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BOOK REVIEWS General and Miscellaneous The Week ofSalvation:History and Traditions ofHoly Week. By James Monti. (Huntington, Indiana: Our Sunday Visitor Pubhshing Division. 1993. Pp. 447. $19.95.) This is a very useful history of the HolyWeek services ofthe Catholic Church down to and including the present rites. It is mainly concerned with the Roman liturgy, but also covers the Byzantine and other eastern rites, and the nonRoman western rites used in such places as Milan, Lyons, and Toledo. It also includes descriptions of popular devotions in various countries. Until the recent reform of the Roman liturgy, the popular devotions of Holy Week were probably more important than the liturgical services. Of course, people had to go to Mass on Palm Sunday in order to obtain the blessed palm, but for many the Mass was only a means toward the end: getting that palm. During the Sacred Triduum (which used to mean Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, but not Easter Sunday), the liturgy was celebrated early in the morning, and was attended only by the more devout. The really Interesting things happened later in the day. On Holy Thursday the reserved sacrament was enshrined in a repository in one of the side chapels, and there was a certain competition among the churches to create the most splendid shrine. This reviewer remembers, as a child, being taken in the family car on a tour of all the churches in town. Mr. Monti seems to think that this was a custom only in Latin countries, but he is not as old as I am. On Good Friday, of course, everyone went to the Tre Ore, the three hours from noon to three o'clock. Again the churches competed with one another in hiring the most popular preachers, who preached on the seven last words of Christ. Many of us deserted our parish churches to fight our way into St. Patrick's Cathedral in NewYork to hear the great Bishop Sheen. On Holy Saturday the EasterVigil was over and done with by nine o'clock in the morning. The sacristan and his helpers could then get to work decorating the church for Easter Sunday. Meanwhile people came to the church to fill their 669 670BOOK REVIEWS bottles with the Easter water. In some parishes (mainly PoUsh, I think) the priests went from house to house for the blessing with the Easter water. This custom seems to be overlooked in the chapter on Holy Saturday. In the Byzantine rite, on the other hand, the popular devotions are, generally speaking, incorporated into the official liturgy ofHolyWeek. It is very helpful to have these eastern rites included in the chapters on the days of Holy Week. They take us back to the oldest ofall HolyWeek services: the ceremonies of the church inJerusalem in the fourth century, as described by the pilgrim Egeria. In the churches of medieval Europe, there was a good deal ofvariety even in the matter of liturgical colors. On Palm Sunday Rome used violet, Paris used black, other French dioceses used red, and Seville and Toledo used green. On Good Friday black was the color in Rome and Spain and some dioceses in France, while red was the color in other parts of France and in Germany and England. During Lent the sanctuary was hidden behind the Lenten veil. In some places it survived into modern times, since it was still in use in Seville in 1894, and in Sicily in 1908. In most places, however, it was replaced by the custom of covering the statues and crucifixes with purple veils during the fortnight before Easter, known as Passiontide. This custom is still permitted, but we are not told whether it is still observed in some countries. The Tenebrae service, Matins and Lauds of the Divine Office, was celebrated with great solemnity on the evenings of Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday in Holy Week. A candelabrum, known as the hearse, with fifteen candles, stood in the sanctuary, and after each psalm one ofthe candles was extinguished.A modified form ofthis service, taken from the new Liturgy of the Hours, is celebrated in some churches on the morning of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday...


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