Passiontide begins with tonight's evensong. Because of that I though I should post what the second edition of the second volume of the Alcuin Club's Directory of Ceremonial has to say about its observance. This is important in that we, in the Continuum, need to let people know that we are neither Papists nor Episcopalians, but that we are indeed the old Church believing in the old Religion and keeping it in the old ways. As the Council of Nicea said, "let the ancient customs prevail."
Passiontide begins with the first Evensong of the fifth Sunday in Lent. The altar frontals should be changed to red, and red vestments are worn. The remainder of the Lenten array continues as before. The red need not be dull or dark (the symbolism is, of course, the precious blood of our Saviour), but the materials should be simple, e.g. linen, with apparels of blue or black.
Red-letter days falling between Passion Sunday and Palm Sunday are celebrated as usual, but those occuring in Holy Week are transferred to the week after Low Sunday. Black-letter days fallin in Holy Week are omitted altogether for that year. If, however a black-letter saint is the patron of the place, the day is treated as a red-letter day, and transferred to the first free day after Low Sunday, but this cannot be earlier than Tuesday if the feast is to have a first Evensong, since the second Evensong of Low Sunday must not be displaced.
While in recent years, there are some who have adopted the custom of using the dalmatic and tunicle even during these period, in ancient times that would not have been done. Instead the dalmatic of the deacon and the tunicles of the sub-deacon and clerk would have been given up for the more ancient use of the folded chasuble. According to the rules of Sarum, Wells and Exeter, these would have been used daily until Maundy Thursday while York and Hereford wore them on only the Sundays in Lent and Passiontide. Maundy Thursday would have been kept in dalmatic and tunicle as would have been the case on Holy Saturday. Good Friday would have been kept in albs only. As one who believes that the chasubles proper to the Ornaments Rubric were the ancient conical ones as the surviving example from the Elizabeth I's Chapel Royal was before being cut down, it would seem appropriate for the same to be used during this period.
The most important thing to remember is that until all of the services appointed for this period in the Book of Common Prayer are used, it is very inappropriate to do anything else liturgically. The prayer book services must come first.