…or “Passion Sunday”. These next two weeks are referred to as “passiontide”. I am so used to these things that I forget that “Passion” is a jargon- church word. In everyday places we use the word “passion” to indicate a strongly felt feeling or desire. It often refers to how strongly we like or love something or someone. Here it means “suffering” and has more in common with a patient (who is suffering an illness or a broken body) than with falling in love. So today the liturgy begins to focus on the events of Holy Week, in particular on Good Friday and Jesus’ death on a cross.

Drop, drop, slow tears,
and bathe those beauteous feet,
which brought from heaven
the news and Prince of Peace.

Cease not, wet eyes,
his mercies to entreat;
to cry for vengeance
sin doth never cease.

In your deep floods
drown all my faults and fears;
nor let his eye
see sin, but through my tears.

Phineas Fletcher (1582–1650)