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 Continually we carry in our bodies the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies. For while we live, we are always being given up to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you. - 2 Cor 4:10-12
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 But rejoice insofar as you are sharing Christ's sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory, which is the Spirit of God, is resting on you. 1 Peter 4:13-14
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 And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. - 1 Peter 5:10-11
Let us venerate the cross.
Through it, we have received the sacrament of reconciliation.
Almighty and everliving God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ 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 Andrew of Crete, bishop
Let us go together to meet Christ on the Mount of Olives. Today he returns from Bethany and proceeds of his own free will toward his holy and blessed passion, to consummate the mystery of our salvation. He who came down from heaven to raise us from the depths of sin, to raise us with himself, we are told in Scripture, "above every sovereignty, authority and power, and every other name that can be named," now comes of his own free will to make his journey to Jerusalem. He comes without pomp or ostentation. As the psalmist says: "He will not dispute or raise his voice to make it heard in the streets." He will be meek and humble, and he will make his entry in simplicity.
Let us run to accompany him as he hastens toward his passion, and imitate those who met him then, not by covering his path with garments, olive branches or palms, but by doing all we can to prostrate ourselves before him by being humble and by trying to live as he would wish. Then we shall be able to receive the Word at his coming, and God, whom no limits can contain, will be within us.
In his humility Christ entered the dark regions of our fallen world and he is glad that he became so humble for our sake, glad that he came and lived among us and shared in our nature in order to raise us up again to himself. And even though we are told that he has now ascended above the highest heavens – the proof, surely, of his power and godhead – his love for man will never rest until he has raised our earthbound nature from glory to glory, and made it one with his own in heaven.
So let us spread before his feet, not garments or soulless olive branches, which delight the eye for a few hours and then wither, but ourselves, clothed in his grace, or rather, clothed completely in him. We who have been baptised into Christ must ourselves be the garments that we spread before him. Now that the crimson stains of our sins have been washed away in the saving waters of baptism and we have become white as pure wool, let us present the conqueror of death, not with mere branches of palms but with the real rewards of his victory. Let our souls take the place of the welcoming branches as we join today in the children’s holy song: "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Blessed is the king of Israel."