Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Passion Offices

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The recitation of these offices, called also Of the Instruments of the Passion, was first granted collectively to the Congregatio Clericorum Passionis D.N.J.C., or the Passionist Fathers, whose special aim is to spread the devotion to the Sacred Passion of Our Lord. Soon other religious communities and dioceses obtained a similar concession. They were granted to the United States 12 December, 1840, on petition of the Fourth Provincial Council of Baltimore. The offices are affixed to the days specified and cannot be transferred. In case of special indult, as in the United States, they may be transferred, but not beyond Lent; they have the rank of a secondary double major and give place to feasts of higher rank and to primary ones of the same rank. The offices are (1) For Tuesday after Septuagesima: Of the Prayer of Our Lord on Mount Olivet; (2) For Tuesday after Sexagesima: Of the Passion; (3) First Friday of Lent: Of the Crown of Thorns, first celebrated on the occasion of the solemn introduction of the sacred crown into Paris, under Louis IX in 1241 and thence spread into Germany and France (Nilles, II, 95); (4) Second Friday: Of the Spear and Nails, permitted by Innocent VI, 13 February, 1353 for Germany and Bohemia at the request of Charles IV (Nilles, II, 122); granted to some places for Friday after Low Sunday (5) Third Friday: Of the Windingsheet, first allowed 1606 to the church of Chamb ry in Savoy by Julius II, and soon extended to the entire kingdom (Nilles, II, 126); (6) Fourth Friday: Of the Five Holy Wounds; (7) Fifth Friday: Of the Most Precious Blood. Besides these a special second feast of the Precious Blood was granted to the world for the first Sunday of July by Pius IX, 10 August, 1849. Moreover, by Decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites of 5 July, 1883, Leo XIII permitted the recitation of a votive Office of the Passion for every Friday not impeded according to rules there laid down. The Greeks have no special offices of the Passion, but on the night between Maundy Thursday and Good Friday they hold a very elaborate series of exercises in its honour.

NILLES, Kalendarium nanuale utriusque ecclesi , II (Innsbruck, 1897); MORONI, Dizionario (Venice, 1840-61), XXXVII, 91-2, LXVI, 188-95, LXVIII, 91-2; KERKER in Kirchenlex., s. v. Dornenkrone; SCHROD, ibid., s. vv. Lanze, Sindon.

FRANCIS MERSHMAN