Red of Passiontide – Requesting Your Help


Your help with Passiontide Red

 As you look around the sanctuary, you’ll notice the torn, purple, paper, strung together with nails and twine. It is very low to the ground–as is dust–and reminds us of our mortality. As we enter Passiontide, we will begin to see exactly what God can do with dust. We will begin to raise our eyes up a bit as we look at the Passion of our Savior. We would love to have the community involved in shaping these portraits of the stations of the cross. The images for each of the stations have already been designed, but we will need several hands to help with painting. We will be gathering on Friday March 20th and Friday March 27th from 6pm-10pm at the church.  We will project the image onto the board that needs to be painted and the painter will merely copy the image onto the wood panel–it’s just that easy! Please come at any time between 6-10pm and stay as long as you are able. Through this time together I’m hoping that as a community we will grow together in what it means to die to ourselves daily and derive encouragement in hearing about what God can do with our dust.

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Stations of the Cross

To help our reflection, Restoration will be using the Scriptural Stations of the Cross which were introduced by Pope John Paul II on Good Friday in 1991. Passion Week will begin with Palm Sunday, and we will be having extra times during the week for people to pray. Let us take this opportunity to bring our Lenten meditations and prayerfully ask God how these should transform the rest of our year. What does it mean for us to die daily this year? The 14 stations of the cross will be painted and hung around the sanctuary to foster reflection on the events that led to the burial of our Lord in the tomb. Here are the stations:

1) Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane

2) Jesus betrayed by Judas, He is arrested

3) Jesus is condemned by the Sanhedrin

4) Jesus is denied by Peter

5) Jesus is judged by Pilate

6) Jesus is scourged and crowned with thorns

7) Jesus bears the cross

8) Jesus is helped by Simon of Cyrene to carry the cross

9) Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

10) Jesus is crucified

11) Jesus promises His kingdom to the thief on the cross

12) Jesus speaks to His mother and the disciple

13) Jesus dies on the cross

14) Jesus is placed in the tomb


Red of Passiontide

During Friday morning prayer, we have been praying a portion from The Prayer of Manasseh which includes this statement, “For you, O Lord, are the God of those who repent, and in me you will manifest your goodness; for, unworthy as I am, you will save me according to your great mercy, and I will praise you continually all the days of my life.”[1] This foolish king of Israel has given me a great reminder of our theme in this Lent season: “What can God do with dust?” Our first four weeks of Lent remind us that we are indeed nothing but dust and in that dust God’s goodness shows itself strong.

Passiontide marks the portion of the church calendar which stretches through the fifth Sunday in Lent (i.e. the Sunday prior to Palm Sunday) until the Easter vigil. You will notice several changes in the sanctuary: 1) the liturgical colors will become red, 2) the cross will be covered in purple (explained in a forthcoming blog entry), and 3) the stations of the cross will be hung around the sanctuary (to be explained below). Red is most often used for the feast days of martyrs to typify the shedding of their blood for the testimony of our Lord. The red used during Passiontide reminds us of the blood of Christ which anointed the cross.[2] The Church has used this color during this season throughout the history of the English Church–it is found in the 13th century in the Sarum-rite Mass.[3] We have spend the first 2/3 of Lent fasting and praying for God to forgive us and reveal to us areas which hinder us from following Him in uprightness. We have been reminding ourselves that we are mere dust and that God wants to show His glory through us. The final third of Lent brings us to a remembrance of Christ’s final days leading up to his crucifixion. Although we know that Christ was crucified, we are often at a loss to explain what we mean when we say that we are to die to ourselves daily: dying to habits that hinder, to pleasures which displease God, to the secret sins which threaten to publicly shame our Father’s great name. Passiontide invites us to experience Christ’s death and all of its implications for our lives, for the life of our church, and for the life of the world.

Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but
first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he
was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way
of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and
peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.[4]

– Morgan Reed

[1]                The Prayer of Manasseh 13-15.

[2]                Charles Walker, The Ritual Reason Why (A.R. Mowbray, 1868; republished; Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2012), §101.

[3]                Sir William St. John Hope and E.G. Cuthbert F. Atchley, An Introduction to English Liturgical Colours (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1920), 27-35, 54-55.

[4]                BCP, A Collect For Fridays, 99.