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 For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,
'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.' - 1 Corinthians 1:18-19
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 For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.. 1 Corinthians 1:22-24
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 For God's foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God's weakness is stronger than human strength.
God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.
- 1 Corinthians 1:25,27
Let us venerate the cross.
Through it, we have received the sacrament of reconciliation.
From the book On the Holy Spirit by Saint Basil, bishop
When mankind was estranged from him by disobedience, God our Saviour made a plan for raising us from our fall and restoring us to friendship with himself. According to this plan Christ came in the flesh, he showed us the gospel way of life, he suffered, died on the cross, was buried and rose from the dead. He did this so that we could be saved by imitation of him, and recover our original status as sons of God by adoption.
To attain holiness, then, we must not only pattern our lives on Christís by being gentle, humble and patient, we must also imitate him in his death. Taking Christ for his model, Paul said that he wanted to become like him in his death in the hope that he too would be raised from death to life.
We imitate Christís death by being buried with him in baptism. If we ask what this kind of burial means and what benefit we may hope to derive from it, it means first of all making a complete break with our former way of life, and our Lord himself said that this cannot be done unless a man is born again. In other words, we have to begin a new life, and we cannot do so until our previous life has been brought to an end. When runners reach the turning point on a racecourse, they have to pause briefly before they can go back in the opposite direction. So also when we wish to reverse the direction of our lives there must be a pause, or a death, to mark the end of one life and the beginning of another.
Our descent into hell takes place when we imitate the burial of Christ by our baptism. The bodies of the baptised are in a sense buried in the water as a symbol of their renunciation of the sins of their unregenerate nature. As the Apostle says: "The circumcision you have undergone is not an operation performed by human hands, but the complete stripping away of your unregenerate nature. This is the circumcision that Christ gave us, and it is accomplished by our burial with him in baptism." Baptism cleanses the soul from the pollution of worldly thoughts and inclinations: " You will wash me," says the psalmist, "and I shall be whiter than snow." We receive this saving baptism only once because there was only one death and one resurrection for the salvation of the world, and baptism is its symbol.
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.