced. Crosses and icons are now veiled, candles of unbleached wax replace the usual candles, and processional crosses and candlesticks might also be replaced with wooden ones. The sobriety of Lent becomes even more pronounced. Even so, on March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation of (to) the Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated by including the Gloria in Excelsis. The Alleluia, however, is replaced by the Tract. The Preface that has stated that, until now, we were to prepare our hearts to celebrate the Paschal Feast, now focuses on the comparison
If my memory is correct, I believe that the Catholic Church, Novus Ordo (VC II), considers Passiontide to begin on Palm Sunday. (If this is incorrect, please let me know.)
The sobriety that predominates during these two weeks is reinforced by the change in the Proper Preface which has stated that we were to prepare our hearts for the Paschal Feast, now focuses on the fact the he who, by a tree once overcame, would now be by a tree overcome.
After Palm Sunday, the Second Sunday of the Passion, the liturgy takes us through the Passion of Our Lord on Holy Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. On Holy Thursday, we revisit the action in Cena Domini which had Our Lord washing His disciples feet and instituting the Holy Sacrament of His Body and Blood, given and shed for us for us for the remission of our sins.
Following the Mass on Holy Thursday, the altars are stripped, to remain unadorned in mourning for the death of Our Lord.
As we wait to celebrate the Resurrection of Our Lord, may we follow His journey during the coming weeks, so that we may rejoice in the fullness of the Liturgy in celebration of His Resurrection.