Hymn O sacred Head, now wounded, with grief and shame weighed down,
Now scornfully surrounded with thorns, Thine only crown;
How pale Thou art with anguish, with sore abuse and scorn!
How does that visage languish, which once was bright as morn!
What Thou, my Lord, hast suffered, was all for sinners' gain;
Mine, mine was the transgression, but Thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior! 'Tis I deserve Thy place;
Look on me with Thy favor, vouchsafe to me Thy grace.
O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, unto the ages of ages. Amen
TERCE Antiphon: Before the feast of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come; he had always loved those who were his own, and now he would show them the depth of his love.
Reading Our transgressions and our sins weigh upon us, and we waste away because of them; how then can we live?' As I live, says the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from their ways and live. - Ezekiel 33:10-11
Responsory He freely gave himself in sacrifice.
He said no word in his own defense.
SEXT Antiphon: I know my sheep and my sheep know me just as the Father knows me and I know the Fatherand I lay down my life for the sheep.
Reading Remember how I stood before you
to speak good for them,
to turn away your wrath from them. Jeremiah 18:20
Responsory Ours were the sufferings he bore
Ours the weight of guilt he endured,
NONES Antiphon: For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. I glory in the cross of my Lord Jesus Christ.
Reading Thus says the Lord:
The people who survived the sword
found grace in the wilderness;
I have loved you with an everlasting love;
therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.
Again I will build you, and you shall be built,
O virgin Israel! - Jeremiah 31:2-4
Let us venerate the cross.
Through it, we have received the sacrament of reconciliation.
Almighty God, whose dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other that the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Almighty God, as we stand at the foot of the cross of your Son, help us to see and know your love for us, so that in humility, love and joy we may place at his feet all that we have and all that we are; through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.
V Let us bless the Lord. R Thanks be to God.
May the life-giving cross
be the source of all our joy and peace. Amen.
From the Office of Readings
From a sermon by Saint Augustine, bishop
The passion of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the hope of glory and a lesson in patience.
What may not the hearts of believers promise themselves as the gift of Godís grace, when for their sake Godís only Son, co-eternal with the Father, was not content only to be born as man from human stock but even died at the hands of the men he had created?
It is a great thing that we are promised by the Lord, but far greater is what has already been done for us, and which we now commemorate. Where were the sinners, what were they, when Christ died for them? When Christ has already given us the gift of his death, who is to doubt that he will give the saints the gift of his own life? Why does our human frailty hesitate to believe that mankind will one day live with God?
Who is Christ if not the Word of God: “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God?” This Word of God “was made flesh and dwelt among us.” He had no power of himself to die for us: he had to take from us our mortal flesh. This was the way in which, though immortal, he was able to die; the way in which he chose to give life to mortal men: he would first share with us, and then enable us to share with him. Of ourselves we had no power to live, nor did he of himself have the power to die.
In other words, he performed the most wonderful exchange with us. Through us, he died; through him, we shall live.
The death of the Lord our God should not be a cause of shame for us; rather, it should be our greatest hope, our greatest glory. In taking upon himself the death that he found in us, he has most faithfully promised to give us life in him, such as we cannot have of ourselves.
He loved us so much that, sinless himself, he suffered for us sinners the punishment we deserved for our sins. How then can he fail to give us the reward we deserve for our righteousness, for he is the source of righteousness? How can he, whose promises are true, fail to reward the saints when he bore the punishment of sinners, though without sin himself?
Brethren, let us then fearlessly acknowledge, and even openly proclaim, that Christ was crucified for us; let us confess it, not in fear but in joy, not in shame but in glory.
The apostle Paul saw Christ, and extolled his claim to glory. He had many great and inspired things to say about Christ, but he did not say that he boasted in Christís wonderful works: in creating the world, since he was God with the Father, or in ruling the world, though he was also a man like us. Rather, he said: “Let me not boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”