Good Friday

 

 

 

The Passion and Death of the Lord

Station at Holy Cross in Jerusalem

First class

Black

 

 

 

The Solemn Afternoon Liturgy Celebrating the Passion and Death of the Lord

 

The First Part of the Liturgy

 

The Readings from Scripture

 

The altar must be completely stripped. The procession comes through the church to the altar in silence. When they come to the altar, the celebrant and the sacred ministers lie prostrate whilst the rest kneel, bowing deeply: and all pray silently for a short time. When the signal is given, all kneel up. Only the celebrant stands and recites the following prayer at the altar steps:

 

Collect

O God, who by the Passion of Thy anointed Son, our Lord, hast released mankind from the sentence of death which our first parents, after their fall, passed on to all their descendants, grant that we may become like Him, and that we who perforce have borne the imprint of earthly nature may become hallowed reflections of Thy heavenly grace: through the same Christ our Lord.

All answer: Amen.

 

The lector begins the first reading while all sit and listen.

 

First Lesson: Osee 6. 1-6

Thus saith the Lord: When trouble comes, they will be up betimes to wait upon Me; Back to the Lord, will be their common cry; He made us His prey, it is His to restore us, He wounded us, and it is His to bind up the wound. Two days may pass before He revives us, but on the third day He will raise us up again, and we shall live to enjoy His favour. We have but to acknowledge the Lord, persevere in acknowledging Him, and He will reveal himself, sure as the dawn, come back to us, sure as the rains of winter and spring come back to the earth. What way will serve with thee, Ephraim? Juda, what way will serve? This tender heartedness of yours is short-lived as a cloud at daybreak, as dew under the morning light. That is why I have used my prophets as a chisel to fashion them with, have passed sentence of death upon them; it is my judgements that come sure as the dawn. It is mercy that wins favour with me, not sacrifice, the knowledge of God, not burnt-offerings.

 

Responsory: Hab. 3

Fear comes upon me, Lord, at the tidings I am told of Thee; with awe I contemplate Thy doings. Thou wouldst reveal Thyself with a dumb beast on either hand; so Thou shalt be made known, when the years have run their course, so wilt Thou appear, when the time comes for Thy appearing. When most my heart is troubled, at the very time when Thou art angry, Thou wilt bethink Thee of Thy merciful promise. He comes from Lebanon, the Lord, the Holy One, from the dark forests on the hills. Heaven is overspread by His magnificence, earth has no room for His renown.

 

After the Responsory all rise; the celebrant stands by his chair and says:

Let us pray. V. Let us kneel. R. Arise.

 

Collect:

O God, author alike of the punishment that befell Judas for his guilt, and of the penitent thief’s reward, grant us Thy clemency, so that our Lord Jesus Christ, who in His passion gave to each a different recompense according to his deserts, may set us free from our ancestral guilt and bestow upon us the grace of rising up again with Him; who is God, living and reigning. R. Amen

 

At the end of the prayer, the second reading follows.

 

Second Lesson: Exod: 12. 1-11

It was while they were still in the land of Egypt that the Lord said to Moses and Aaron: For you, this month is to lead in all the months, to be the first month of the year. Make this proclamation to the whole assembly of Israel: On the tenth day of this month, each family, each household, is to choose out a yearling for its own use. Or, if there are not enough of them to eat a whole lamb, the head of the family must call in some neighbour who lives close by, so that a lamb shall not be too much for their needs. It must be a male yearling lamb, or a male yearling kid, that you choose, with no blemish on it. These victims must be kept until the fourteenth day of the month, and on the evening of that day the whole people of Israel must immolate it. They must take some of the blood, and smear it on the doorway, jambs and lintel alike, of the house in which the lamb is being eaten. Their meat that night must be roasted over the fire, their bread unleavened; wild herbs must be all their seasoning. No part must be eaten raw, or boiled, it must be roasted over the fire; head, feet, and entrails, all must be consumed, so that nothing remains till next day; whatever is left over, you must put in the fire and burn it. And this is to be the manner of your eating it; your loins must be girt, your feet ready shod, and every man’s staff in his hand; all must be done in haste. It is the night of the Pasch, the Lord’s passing by.

 

Responsory: Ps. 139. 2-10, 14

Rescue me, Lord, from human malice, save me from the lovers of oppression. Always plotting treachery in their hearts, always intent on strife. Tongues sharp as the tongues of serpents, lips that conceal the poison of asps. Preserve me, Lord, from the power of sinful men, save me from these lovers of oppression. Who are plotting to trip my feet. What hidden snares they set for me, these tyrants: What nets they spread to catch me, what traps they lay in my path! To the Lord I make my appeal, Thou art my God, listen to the voice that pleads with Thee. My Lord, my Master, my strong deliverer, it is Thou that shieldest my head in the day of battle. Do not betray my hopes, Lord, into the hands of the wicked; do not forsake me and let the schemers triumph. This be the fruit of their conspiracy, that all their busy whispering should recoil upon themselves. Honest men will yet live to praise Thy name; upright hearts enjoy the smile of Thy favour.

 

 

After the second reading and the Responsory, the story of the Lord’s Passion is read or chanted.

 

C. The Lord be in your heart and on your lips. R.. Amen.

 

The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.

John 18. 1-40; 19, 1-42

At this time: Jesus, with His disciples, went out across the Cedron valley. Here there was a garden into which He and His disciples went. Judas, His betrayer, knew the place well; Jesus and His disciples had often forgathered in it. There, then, Judas came, accompanied by the guard, and officers sent by the chief priests and Pharisees, with lanterns and torches and weapons. So Jesus, knowing well what was to befall Him, went out to meet them, and asked, + Who is it you are looking for? C. They answered, S. Jesus of Nazareth. C. And He told them, + I am Jesus of Nazareth. C. And there was Judas, His betrayer, standing in their company. When He said to them, I am Jesus of Nazareth, they all shrank back, and fell to the ground. So, once more, Jesus asked them, + Who is it you are looking for? C. and when they said, S. Jesus of Nazareth, C. He answered, + I have told you already that I am Jesus. If I am the Man you are looking for, let these others go free. C. Thus He would make good the words He had spoken to them, I have not lost any of those whom Thou hast entrusted to Me.

Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear; Malchus was the name of the servant. Whereupon Jesus said to Peter, + Put thy sword back into its sheath. Am I not to drink that cup which My Father Himself has appointed for Me? C. And now the guard, with their captain, and the Jewish officers arrested Jesus and pinioned Him. They led Him off, in the first instance, to Annas, father-in-law of Caiphas, who held the high priesthood in that year. (It was this Caiphas who had given it as his advice to the Jews, that it was best to put one man to death for the sake of the people). Simon Peter followed Jesus, with another disciple; this disciple was acquainted with the high priest, and went into the high priest’s court with Jesus, while Peter stood at the door without. Afterwards the other disciple, who was the high priest’s acquaintance, went out and spoke to the door keeper, and so brought Peter in. This maidservant who kept the door asked Peter, S. Art thou another of this man’s disciples? C. and he said, S. Not I. C. It was cold, and the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, and stood there warming themselves; there Peter stood too, warming himself with the rest.

 

And now the high priest questioned Jesus about His disciples, and about His teaching. Jesus answered, + I have spoken openly before the world; My teaching has been given in the synagogue and in the temple, where all the Jews forgather; nothing that I have said was said in secret. Why dost thou question Me? Ask those who listened to Me what My words were; they know well enough what I said. C. When He spoke thus, one of the officers, who was standing by, struck Jesus on the cheek, saying, S. Is this how Thou makest answer to the high priest?  C. Jesus answered, + If there was harm in what I said, tell us what was harmful in it; if not, why dost thou strike Me?

C. Annas, you must know, had sent Him on, still bound, to the high priest Caiphas. Meanwhile Simon Peter stood there, and warmed himself. So they asked him, S. Art thou, too, one of His disciples? C. And he denied it, saying, S. Not I. C. One of the high priest’s servants, a kinsman of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, said, S. Did I not see thee with Him in the garden? C. Whereupon Peter denied again; and immediately the cock crew.

 

And now they led Jesus away from the house of Caiphas to the governor’s palace. It was morning, and they would not enter the palace themselves; there was the Paschal meal to be eaten, and they must not incur defilement. So Pilate went to meet them without, and said, S. What charge do you bring against this man? C. They answered, S. We would not have given Him up to thee, if He had not been a malefactor. C. Pilate said to them, S. Take Him yourselves and judge Him according to your own law. C. Whereupon the Jews said to him, S. We have no power to put any man to death.  C. This was in fulfillment of the words Jesus had spoken when He prophesied what death He was to die.

So Pilate went back into the palace, and summoned Jesus, and asked Him: S. Art thou the king of the Jews? C. Jesus answered, + Dost thou say this of thy own accord, or is it what others have told thee of Me? C. And Pilate answered, S. Am I a Jew? It is Thy own nation, and its chief priests, who have given Thee up to me. What offence hast Thou committed? C. Jesus said +, My kingdom does not belong to this world. If My kingdom were one which belonged to this world, My servants should be fighting, to prevent My falling into the hands of the Jews, but no, My kingdom does not take its origin here. C. Pilate asked, S. Thou art a king, then? And C. Jesus answered, + It is thy own lips that have called Me a king. What I was born for, what I came into the world for, is to bear witness of the truth. Whoever belongs to the truth, listens to My voice. C. Pilate said to Him, S. What is truth? C. And with that he went back to the Jews again, and told them, S. I can find no fault in Him. You have a custom of demanding that I should release one prisoner at Paschal time; would you have me release the king of the Jews? C. Whereupon they all made a fresh outcry, S. Barabbas, not this man. C. Barabbas was a robber.

Then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him. And the

soldiers put on His head a crown which they had woven out of thorns, and dressed Him in a scarlet cloak; they would come up to Him and say, S. Hail, king of the Jews, C. and then strike Him on the face.

 

And now Pilate went out again, and said, S. See, I am bringing Him out to you, to show that I cannot find any fault in Him. C. Then, as Jesus came out still wearing the crown of thorns and the scarlet cloak, he said to them, S. See, here is the Man. C. When the chief priests and their officers saw Him, they cried out, S. Crucify Him crucify Him. C. Pilate said, S. Take Him yourselves, and crucify Him I cannot find any fault in Him. C. The Jews answered, S. We have our own law, and by our law He ought to die, for pretending to be the Son of God. C. When Pilate heard this said, he was more afraid than ever. Going back into the palace he asked Jesus, S. Whence hast Thou come? C. But Jesus gave him no answer. Pilate said, S. Hast Thou no word for me? Dost Thou not know that I have power to crucify Thee, and power to release Thee? C. Jesus answered, + Thou wouldst not have any power over Me at all, if it had not been given thee from above. That is why the man who gave Me up to thee is more guilty yet. C. After this, Pilate was for releasing Him, but the Jews went on crying out, S. Thou art no friend to Caesar, if thou dost release Him; the man who pretends to be a king is Caesar’s rival. C. When Pilate heard them speak thus, he brought Jesus out, and sat down on the judgement seat, in a place which is called Lithostrotos; its Hebrew name is Gabbatha. It was now about the sixth hour, on the eve of the Paschal feast. He said to the Jews, S. See, here is your king. C. But they cried out, S. Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him. C. Pilate said to them, S. Shall I crucify your king? C. The chief priests answered, S. We have no king, except Caesar. C. Thereupon he gave Jesus up into their hands, to be crucified.

And they, once He was in their hands, led Him away. So Jesus went out, carrying His own cross, to the place named after a skull, its Hebrew name is Golgotha. There they crucified Him, and with Him two others, one on each side with Jesus in the midst. And Pilate wrote out a proclamation, which he put on the cross; it ran, Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews. This proclamation was read by many of the Jews, since the place where Jesus was crucified was close to the city; it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. And the Jewish chief priests said to Pilate, S. Thou shouldst not write, The King of the Jews; thou shouldst write, This man said, I am the King of the Jews. C. Pilate’s answer was, S. What I have written, I have written.

 

C. The soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took up His garments, which they divided into four shares, one share for each soldier. They took up His cloak, too, which was without seam, woven from the top throughout; so they said to one another, S. Better not to tear it; let us cast lots to decide whose it shall be. C. This was in fulfillment of the passage in Scripture which says, They divide My spoils among them; cast lots for My clothing. So it was, then, that the soldiers occupied themselves; and meanwhile His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene, had taken their stand beside the cross of Jesus. And Jesus, seeing His mother there, and the disciple, too, whom He loved, standing by, said to His mother, + Woman, this is thy son. C. Then He said to the disciple, + This is thy mother. C. And from that hour the disciple took her into his own keeping.

 

And now Jesus knew well that all was achieved which the Scripture demanded for its accomplishment, and He said, + I am thirsty. C. There was a jar there full of vinegar; so they filled a sponge with the vinegar and put it on a stick of hyssop, and brought it close to His mouth. Jesus drank the vinegar, and said, + It is achieved. C. Then He bowed His head, and yielded up His spirit.

 

(Here all kneel and pause a little while)

 

The Jews would not let the bodies remain crucified on the Sabbath, because that Sabbath day was a solemn one; and since it was now the eve, they asked Pilate that the bodies might have their legs broken, and be taken away. And so the soldiers came and broke the legs both of the one and of the other that were crucified with Him but when they came to Jesus, and found Him already dead, they did not break His legs, but one of the soldiers opened His side with a spear; and immediately blood and water flowed out. He who saw it has borne his witness; and his witness is worthy of trust. He tells what he knows to be the truth, that you, like him, may learn to believe. This was so ordained to fulfil what is written: You shall not break a single bone of His. And again, another passage in Scripture says: They will look upon the Man whom they have pierced.

 

After this, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but in secret, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him leave; so he came and took Jesus’ body away; and with him was Nicodemus, the same who made his first visit to Jesus by night; he brought with him a mixture of myrrh and aloes, of about a hundred pounds’ weight. They took Jesus’ body, then, and wrapped it in winding cloths with the spices; that is how the Jews prepare a body for burial. In the same quarter where He was crucified there was a garden, with a new tomb in it, one in which no man had ever yet been buried. Here, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus, because of the Jewish feast on the morrow.

 

 

The Second Part of the Liturgy

 

The Solemn Prayers, which are also called " The Prayer of the Faithful"

 

For the Church

Dearly beloved, let us pray for the holy Church of God, that our Lord and God will deign to give her peace, to preserve her unity, and to guard her throughout the world, subduing principalities and powers under her sway, and that He will suffer us to lead a peaceful and quiet life, to the glory of God the almighty Father.

Let us pray. V. Let us kneel. R.. Arise.

Almighty, everlasting God, who in Christ hast revealed Thy glory to all nations, preserve the works of Thy mercy; and grant that Thy Church, spread over the whole world, may persevere with steadfast faith in bearing witness to Thy name: through the same Jesus Christ . . . All answer: Amen.

 

For the Pope

Let us pray also for our most blessed Pope John Paul, that our God and Lord, who chose him as Bishop, may keep him safe and sound for the welfare of His holy Church, to rule God’s holy people.

Let us pray. V. Let us kneel. R.. Arise.

Almighty, everliving God by whose decision all things are established, mercifully regard our prayers, and in Thy loving-kindness preserve the Bishop chosen for us: in order that the Christian people, ruled by Thy authority, may under this great pontiff increase in the merits of their faith: through our Lord . . . All answer: Amen.

 

For all Orders and Ranks of the Faithful

Let us pray also for all bishops, priests, deacons, subdeacons, acolytes, exorcists, readers, door-keepers, confessors, virgins, widows, and for all God’s holy people.

Let us pray. V. Let us kneel. R.. Arise.

Almighty, everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of the Church is sanctified and guided, heed our petition on behalf of all its orders and degrees, that, by the gift of Thy grace, all in their several stations may give Thee faithful service: Through our Lord . . . All answer: Amen.

 

For Rulers of States

Let us pray too for all rulers of states, and for their ministers and deputies, that our God and Lord may guide their minds and hearts according to His will and to our lasting peace.

Let us pray. V. Let us kneel. R. Arise.

Almighty, everlasting God, in whose hand lie all governments and the rights of every nation, look graciously upon our rulers, so that all over the world religion and public safety may stand whole and unimpaired under the shelter of Thy hand. Through our Lord . . . All answer: Amen.

 

For Catechumens

Let us pray also for our catechumens, that our God and Lord may open the ears of their hearts and the door of His mercy, so that all their sins being forgiven and washed away in the waters of spiritual rebirth, they too may abide in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Let us pray. V. Let us kneel. R. Arise.

Almighty, everliving God, who ever makest Thy Church fruitful with new offspring, increase faith and understanding in our catechumens, so that being reborn in the waters of baptism they may be numbered with Thy adopted children. Through our Lord . . . All answer: Amen.

 

For Those in Distress and Danger

Dearly beloved, let us pray that God the almighty Father will cleanse the world from all error; banish disease, ward off famine; open prisons; and loosen bonds; granting to travelers a safe return, to the sick health, and to mariners a secure haven.

Let us pray. V. Let us kneel. R. Arise.

Almighty, everlasting God, comfort of those who sorrow, support of those who toil, may the prayers of those who cry to Thee in any trouble reach Thy ear, and may they all rejoice that Thy mercy has been with them in their hour of need. Through our Lord . . . All answer Amen.

 

For Church Unity

Let us pray also for heretics and schismatics, that our God and Lord will rescue them from all their errors and deign to call them back to their holy mother, the Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Let us pray. V. Let us kneel. R. Arise.

Almighty, everliving God, who savest all men, and wouldst not that any should perish: look upon those souls who are deceived by the imposture of the devil, so that hearts which have gone astray may abandon the crookedness of heresy and come back repentant to the unity of Thy truth. Through our

Lord . . . All answer Amen.

 

For the Jews

Let us pray also for the unbelieving Jews: that our God and Lord will remove the veil from their hearts, so that they too may acknowledge our Lord Jesus Christ.

Let us pray. V. Let us kneel. R. Arise.

Almighty, eternal God who dost not withhold Thy mercy even from Jewish unbelief, heed the prayers we offer for the blindness of that people, that they may acknowledge the light of Thy truth, which is Christ, and be delivered from their darkness. Through the same . . . All answer Amen.

 

For Pagans

Let us pray also for the pagans: that almighty God will banish wickedness from their hearts; so that forsaking their idols, they may be converted to the living and true God, and His only Son, Jesus Christ our God and Lord.

Let us pray. V. Let us kneel. R. Arise.

Almighty, everliving God, who ever seekest the life of sinners, not their death, in mercy accept our prayer; deliver them from the worship of idols and unite them to Thy holy Church, to the honour and glory of Thy name. Through our Lord . . . All answer Amen.

 

 

The Third Part of the Liturgy

 

The Solemn Adoration of the Holy Cross

 

At the end of the solemn prayers, the adoration of the Cross begins. The holy Cross is first brought from the sacristy to the middle of the Sanctuary. All stand. Then the holy Cross is uncovered in the following way:

The celebrant goes up to the epistle side, stands facing the people and uncovers part of the holy Cross, at the top. Then he sings the antiphon:

 

Behold the wood of the Cross, on which was lifted up the Savior of the world. R. Come, Let us adore.

 

All kneel down and adore in silence.

 

Then the celebrant ascends the altar steps on the epistle side, uncovers the right arm of the crucifix and sings a second time:

 

Behold the wood of the Cross, on which was lifted up the Savior of the world. R. Come, Let us adore.

 

The celebrant goes to the middle of the altar, completely uncovers the Cross and sings again, at a higher pitch:

 

Behold the wood of the Cross, on which was lifted up the Savior of the world. R. Come, Let us adore.

 

After the Cross is uncovered, the solemn adoration begins. During the adoration of the holy Cross, the Reproaches, as they are called, are sung, with the hymns that follow. The celebrant and all those who have adored the holy Cross sit and listen. The singing is continued as long as the number of those making their adoration requires it; it is always concluded with:

Honour let men pay undying to the Blessed Trinity, as below.

 

The Reproaches

 

I

O My people, what have I done to thee? or wherein have I aggrieved thee? Answer Me.

Because I led thee out of the land of Egypt, thou hast prepared a Cross for thy Saviour.

Holy is God!

Holy is God!

Holy and strong!

Holy and strong!

Holy immortal one, have mercy upon us.

Holy immortal one, have mercy upon us.

Because I guided thee forth through the desert for forty years, and fed thee with manna, and brought thee into a right good land, thou hast prepared a Cross for thy Saviour.

 

Holy is God!

Holy is God!

Holy and strong!

Holy and strong!

Holy immortal one, have mercy upon us.

Holy immortal one, have mercy upon us.

What more should I have done for thee that I have not done? I, even I, planted thee to be My fairest vineyard: and thou hast made thyself exceeding bitter to Me; for thou hast slaked My thirst with vinegar, and pierced with a lance thy Saviour's side.

Holy is God!

Holy is God!

Holy and strong!

Holy and strong!

Holy immortal one, have mercy upon us.

Holy immortal one, have mercy upon us.

 

II

For thy sake I scourged Egypt with her first-born: and thou didst hand Me over to be scourged.

O My people, what have I done to thee? or wherein have I aggrieved thee? Answer Me.

I led thee out of Egypt, drowning Pharaoh in the Red Sea : and thou didst deliver Me to the chief priests.

O My people, what have I done to thee? or wherein have I aggrieved thee? Answer Me.

 

I opened the sea before thee: and thou didst open My side with a spear.

O My people, what have I done to thee? or wherein have I aggrieved thee? Answer Me.

I went before thee in a column of cloud: and thou hast led Me to the judgement-hall of Pilate.

O My people, what have I done to thee? or wherein have I aggrieved thee? Answer Me.

I fed thee with manna through the desert: and thou didst smite Me with blows and scourges.

O My people, what have I done to thee? or wherein have I aggrieved thee? Answer Me.

I gave thee to drink wholesome water from the rock: and thou gavest Me gall and vinegar.

O My people, what have I done to thee? or wherein have I aggrieved thee? Answer Me.

For thy sake I smote the kings of the Canaanites: and thou didst strike My head with a reed.

 

O My people, what have I done to thee? or wherein have I aggrieved thee? Answer Me.

I gave thee a royal sceptre and thou didst put a crown of thorns upon My head.

O My people, what have I done to thee? or wherein have I aggrieved thee? Answer Me.

I raised thee up with mighty power: and thou didst hang Me upon the gibbet of the Cross.

O My people, what have I done to thee? or wherein have I aggrieved thee? Answer Me.

 

III

Antiphon

We worship Thy Cross, 0 Lord: and we praise and glorify Thy holy resurrection: for, behold by the wood of the Cross came joy into the whole world. Ps. 66. 2. May God be merciful to us and bless us: may He shine graciously on us and show us His mercy. We worship Thy Cross, 0 Lord: and we praise and glorify Thy holy resurrection: for, behold by the wood of the Cross came joy into the whole world.

 

IV

 

Antiphon

Faithful Cross, of trees created

Noblest tree of all art thou;

Forest none bears trees as thou art,

Like in leaf, or flower, or bough.

Dear the nails, and dear the timber

Dear the load they bear aloft.

 

Hymn

Sing, my tongue the glorious battle

Sing the victor's crown of bay,

To the Cross, our noble trophy,

Here a fitting tribute pay

Telling how the world's Redeemer

Slain as Victim, won the day.

Faithful Cross, of trees created

Noblest tree of all art thou;

Forest none bears trees as thou art,

Like in leaf, or flower, or bough.

God, our Maker, saw with pity

Our first parents led astray,

When for eating fruit forbidden

Death had claimed them as its prey;

So a second tree He chose, that

Should the first tree's damage pay.

Dear the nails, and dear the timber

Dear the Load they bear aloft.

 

Thus the plan of our salvation

God of old did preordain,

And a subtler art outwitted

All the crafty foe did feign:

Art that sought and found our healing

In the source of all our bane.

Faithful Cross, of trees created

Noblest tree of all art thou;

Forest none bears trees as thou art,

Like in leaf, or flower, or bough.

Therefore, in the course of ages,

Dawned at length that holy morn

When our Maker, by His Father

Sent from heaven, did not scorn

Taking flesh, to come among us,

Of a lowly maiden born.

Dear the nails, and dear the timber

Dear the load they bear aloft.

 

Hear the helpless Baby crying,

Where the narrow manger stands;

See how she, His Virgin Mother,

Ties His limbs with slender bands,

Swaddling clothes she wraps about Him,

And confines God's feet and hands!

Faithful Cross, of trees created

Noblest tree of all art thou;

Forest none bears trees as thou art,

Like in leaf, or flower, or bough.

Thirty years He dwelt among us

Till, His term of life fulfilled,

Our Redeemer duly yielded

To the fate He freely willed:

Cross of wood became an altar,

And the Paschal Lamb was killed.

Dear the nails, and dear the timber

Dear the Load they bear aloft.

 

Gall His drink, as He hangs dying;

Where the thorns and nails and spear

Pierced that tender Body, mingled

Blood and water there appear:

Stream to purify creation

Earth and sea and starry sphere.

Faithful Cross, of trees created

Noblest tree of all art thou;

Forest none bears trees as thou art,

Like in leaf, or flower, or bough.

Bend, proud tree, thy spreading branches,

Loosen thy rigidity,

All that ruggedness begotten

Of thy stern heredity:

Thine to throne the King of heaven

Hold His body tenderly.

Dear the nails, and dear the timber

Dear the Load they bear aloft.

 

Thou didst carry our Redeemer

Thou alone wast worthy thought;

Ark of our salvation, thou hast

Shipwrecked souls to haven brought,

Sprinkled with the sacred blood, with

Which the Lamb our pardon bought.

Faithful Cross, of trees created

Noblest tree of all art thou;

Forest none bears trees as thou art,

Like in leaf, or flower, or bough.

The conclusion is never to be omitted.

Glory, throughout time unending,

To the Holy Trinity,

Father, Son, in equal measure;

Holy Ghost in like degree;

Let all nations join in praising

Him who is both One and Three. Amen.

Dear the nails, and dear the timber

Dear the load they bear aloft.

 

 

The Fourth Part of the Liturgy

 

The Communion

 

When the adoration of the Cross has ended, the Cross itself is carried back to the altar and there placed in the center.

Then the Blessed Sacrament is brought forth from the place where it was reserved to the high altar for the Communion which now takes place.

 

During this time the choir sings the following antiphons:

We adore Thee, Christ, and bless Thee, for by Thy Cross thou hast redeemed the world.

 

By a tree we were enslaved, and by the holy Cross we are set free: the fruit of the tree led us astray, but the Son of God has ransomed us.

 

O Saviour of the world, save us; Thou our God, who by Thy Cross and Blood has ransomed us, come, we beseech Thee, to our aid.

 

Then the celebrant, with hands joined, says alone:

Let us pray. Taught by our Saviour’s command and following His divine instruction, we make bold to say:

 

Keeping his hands joined, the celebrant and all present say in Latin:

Pater noster, qui es in cælis: Sanctificétur nomen tuum. Advéniat regnum tuum. Fiat volúntas tua sicut in cælo et in terra. Panem nostrum quotidiánum da nobis hódie: et dimítte nobis débita nostra, sicut et nos dimíttimus debitóribus nostris. Et ne nos indúcas in tentatiónem; sed líbera nos a malo. Amen.

 

The priest continues with the following prayers from the Canon:

Libera nos...

Perceptio corporis tui....

Domine non sum dignus....

Corpus Domini...

Confiteor et absolutiones...

Agnus Dei...

Whilst Holy Communion is being given, Psalm 21 may be sung.

When Communion has been given, the celebrant says the following three prayers. All stand and reply: Amen.

First prayer

Let us pray. We entreat Thee, Lord, to send down Thy abundant blessing upon Thy people who have devoutly recalled the passion and death of Thy Son. Grant them pardon and give them comfort. May their holy faith increase, and their eternal salvation be assured: through the same Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

 

Second Prayer

Let us pray. Almighty and merciful God, who by the blessed Passion and death of Thy anointed Son hast renewed our human nature, perpetuate in us Thy merciful work, so that we who partake of this Eucharist may never cease to give Thee dedicated service: through the same Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

 

Third Prayer

Let us pray. Remember Thy mercies, Lord, and under Thy unfailing shelter hallow Thy servants, for whose sake Christ, Thy Son, shed His own blood, and thereby founded the Easter sacrament: through the same Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.