Do any churches use Lenten array, veil images from Lent 1 on?

by
22 March 2019

Write, if you any answers to the questions listed at the end of this section, or to add to the answers given below.

iStock

Do any churches use Lenten array, veil images from Lent 1 on, and observe other “English” customs — or has all that gone?

 

Your answers: At St Mary the Virgin, Primrose Hill, in London, the tradition of covering statues and pictures during Lent has been maintained annually without a break since first since introduced by Percy Dearmer in 1902. Photographs and an explanatory text are included on our website www.stmarysprimrosehill.com.

New hangings were donated in 1915, including the Passiontide frontal still in use for the high altar, designed by E. E. Dorling and painted by two members of the congregation. The trickier matter of veiling the great Rood (erected in 1915) was not attempted until 1920, when a suitably large plain hanging was hoisted into place by means of pulleys and ropes, a system still in use today. The hangings have been adapted and repainted from time to time, most recently in 2017.

For practical reasons, we have long had our “public hanging” on Shrove Tuesday, in time for Ash Wednesday rather than for Lent 1. The reward for a successful outcome, coffee and pancakes as befits the day, has also become something of a tradition.

(Dr) Christopher Kitching (Honorary Archivist, St Mary the Virgin, Primrose Hill)
London NW3

 

Lenten array is in full use at St James the Great, Haydock, as it has been for many years. All crosses and images are veiled from Ash Wednesday in sackcloth with red orphreys. During Passiontide, this changes to red-dyed sackcloth with black orphreys. All the vestments worn by clergy and servers are matching. During Lent (except on Refreshment Sunday), the parish eucharist begins with the Litany, sung in place of an introit hymn, and the Lent Prose is sung as the gradual.

(The Revd) Andrew Welsby CMP
Haydock, St Helens

 

At St Augustine’s, Birmingham, Lenten array, consisting of vestments, altar frontals, etc., in unbleached linen or hopsack with red designs, is used from Ash Wednesday until Easter Eve, wherever the rubrics of the Western Rite prescribe purple. (Purple is still used for Advent and the ’Gesima Sundays). From Passion Sunday on, all images in the church are veiled in calico. I do not believe that we are entirely alone in this, and I know that Lenten array is similarly used in St Birinus’s RC Church in Dorchester. Though it is considered “English”, the Lenten array is not exclusive to this country and was used in some French dioceses before the Second Vatican Council. As for other English customs of the season, we can also put our hand up to the blessing of yew and willow branches for the procession on Palm Sunday.

(The Revd) Matthew Tomlinson
Edgbaston, Birmingham

 

Your question: To reduce our outgoings, we started using a cheaper fortified wine for communion. There have been howls of protest from some quarters about the taste (it’s a bit sweeter) and colour (it’s a bit lighter). Can anyone suggest a good budget communion wine? The one that we introduced retails at around £5.50 per litre.

S. J.

 

Address for answers and more questions: Out of the Question, Church Times, 3rd floor, Invicta House, 108-114 Golden Lane, London EC1Y 0TG.

questions@churchtimes.co.uk

We ask readers not to send us letters for forwarding, and those giving answers to provide full name, address, and, if possible, telephone number.

Forthcoming Events

21-22 February 2020
Church Times Festival of Faith and Literature
For 2020 the Bloxham festival celebrates ‘The Power of Love’. Book tickets

26 March 2020
Theology Slam Live Final
Theology Slam is back, continuing its search for the most engaging young voices on theology and the contemporary world. Find out more

Latest Cartoon

The Church Times Archive

Read reports from issues stretching back to 1863, search for your parish or see if any of the clergy you know get a mention.

FREE for Church Times subscribers.

Explore the archive

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read five articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)