Sunday, 31 March 2013

An Easter Song

Another bit of my poetry for Easter. This one is a more joyful poem, rather in contrast to my others... Enjoy.

An Easter Song
by The Maestro

Lo! He rises from the grave,
Humanity redeemed and saved,
Death o’erthrown and life restored—
Behold and see thy risen Lord!

Christ, who died a wretched death,
Arising from abysmal depths,
Opens wide the gates on high—
And now is thy salvation nigh!

Crucified for us, and spurned,
Now hath our Lord the tables turned:
Demons cower at the sight
Of Christ, the God-Man, in His might!

Saints be made, and sin be damned:
Now enter ye the promised land!
Sin doth no more bonds impose:
Thou canst now find thy heart's repose.

Celebrate this Eastertide,
And lay thy dismal ways aside.
Sing a song now joyfully,
For Christ has risen, finally!

Christus Surrexit! - Propers for Easter Sunday

INTROIT (Ps. 138:18, 5-6)
I arose, and am still with you, alleluia! You have laid your hand upon me, alleluia! your knowledge has proven wonderful, alleluia, alleluia! 
Ps. 138:1-2. O Lord, You have proved me and You know me; You know when I sit and when I stand. 
V. Glory be . . .

On this day, O God, You overcame death through Your only-begotten Son, and opened to us the gate of everlasting life. Help us continually to carry out by our actins the desires that You put into our hearts. Through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord . . .

EPISTLE (I Cor. 5:7-8)
Brethren: Purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new paste, as you are unleavened. For Christ our pasch is sacrificed. Therefore, let us feast, not with the old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness: but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

GRADUAL (Ps. 117:24, 1)
This is the day the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it. 
V. Praise the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endures forever.

Alleluia, alleluia! V. (I Cor. 5:7)
For Christ, our passover, has been sacrificed.

May you praise the Paschal Victim,
immolated for Christians.
The Lamb redeemed the sheep:
Christ, the innocent one,
has reconciled sinners to the Father.

A wonderful duel to behold,
as death and life struggle:
The Prince of life dead,
now reigns alive.
Tell us, Mary Magdalen,
what did you see in the way?

"I saw the sepulchre of the living Christ,
and I saw the glory of the Resurrected one:
The Angelic witnesses,
the winding cloth, and His garments.
The risen Christ is my hope:
He will go before His own into Galilee."
We know Christ to have risen
truly from the dead:
And thou, victorious King,
have mercy on us.
Amen. Alleluia.

GOSPEL (Mark 16:1-7)
At that time, Mary Magdalen and Mary the mother of James and Salome bought sweet spices, that coming, they might anoint Jesus. And very early in the morning, the first day of the week, they come to the sepulchre, the sun being now risen. And they said one to another: "Who shall roll us back the stone from the door of the sepulchre?" And looking, they saw the stone rolled back. For it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed with a white robe: and they were astonished. Who saith to them: "Be not affrighted. you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen: he is not here. Behold the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee. There you shall see him, as he told you."

The earth was fearful and silent when God arose in judgment, alleluia!

Accept, O Lord, the prayers and sacrifice of Your people. May the beginning of this Easter celebration, through Your help, heal us for all eternity. Through Our Lord . . .

Christ, our passover, has been sacrificed, alleluia! Therefore let us keep festival with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

O Lord, fill us with the spirit of Your love, so that by receiving this Easter Sacrament our hearts may be united in You. Through Our Lord . . .

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Bishop Challoner - Meditations for Good Friday and Holy Saturday



Consider first, how our Lord having with a loud and strong voice uttered those last words of his, ‘Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit,’ leans down his head, in perfect submission to his Father’s will, and gives up the ghost, to consummate the great sacrifice of the redemption of the world. Stand astonished, my soul, in the contemplation of this incomprehensible mystery, that Life itself should die, to deliver thee from a second death, and to impart to thee eternal life. O! consider well who this is that hangs here dead before thy eyes? The Word, the Wisdom, the Son of the eternal God; the Lord of glory, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the great Creator of heaven and earth. But O how strangely has he here debased himself! how wonderfully is he here metamorphosed for the love of thee! Draw near, however, in spirit, and cast thyself down at the foot of the cross, and there exercise thyself in acts of faith, hope, love, and contrition for thy sins; there pour forth thyself in the sight of thy God in acts of adoration, praise, and thanksgiving; there make a total oblation of thyself to thy crucified Saviour, to be his both in life and death, time and eternity.

Consider 2ndly, how our Lord, in the midst of all the ignominies and torments of his passion and death, begins to reign from the cross, and is even there highly honoured and exalted by his heavenly Father. The title that hangs over his head declares him to be the ‘King of the Jews,’ even their Messias, of whom the Prophets had delivered such wonders. All nature loudly proclaims him her King and her God; the sun withdraws his light for the whole three hours that he hangs upon the cross; at his death the whole earth trembles, the rocks are split, the monuments are opened, the dead arise, the veil of the temple that hangs before the inward sanctuary is rent from top to bottom, to show that the law and its figures are now all accomplished, and the sanctuary of heaven laid open. See, my soul, how he already begins from the cross to verify what he had said, St. John xii. 32, ‘If I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all things to myself.’ One of the thieves that were crucified with him is the first that experiences this miraculous attraction, and in an instant is changed into a saint; the centurion or captain of the soldiers that assisted at if the execution is the next, and loudly declares him to be the Son of God: ‘And all the multitude of them that were come together to that sight, and saw the things that done, return striking their breasts,’ St. Luke xxiii. 48. O dear Jesus, let my poor heart share also in this mercy; look down upon it from thy cross, which thou hast chosen for the throne of thy mercy and grace, and be pleased to draw it also to thyself; and to make it wholly thine from henceforth and for ever.

Consider 3rdly, how our Lord by his death triumphs over all his enemies. He casts out Satan, the ruler of this wicked world, from his usurped dominions, and binds him up in chains, by greatly abridging all the power of death, sin, and hell; he judges and condemns the world with all its favourite maxims; he exposes and pulls down human pride; he shows forth the folly of worldly wisdom, and the vanity and deceitfulness of earthly honours, riches, and carnal pleasures, and of all that is not agreeable to the cross; and he sets up this victorious standard for all nations, as the royal ensign of his kingdom, under which his true soldiers shall ever fight and triumph over the world, the flesh, and the devil, till they arrive at the crown of life, which he has purchased for them by his death. But see, my soul, how in the midst of all his triumphs he invites in a particular manner all poor sinners to his mercy. See how, with his head bowed down towards them, he offers them the kiss of peace; see how his arms are open to receive them; see how all his gaping wounds invite them to come and shelter themselves there from the divine wrath. O let us embrace these his offers of mercy, on this day of mercy!

Conclude to celebrate on this day, in the best manner thou art able, thy Saviour’s victory over sin and hell. Adore him most profoundly under all the ignominy of his cross; acknowledge him for thy king, for the true king of thy heart, and beg that he would henceforward abolish the reign of sin in thee. Embrace with all thy affection the sacred wounds of his passion, and choose them for the place of thy habitation for ever.



Consider first, how after our Lord had expired upon the cross one of the soldiers opened his side with a spear, making a wide and deep wound, out of which there presently issued blood and water, to wash and cleanse us from all our stains. See, my soul, how the heart of thy Saviour is now laid open for thee. O! enter into it in spirit, through this gate: O make it thy dwelling place for evermore. Consider in this mysterious blood and water issuing from the side of our Lord the heavenly sacraments, which issued from his wounds, (inasmuch as they have all their virtue from his sacred passion,) but especially the sacrament of his body and blood, and that of the sacred laver of baptism. See also here how our second Adam being now cast into the deep sleep of death, his side is opened to form from thence his Church, designed to be his everlasting bride.

Consider 2ndly, how Joseph of Arimathea, (who before durst not declare himself a disciple of Christ,) having obtained of Pilate leave to take away his body for decent burial, being accompanied by Nicodemus, and joined in this last duty by St. John and other disciples, unnailed the sacred body, and took it down from the cross. Run in, Christian soul, in spirit, and offer thy service upon this occasion; receive into thy arms the dead body of thy Redeemer, and lay it on the sacred lap of his Virgin Mother; and learn from her whole comportment at this melancholy ceremony the sentiments of a most affectionate devotion towards the passion and death of her Son. Join in embalming thy Saviour’s body and wrapping it up in clean linen, and laying it in a new monument, by learning the exercise of those virtues which are signified by those aromatical spices and perfumes, and by that clean linen and new monument. Especially whenever thou approachest to the body of our Lord in the blessed sacrament, see thou take along with thee the sweet odours of devotion, a pure conscience, and the cleanness of the new man.

Consider 3rdly, how our Lord lying now in his monument verifies that of the Psalmist, Ps. lxxxvii, ‘I am counted among them that go down to the pit; I am become as a man without help, free among the dead. Like the slain sleeping in the sepulchres, whom thou rememberest no more; and they are cast of from thy hand. They have laid me in the lower pit, in the dark, and in the shadow of death. Thou hast put away my acquaintance far from me,’ &c. Yes, my soul, thy Saviour lies now shut up in a lonesome monument in darkness, like one dead for ever! and as such is left and forsaken by his living friends and acquaintance. See thou leave him not, but stay with him, and watch at his sepulchre in prayer. Weep there over him with tears of compassion for his sufferings, of compunction for all thy sins, and of a tender love for his infinite goodness and his love for thee.

Conclude to keep thyself always near to thy Saviour, by daily meditating on his life and death; and thou mayest confidently hope that he will always be near to thee, both in life and death.

Friday, 29 March 2013

St. Thomas on the Death of Christ

Whether it was fitting that Christ should die?

Objection 1. It would seem that it was not fitting that Christ should die. For a first principle in any order is not affected by anything contrary to such order: thus fire, which is the principle of heat, can never become cold. But the Son of God is the fountain-head and principle of all life, according to Psalm 35:10: "With Thee is the fountain of life." Therefore it does not seem fitting for Christ to die.

Objection 2. Further, death is a greater defect than sickness, because it is through sickness that one comes to die. But it was not beseeming for Christ to languish from sickness, as Chrysostom [Athanasius, Orat. de Incarn. Verbi] says. Consequently, neither was it becoming for Christ to die.

Objection 3. Further, our Lord said (John 10:10): "I am come that they may have life, and may have it more abundantly." But one opposite does not lead to another. Therefore it seems that neither was it fitting for Christ to die.

On the contrary, It is written, (John 11:50): "It is expedient that one man should die for the people . . . that the whole nation perish not": which words were spoken prophetically by Caiphas, as the Evangelist testifies.

I answer that, It was fitting for Christ to die. First of all to satisfy for the whole human race, which was sentenced to die on account of sin, according to Genesis 2:17: "In what day soever ye shall [Vulgate: 'thou shalt'] eat of it ye shall [Vulgate: 'thou shalt'] die the death." Now it is a fitting way of satisfying for another to submit oneself to the penalty deserved by that other. And so Christ resolved to die, that by dying He might atone for us, according to 1 Peter 3:18: "Christ also died once for our sins." Secondly, in order to show the reality of the flesh assumed. For, as Eusebius says (Orat. de Laud. Constant. xv), "if, after dwelling among men Christ were suddenly to disappear from men's sight, as though shunning death, then by all men He would be likened to a phantom." Thirdly, that by dying He might deliver us from fearing death: hence it is written (Hebrews 2:14-15) that He communicated "to flesh and blood, that through death He might destroy him who had the empire of death and might deliver them who, through the fear of death, were all their lifetime subject to servitude." Fourthly, that by dying in the body to the likeness of sin--that is, to its penalty--He might set us the example of dying to sin spiritually. Hence it is written (Romans 6:10): "For in that He died to sin, He died once, but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God: so do you also reckon that you are dead to sin, but alive unto God." Fifthly, that by rising from the dead, and manifesting His power whereby He overthrew death, He might instill into us the hope of rising from the dead. Hence the Apostle says (1 Corinthians 15:12): "If Christ be preached that He rose again from the dead, how do some among you say, that there is no resurrection from the dead?"

Reply to Objection 1. Christ is the fountain of life, as God, and not as man: but He died as man, and not as God. Hence Augustine [Vigilius Tapsensis] says against Felician: "Far be it from us to suppose that Christ so felt death that He lost His life inasmuch as He is life in Himself; for, were it so, the fountain of life would have run dry. Accordingly, He experienced death by sharing in our human feeling, which of His own accord He had taken upon Himself, but He did not lose the power of His Nature, through which He gives life to all things."

Reply to Objection 2. Christ did not suffer death which comes of sickness, lest He should seem to die of necessity from exhausted nature: but He endured death inflicted from without, to which He willingly surrendered Himself, that His death might be shown to be a voluntary one.

Reply to Objection 3. One opposite does not of itself lead to the other, yet it does so indirectly at times: thus cold sometimes is the indirect cause of heat: and in this way Christ by His death brought us back to life, when by His death He destroyed our death; just as he who bears another's punishment takes such punishment away.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Propers for Maundy Thursday Mass and Stripping of the Altar

INTROIT (Ga. 6:14)
But it is fitting that we should glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom is salvation, life and resurrection for us, by whom we are saved and delivered. 
Ps. 66:2. May God have mercy on us and bless us; may He let His face shine upon us; and may He have mercy on us. But it is fitting . . .

O God, who punished Judas for his crime and rewarded the good thief for his penitence, be merciful to us! Our Lord Jesus Christ in His passion gave each one recompense according to his deserts; may He deliver us from our sins of old, and bestow on us the grace of His resurrection; who lives and rules with You . . .

EPISTLE (I Cor. 11:20-32)
Brethren: When you come therefore together into one place, it is not now to eat the Lord's supper. For every one taketh before his own supper to eat. And one indeed is hungry and another is drunk. What, have you no houses to eat and to drink in? Or despise ye the church of God and put them to shame that have not? What shall I say to you? Do I praise you? In this I praise you not.  For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread, And giving thanks, broke and said: Take ye and eat: This is my body, which shall be delivered for you. This do for the commemoration of me. In like manner also the chalice, after he had supped, saying: This chalice is the new testament in my blood. This do ye, as often as you shall drink, for the commemoration of me. For as often as you shall eat this bread and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, until he come. Therefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord. Therefore are there many infirm and weak among you: and many sleep. But if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But whilst we are judged, we are chastised by the Lord, that we be not condemned with this world.

GRADUAL (Philipp. 2:8-9)
For us Christ became obedient to death, even to death on a cross.
V. Therefore God also has exalted Him and has bestowed upon Him the name that is above every name.

GOSPEL (John 13:1-15)
Before the festival day of the pasch, Jesus knowing that his hour was come, that he should pass out of this world to the Father: having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And when supper was done (the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray him), Knowing that the Father had given him all things into his hands and that he came from God and goeth to God, He riseth from supper and layeth aside his garments and, having taken a towel, girded himself. After that, he putteth water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. He cometh therefore to Simon Peter. And Peter saith to him: “Lord, dost thou wash my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him: “What I do, thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.” Peter saith to him: “Thou shalt never wash my feet“. Jesus answered him: “If I wash thee not, thou shalt have no part with me.” Simon Peter saith to him: “Lord, not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.” Jesus saith to him: “He that is washed needeth not but to wash his feet, but is clean wholly. And you are clean, but not all.” For he knew who he was that would betray him; therefore he said: “You are not all clean.” Then after he had washed their feet and taken his garments, being set down again, he said to them: “Know you what I have done to you? You call me Master and Lord. And you say well: for so I am. If then I being your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that as I have done to you, so you do also.”

The right hand of the Lord has exercised power, the right hand of the Lord has lifted me up. I shall not die, but live, and shall declare the works of the Lord.

O Lord, Holy Father, Almighty and Eternal God, may our sacrifice be acceptable to You through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who on this day commanded His disciples to perform this rite in commemoration of Him; who lives and rules with You . . .

COMMUNION ANTIPHON (John 13:12, 13, 15)
The Lord Jesus, after He had eaten the supper with His disciples, washed their feet, and said to them, “Do you know what I, your Lord and Master, have done to you? I have given you an example, that you also should do.”

We are nourished by the Bread of Life, O Lord our God. may this most sacred rite of our mortal life bestow upon us Your gift of immortality. Through Our Lord . . .

The Blessed Sacrament is carried by the celebrant in procession to the altar of repose. while the Pange lingua is sung.

They have divided my garments among them, and for my vesture they have cast lots.

Psalm 21: O God my God, look upon me: why hast thou forsaken me? Far from my salvation are the words of my sins.
O my God, I shall cry by day, and thou wilt not hear: and by night, and it shall not be reputed as folly in me.
But thou dwellest in the holy place, the praise of Israel.
In thee have our fathers hoped: they have hoped, and thou hast delivered them.
They cried to thee, and they were saved: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.
But I am a worm, and no man: the reproach of men, and the outcast of the people.
All they that saw me have laughed me to scorn: they have spoken with the lips, and wagged the head.
“He hoped in the Lord, let him deliver him: let him save him, seeing he delighteth in him.”
For thou art he that hast drawn me out of the womb: my hope from the breasts of my mother.
I was cast upon thee from the womb. From my mother's womb thou art my God,
Depart not from me. For tribulation is very near: for there is none to help me.
Many calves have surrounded me: fat bulls have besieged me.
They have opened their mouths against me, as a lion ravening and roaring.
I am poured out like water; and all my bones are scattered. My heart is become like wax melting in the midst of my bowels.
My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue hath cleaved to my jaws: and thou hast brought me down into the dust of death.
For many dogs have encompassed me: the council of the malignant hath besieged me. They have dug my hands and feet.
They have numbered all my bones. And they have looked and stared upon me.
They parted my garments amongst them; and upon my vesture they cast lots.
But thou, O Lord, remove not thy help to a distance from me; look towards my defense.
Deliver, O God, my soul from the sword: my only one from the hand of the dog.
Save me from the lion's mouth; and my lowness from the horns of the unicorns.
I will declare thy name to my brethren: in the midst of the church will I praise thee.
Ye that fear the Lord, praise him: all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him.
Let all the seed of Israel fear him: because he hath not slighted nor despised the supplication of the poor man. Neither hath he turned away his face form me: and when I cried to him he heard me.
With thee is my praise in a great church: I will pay my vows in the sight of them that fear him.
The poor shall eat and shall be filled: and they shall praise the Lord that seek him: their hearts shall live for ever and ever.
All the ends of the earth shall remember, and shall be converted to the Lord: And all the kindreds of the Gentiles shall adore in his sight.
For the kingdom is the Lord's; and he shall have dominion over the nations.
All the fat ones of the earth have eaten and have adored: all they that go down to the earth shall fall before him.
And to him my soul shall live: and my seed shall serve him.
There shall be declared to the Lord a generation to come: and the heavens shall shew forth his justice to a people that shall be born, which the Lord hath made.

ANTIPHON: They have divided my garments among them, and for my vesture they have cast lots.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Garrigou-Lagrange on the Amount of Christ's Sufferings

The following is taken from Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange's Reality: A Thomistic Synthesis.


Why did Jesus suffer so much, seeing that the least of His sufferings offered with such love would superabundantly suffice for our salvation? 

In answer, let us look at our Savior's sufferings from three points of view; our own, His own, and that of God the Father.

a) We need to be Illumined on how to receive the greatest testimony of love, accompanied by the highest example of heroic virtue. Now there is no greater love than giving life for those we love. 

b) Christ Himself must fulfil His redemptive mission in the highest manner. Now, as priest, no victim but Himself was worthy. And to be a perfect holocaust He must be completely victim, in body, in heart, in a soul "sorrowful unto death." Further, having the fullness of charity, and being both viator and comprehensor, He necessarily suffered with boundless intensity from mankind's sins taken on Himself, seeing in these sins both the offense against God and the cause of the loss of souls.

c) God the Father willed by this road of suffering and humiliation to give our Savior the grandest of victories, a threefold victory, over sin, over the devil, over death. The victory over sin was gained by the greatest of all acts of charity, victory over the devil's disobedience and pride by the supreme act of obedience and the loving acceptance of the lowest humiliations, victory over death, the consequence and punishment of sin, by the glorious external sign of the two preceding victories, a victory culminating in His resurrection and ascension. "Christ humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to death on the cross. Hence God exalted Him, and gave Him a name above every name, a name before which all kneel... while every tongue, to the glory of God the Father, confesses that Jesus Christ is the Lord."

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Divine Intimacy - The Meek Lamb

From the reading for the Tuesday in Holy Week, in Divine Intimacy.


1. In the Epistle of today's Mass, Jeremias (11,18-20) speaks to us as the suffering Saviour: "I was as a meek lamb that is carried to be a victim." This sentence expresses the attitude of Jesus toward the bitterness of His Passion. He knew every one of these sufferings in all their most concrete particulars; His heart had undergone them by anticipation, and the thought of them never left Him for an instant during the course of His life on earth. If the Passion, in its historical reality, took place in less than twenty-four hours, in its spiritual reality it spanned His entire life.

Jesus knew what was awaiting Him, His heart was tortured by it; and yet He not only accepted but ardently desired that hour, "His hour"; and He gave Himself into the hands of His enemies with the meekness of a lamb being led to the slaughter. "I have left My house," He says again through the mouth of Jeremias. "…I have delivered My beloved soul into the hands of My enemies" (Roman Breviary). Judas betrayed Him, His enemies dragged Him before the tribunal, they condemned Him to death, they tortured His body horribly; but Jesus, even in His Passion, remained always God, remained always the Master, the Lord. "I have power to lay down My life and to take it up again," says the liturgy in today's Vespers (Roman Breviary). Jesus went to His Passion "because it was His own will" (Isaias 53,7). He willed it because, as He Himself said, "This is the command which I have received from My Father" (John 10,18).

However, His ardent desire for the Passion did not prevent Him from tasting all its bitterness. "The sorrows of death have encompassed me…. Insults and terrors I have suffered from those who called themselves my friends…. God of Israel, because of You, I have suffered opprobrium, and shame has covered my face" (Roman Breviary). Let us try to sound the depths of these sacred texts which we read in today's liturgy, in order that we may have a better understanding of the most bitter Passion of Christ.

2. Today at Mass we read the Passion as recounted by Mark, Peter's disciple (14,32-72 -- 15,1-46). No other Evangelist has described so minutely the denial of Peter; it is the humble confession which the chief of the Apostles makes of himself through the mouth of his disciple. During the Last Supper, when Jesus predicted that the Apostles would desert Him that very night, Peter had protested with all the vigour of his ardent temperament: "Although all shall be scandalized in Thee, yet not I!" In vain did the Master foretell his desertion, outlining in detail: "Even in this night, before the cock crows twice, thou shalt deny me thrice." An overweening confidence in himself had blinded Peter to the truth of Jesus' words, to the possibility of his own weakness. "Although I should die together with Thee, I will not deny Thee." Peter was sincere in his protestation, but he sinned through presumption; the practical experience of human misery and frailty, by which no one, even the most courageous, can remain faithful to duty without divine aid, was lacking in him. His initial steps along this road would be taken in Gethsemane, when he, like the others, would be unable to watch "one hour" with the Master. Further, at the time of Jesus' arrest, he would flee away trembling with fear. But these two episodes would not be enough to cure him of his presumption; he would need a third, the saddest of all.

In the courtyard of Caiphas' palace, where, having recovered from his first fright, Peter had gone to watch the turn of events, he was recognized by a maid as a disciple of Jesus. Seized by the fear of being involved in the Master's trial, he denied the accusation immediately, saying, "I know Him not". Having fallen once, he had difficulty in recovering himself, and when questioned again, he made a second, even a third denial. "As he was yet speaking, the cock crew, and the Lord turning, looked on Peter." That crowing of the cock, and much more, that look full of love and sorrow, made him enter into himself, "and going out, he wept bitterly" (Luke 22,62). The blindfold of presumption of presumption fell from his eyes; and Peter, who sincerely loved Jesus, acknowledged his weakness, his fault. Because Peter no longer relied on himself, Jesus could rely upon him and would entrust His flock to him. The lesson is clear. As long as a soul depends solely upon itself, it is not ready to be sanctified, nor to co-operate efficaciously in the sanctification of others.


"O Lord of my soul, how quick we are to offend You! But how much quicker are You to forgive us! What am I saying, Lord! 'The sorrows of death have encompassed me.' Alas! What a great evil is sin, since it could put God Himself to death with such terrible sufferings! And these same sufferings surround You today, O my Lord! Where can You go that You are not tortured? Men cover You with wounds in all Your members.

"Christians, this is the hour to defend the King and to keep Him company in the profound isolation in which He finds Himself. How few, O Lord, are the servants who remain faithful to You!… The worst of it is that there are some who profess to be Your friends in public, but who sell You in secret. You can scarcely find one in whom You can trust. O my God, true Friend, how badly does he repay You who betrays You!

"O true Christians, come to weep with your God! It was not only over Lazarus that He shed tears of compassion, but over all those who, in spite of His call, would never rise from the dead. At that time, my Love, You saw even the sins that I would commit against You. May they be at an end, and with them, those of all sinners. Grant that these dead may come to life, even if they do not ask it of You. Lazarus did not ask You to bring him back to life, and yet You restored life to him at the prayer of a sinner. Here is another sinner, my God, and much more culpable than she was. Let, then, Your mercy shine forth! I ask it of You in spite of my wretchedness, for those who will not ask" (St Teresa of Jesus, Exclamations of the Soul to God, 10).

Monday, 25 March 2013

Pergolesi - Stabat Mater

Last night I attended a lovely performance of the famous Stabat Mater as set to music by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi. The Stabat Mater is a very beautiful Lenten hymn, speaking of the passion of Christ as it affects Mary, His blessed mother; and it is a masterpiece of poetry. Here's a good Youtube video of the Pergolesi: 

And here is the text of the Stabat Mater, in Latin and English. This is one of the standard English translations which is, in my opinion, quite beautiful. I'm not sure, at the moment, if Pergolesi has the entire text... Either way, here it is. Source: Thesaurus Precum Latinarum

STABAT Mater dolorosa
iuxta Crucem lacrimosa,
dum pendebat Filius.
AT, the Cross her station keeping,
stood the mournful Mother weeping,
close to Jesus to the last.
Cuius animam gementem,
contristatam et dolentem
pertransivit gladius.
Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
all His bitter anguish bearing,
now at length the sword has passed.
O quam tristis et afflicta
fuit illa benedicta,
mater Unigeniti!
O how sad and sore distressed
was that Mother, highly blest,
of the sole-begotten One.
Quae maerebat et dolebat,
pia Mater, dum videbat
nati poenas inclyti.
Christ above in torment hangs,
she beneath beholds the pangs
of her dying glorious Son.
Quis est homo qui non fleret,
matrem Christi si videret
in tanto supplicio?
Is there one who would not weep,
whelmed in miseries so deep,
Christ's dear Mother to behold?
Quis non posset contristari
Christi Matrem contemplari
dolentem cum Filio?
Can the human heart refrain
from partaking in her pain,
in that Mother's pain untold?
Pro peccatis suae gentis
vidit Iesum in tormentis,
et flagellis subditum.
Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled,
she beheld her tender Child
All with scourges rent:
Vidit suum dulcem Natum
moriendo desolatum,
dum emisit spiritum.
For the sins of His own nation,
saw Him hang in desolation,
Till His spirit forth He sent.
Eia, Mater, fons amoris
me sentire vim doloris
fac, ut tecum lugeam.
O thou Mother! fount of love!
Touch my spirit from above,
make my heart with thine accord:
Fac, ut ardeat cor meum
in amando Christum Deum
ut sibi complaceam.
Make me feel as thou hast felt;
make my soul to glow and melt
with the love of Christ my Lord.
Sancta Mater, istud agas,
crucifixi fige plagas
cordi meo valide.
Holy Mother! pierce me through,
in my heart each wound renew
of my Savior crucified:
Tui Nati vulnerati,
tam dignati pro me pati,
poenas mecum divide.
Let me share with thee His pain,
who for all my sins was slain,
who for me in torments died.
Fac me tecum pie flere,
crucifixo condolere,
donec ego vixero.
Let me mingle tears with thee,
mourning Him who mourned for me,
all the days that I may live:
Iuxta Crucem tecum stare,
et me tibi sociare
in planctu desidero.
By the Cross with thee to stay,
there with thee to weep and pray,
is all I ask of thee to give.
Virgo virginum praeclara,
mihi iam non sis amara,
fac me tecum plangere.
Virgin of all virgins blest!,
Listen to my fond request:
let me share thy grief divine;
Fac, ut portem Christi mortem,
passionis fac consortem,
et plagas recolere.
Let me, to my latest breath,
in my body bear the death
of that dying Son of thine.
Fac me plagis vulnerari,
fac me Cruce inebriari,
et cruore Filii.
Wounded with His every wound,
steep my soul till it hath swooned,
in His very Blood away;
Flammis ne urar succensus,
per te, Virgo, sim defensus
in die iudicii.
Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
lest in flames I burn and die,
in His awful Judgment Day.
Christe, cum sit hinc exire,
da per Matrem me venire
ad palmam victoriae.
Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence,
by Thy Mother my defense,
by Thy Cross my victory;
Quando corpus morietur,
fac, ut animae donetur
paradisi gloria. Amen.
While my body here decays,
may my soul Thy goodness praise,
safe in paradise with Thee. Amen.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Propers for Palm Sunday - With Commentary from Dom Gueranger

The Liturgical Year.

The Station at Rome is in the basilica of St. John Lateran, the mother and mistress of all Churches. The papal function, however, now takes place at St Peter’s; but the usual indulgences are still granted to those who visit the archbasilica.
The Mass of this Sunday retains no vestige of the joy, which characterized the ceremony of the palms. The Introit is taken from Psalm xxi, in which the royal prophet expresses the anguish of soul suffered by Jesus on the cross.


Domine, ne longe facias auxilium tuum a me, ad defensionem meam adspice; libera me de ore leonis, et a cornibus unicornium humilitatem meam.
Ps. Deus, Deus meus, respice in me, quare me dereliquisti? longe a salute mea verba delictorum meorum.
Domine, ne longe.
O Lord, keep not thy help far from me; look to my defence; save me from the lion’s mouth, and rescue me in my distress, from the horns of unicorns.
Ps. O God, my God, look upon me: why hast thou forsaken me? It is the cry of my sins that keeps salvation far from me.
O Lord, keep not, &c.
In the Collect the Church prays that we may have grace to imitate the patience and humility of our Saviour. Jesus suffers and humbles Himself for us; it is but just that we should work out our salvation by following His example, that we should suffer, and be humble.


Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui humano generi ad imitandum humilitatis exemplum, Salvatorem nostrum carnem sumere, et crucem subire fecisti: concede propitius: ut et patientiae ipsius habere documenta, et resurrectionis consortia mereamur. Per eumdem. O almighty and eternal God who wouldst have our Saviour become man, and suffer on a cross, to give man kind an example of humility; mercifully grant that we may improve by the example of his patience, and partake of his resurrection. Through the same, &c.


Lectio Epistolae B. Pauli Apostoli ad Philippenses.Cap. ii.
Fratres, Hoc enim sentite in vobis, quod et in Christo Jesu. Qui cum in forma Dei esset, non rapinam arbitratus est, esse se aequalem Deo: sed semetipsum exinanivit, formam servi accipiens, in similitudinem hominum factus, et habitu inventus ut homo. Humiliavit semetipsum, factus obediens usque ad mortem, mortem autem crucis. Propter quod et Deus exaltavit illum: et donavit illi nomen, quod est super omne nomen: ut in nomine JESU (here, all kneel,) omne genu flectatur, coelestium, terrestrium, et infernorum: et omnis lingua confiteatur, quia Dominus Jesus Christus in gloria est Dei Patris.
Lesson of the Epistle of Saint Paul the Apostle to the Philippians. Ch. ii.
Brethren: For let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and in habit found as a man. He humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death. even to the death of the cross. For which cause God also hath exalted him and hath given him a name which is above all names; that in the name of JESUS (here, all kneel,) every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth. And that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.
In obedience to the wishes of the Church, we have knelt down at those words of the apostle, where he says that every knee should bow at the holy name of Jesus. If there be one time of the year rather than another, when the Son of God has a right to our fervent adorations, it is this week, when we see Him insulted in His Passion. Not only should His sufferings excite us to tender compassion; we should also keenly resent the insults that are heaped upon our Jesus, the God of infinite majesty. Let us strive, by our humble homage, to make Him amends for the indignities He suffered in atonement for our pride. Let us unite with the holy angels, who, witnessing what He has gone through for the love of man, prostrate themselves, in profoundest adoration, at the sight of His humiliations.
In the Gradual, the Church makes use of the words of the royal prophet, who foretells the future glories of the Victim that dies on Calvary; but he also confesses that the success permitted to the enemies of Jesus had well nigh shaken his confidence.


Tenuisti manum dexteram meam: et in voluntate tua deduxisti me: et cum gloria assumpsisti me.
V. Quam bonus Israel Deus rectis corde! mei autem pene moti sunt pedes, pene effusi sunt gressus mei: quia zelavi in peccatoribus, pacem peccatorum videns.
Thou hast held me by my right hand, and by thy will thou hast conducted me; and with glory thou hast received me.
V. How good is the God of Israel to them that are of a right heart! But my feet were almost moved, my steps had well nigh slipped, because I had a zeal on sinners, seeing the prosperity of sinners.
The Tract consists of several verses taken from Psalm xxi, the first words of which were spoken by our Redeemer on the cross. So clear and explicit are the words of this psalm, that it might almost be called a history, as well as a prophecy, of the Passion.


Deus, Deus meus, respice in me: quare me dereliquisti?
V. Longe a salute mea verba delictorum meorum.
V. Deus meus, clamabo per diem, nec exaudies; in nocte, et non ad insipientiam mihi.
V. Tu autem in sancto habitas, laus Israel.
V. In te speraverunt patres nostri: speraverunt et liberasti eos.
V. Ad te clamaverunt, et salvi facti sunt: in te speraverunt, et non sunt confusi.
V. Ego autem sum vermis, et non homo: opprobrium hominum, et abjectio plebis.
V. Omnes qui videbant me, aspernabantur me: locuti sunt labiis, et moverunt caput.
V. Speravit in Domino, eripiat eum: salvum faciat eum, quoniam vult eum.
V. Ipsi vero consideraverunt et conspexerunt me:
diviserunt sibi vestimenta mea, et super vestem meam miserunt sortem.
V. Libera me de ore leonis: et a cornibus unicornium humilitatem meam.
V. Qui timetis Dominum laudate eum: universum semen Jacob magnificate eum.
V. Annuntiabitur Domino generatio ventura: et annuntiabunt coeli justitiam ejus.
V. Populo qui nascetur quem fecit Dominus.
O God, my God, look upon me: why hast thou forsaken
V. Far from my salvation are the words of my sins.
V. O my God, I shall cry by day, and thou wilt not hear; and by night, and it shall not be imputed as folly in me.
V. But thou dwellest in the holy place, O thou the praise of Israel!
V. In thee have our fathers hoped: they hoped, and thou hast delivered them.
V. They cried out to thee, and they were saved: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.
V. But I am a worm, and no man: the reproach of men, and the outcast of the people.
V. All they that saw me, have laughed me to scorn: they have spoken with the lips, and wagged the head.
V. He hoped in the Lord, (say they) let him deliver him: let him save him, seeing he delighted in him.
V. They considered me, and viewed me attentively: they divided my garments among them, and cast lots for my vesture.
V. Deliver me from the lion’s month: and my lowness from the horns of the unicorns.
V. Ye that fear the Lord, praise him: O all ye of the seed of Jacob magnify him.
V. A people that is to come shall be declared the Lord's:
and the heavens shall publish his justice.
V. To a people to be born, whom the Lord hath made.
It is now time that we should hear the history of our Saviour’s Passion: but, in order that we may show both heaven and earth that we are not scandalized, as were the disciples, at the sight of His apparent weakness and the triumph of his enemies, we hold in our hands the palms, wherewith we have been proclaiming Him as our King.
The Church reads, on four different days of this week, the four evangelists’ narration of the Passion. She begins with that of St. Matthew, who was the first to write the Gospel. To express the sorrow which fills the hearts of the faithful, the acolytes do not carry the lights, nor is the book incensed. Omitting the customary salutation, the deacon, who is to take the part of the evangelist, at once begins the mournful history of our Lord’s sufferings and death.


Passio Domini nostri Jesu Christi secundum Matthaeum.Cap. xxvi. and xxvii.
In illo tempore: Dixit Jesus discipulis suis: Scitis, quia post biduum Pascha fiet: et Filius hominis tradetur, ut crucifigatur. Tunc congregati sunt principes sacerdotum et seniores populi in atrium principis sacerdotum, qui dicebatur Caiphas: et consilium fece runt, ut Jesum dolo tene rent, et occiderent. Dicebant autem: Non in die festo, ne forte tumultus fieret in populo.
Cum autem Jesus esset in Bethania, in domo Simonis leprosi, accessit ad eum mulier habens alabastrum unguenti pretiosi: et effudit super caput ipsius recumbentis. Videntes autem discipuli, indignati sunt; dicentes: ut quid perditio haec? Potuit enim istud venundari multo, et dari pauperibus. Sciens autem Jesus, ait illis: Quid molesti estis huic mulieri? Opus enim bonum operata est in me. Nam semper pauperes habetis vobiscum: me autem non semper habetis. Mittens enim haec unguentum hoc in corpus meum, ad sepeliendum me fecit. Amen dico vobis, ubicumque praedicatum fuerit hoc Evangelium in toto mundo, dicetur et quod haec fecit in memoriam ejus.
Tunc abiit unus de duodecim, qui dicebatur Judas Iscariotes, ad principes sacerdotum; et ait illis: Quid vultis mihi dare, et ego vobis eum tradam? At illi constituerunt ei triginta argenteos. Et exinde quaerebat opportunitatem, ut eum traderet. Prima autem die Azymorum accesserunt discipuli ad Jesum dicentes: Ubi vis paremus tibi comedere Pascha? At Jesus dixit: Ite in civitatem ad quemdam, et dicite ei: Magister dicit: Tempus meum prope est; apud te facio Pascha cum discipulis meis. Et fecerunt discipuli sicut constituit illis Jesus: et paraverunt Pascha.
Vespere autem facto, discumbebat eum duodecim discipulis suis. Et edentibus illis, dixit: Amen dico vobis: quia unus vestrum me traditurus est. Et contristati valde, coeperunt singuli dicere: Numquid ego sum, Domine? At ipse respondens, ait: Qui intingit me cum manum in paropside, hic me tradet. Filius quidem hominis vadit, sicut scriptum est de illo. Vae autem homini illi, per quem Filius hoininis tradetur! Bonum erat ei, si natus non fuisset homo ille. Respondens autem Judas qui tradidit eum dixit: Numquid ego sum, Rabbi? Ait illi: Tu dixisti.
Coenantibus autem eis, accepit Jesus panem: et benedixit, ac fregit, deditque discipulis suis, et ait: Accipite, et comedite: Hoc est corpus meum. Et accipiens calicem, gratias egit: et dedit illis dicens: Bibite ex hoc omnes. Hic est enim sanguis meus novi testamenti, qui pro multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum. Dico autem vobis: Non bibam amodo de hoc genimine vitis usque in diem illum, cum illud bibam vobiscum novum in regno Patris mei.
Et hymno dicto, exierunt in montem Oliveti. Tunc dicit illis Jesus: Omnes vos scandalum patiemini in me, in ista nocte. Scriptum est enim: Percutiam pastorem, et dispergentur oves gregis: postquam autem resurrexero, praecedam vos in Galilaeam. Respondens autem Petrus, ait illi: Etsi omnes scandalizati fuerint in te, ego nunquam scandalizabor. Ait illi Jesus: Amen dico tibi quia in hac nocte, antequam gallus cantet, ter me negabis. Ait illi Petrus: Etiam si oportuerit me mori tecum, non te negabo. Similiter et omnes dixerunt.
Tunc venit Jesus cum illis in villam, quae dicitur Gethsemani: et dixit discipulis suis: Sedete hic donec vadam illuc, et orem. Et assumpto Petro, et duobus filiis Zebedaei, coepit contristari, et moestus esse. Tunc ait illis: Tristis est anima mea usque ad mortem. Sustinete hic et vigilate mecum. Et progressus pusillum, procidit in faciem suam, orans et dicens: Pater mi. si possibile est, transeat a me calix iste. Verumtamen non sicut ego volo, sed sicut tu. Et venit ad discipulos suos, et invenit eos dormientes: et dicit Petro: Sic non potuistis una hora vigilare mecum? Vigilate, et orate: ut non intretis in tentationem. Spiritus quidem promptus est, caro autem infirma. Iterum secundo abiit, et oravit dicens: Pater mi, si non potest hic calix transire, nisi bibam illum: fiat voluntas tua. Et venit iterum, et invenit eos dormientes. Erant enim oculi eorum gravati. Et relictis illis, iterum abiit: et oravit tertio eumdem sermonem dicens. Tunc venit ad discipulos suos, et dicit illis: Dormite jam, et requiescite. Ecce appropinquavit hora et Filius hominis tradetur in manus peccatorum. Surgite, eamus: ecce appropinquavit qui me tradet.
Adhuc eo loquente, ecce Judas unus sic duodecim venit, et cum eo turba multa cum gladiis et fustibus, missi a principibus sacerdotum, et senioribus populi. Qui autem tradidit eum, dedit illis signum dicens: Quemcumque osculatus fuero, ipse est, tenete eum. Et confestim accedens ad Jesum, dixit: Ave, Rabbi. Et osculatus est eum. Dixit que illi Jesus: Amice, ad quid venisti? Tunc accesserunt, et manus injecerunt in Jesum: et tenuerunt eum. Et ecce unus ex his qui erant cum Jesu, extendens manum, exemit gladium suum: et percutiens servum principis sacerdotum, amputant auriculam ejus. Tunc ait illi Jesus: Converte gladium tuum in locum suum. Omnes enim, qui acceperint gladium, gladio peribunt. An putas, quia non possum rogare Patrem meum: et exhibebit mihi modo plusquam duodecim legiones angelorum? Quomodo ergo implebuntur Seripturae, quia sic oportet fieri? In illa hora dixit Jesus turbis: Tamquam ad latronem existis cum gladiis et fustibus comprehendere me: quotidie apud vos sedebam docens in templo: et non me tenuistis. Hoc autem totum factum est, ut adimplerentur Scripturae prophetarum. Tunc discipuli omnes, relicto eo, fugerunt.
At illi tenentes Jesum, duxerunt ad Caipham principem sacerdotum, ubi scribae et seniores convenerant. Petrus autem sequebatur eum a longe, usque in atrium principis sacerdotum. Et ingressus intro, sedebat cum ministris, ut videret finem. Principes autem sacerdotum, et omne concilium, quaerebant falsum testimonium contra Jesum, ut eum morti traderent: et non invenerunt, cum multi falsi testes accessissent. Novissime autem venerunt duo falsi testes, et dixerunt: Hic dixit: Possum destruere templum Dei, et post triduum reaedificare illud. Et surgens princeps sacerdotum, ait illi: Nihil respondes ad ea, quae isti adversum te testificantur? Jesus autem tacebat. Et princeps sacerdotum ait illi: Adjuro te per Deum vivum, ut dicas nobis, si tu es Christus Filius Dei. Dicit illi Jesus: Tu dixisti. Verumtamen dico vobis, amodo videbitis Filium hominis sedentem a dextris virtutis Dei, et venientem in nubibus coeli. Tunc princeps sacerdotum scidit vestimenta sua, dicens: Blasphemavit. Quid adhuc egemus testibus? Ecce: nunc audistis blasphemiam. Quid vobis videtur? At illi respondentes, dixe runt: Reus est mortis. Tune expuerunt in faciem ejus: et colaphis eum caeciderunt. Alii autem palmas in faciem ejus dederunt dicentes: Prophetiza nobis, Christe, quis est, qui te percussit?
Petrus vero sedebat foris in atrio. Et accessit ad eum una ancilla dicens: Et tu cum Jesu Galilaeo eras. At ille negavit coram omnibus, dicens: Nescio quid dicis. Exeunte autem illo januam, vidit eum alia ancilla: et ait his, qui erant ibi: Et hic erat cum Jesu Nazareno. Et iterum negavit cum juramento: Quia non novi hominem. Et post pusillum accesserunt qui stabant, et dixerunt Petro: Vere et tu ex illis es; nam et loquela tua manifestum te facit. Tunc coepit detestari et jurare quia non novisset hominem. Et continuo gallus cantavit. Et recordatus est Petrus verbi Jesu quod dixerat: Priusquam gallus cantet, ter me negabis. Et egressus foras, flevit amare.
Mane autem facto, consilium inierunt omnes principes sacerdotum, et seniores populi adversus Jesum, ut eum morti traderent. Et vinctum adduxerunt eum, et tradiderunt Pontio Pilato, praesidi. Tunc videns Judas, qui eum tradidit, quod damnatus esset, poenitentia ductus, retulit triginta argenteos principibus sacerdotum et senioribus, dicens: Peccavi tradens sanguinem justum. At illi dixerunt: Quid ad nos? Tu videris. Et projectis argenteis in templo, recessit: et abiens laqueo se suspendit. Principes autem sacerdotum, acceptis argenteis dixerunt: Non licet eos mittere in corbonam, quia pretium sanguinis est. Consilio autem inito, emerunt ex illis agrum figuli, in sepulturam peregrinorum. Propter hoc vocatus est ager ille Haceldama, hoc est ager sanguinis, usque in hodiernum diem. Tunc impletum est quod dictum est per Jeremiam prophetam dicentem: Et acceperunt triginta argenteos, pretium appretiati quem appretiaverunt a filiis Israel; et dederunt eos in agrum figuli, sieut constituit mihi Dominus.
Jesus autem stetit ante praesidem. Et interreravit eum praeses dicens: Tu es Rex Judaeorum? Dicit illi Jesus: Tu dicis. Et cum accusaretur a principibus sacerdotum et senioribus, nihil respondit. Tunc dicit illi Pilatus: Non audis, quanta adversum te dicunt testimonia? Et non responslit ei ad ullum verbum: ita ut miraretur praeses vehementer.
Per diem autem solemnem consueverat praeses populo dimittere unum vinctum, quem voluissent. Habebat autem tunc vinctum insignem, qui dicebatur Barabbas. Congregatis ergo illis, dixit Pilatus: Quem vultis dimittam vobis, Barabbam an Jesum qui dicitur Christus? Sciebat enim, quod per invidiam tradidissent eum. Sedente autem illo pro tribunali, misit ad eum uxor ejus dicens: Nihil tibi et justo illi: multa enim passa sum hodie per visum propter eum. Principes autem sacerdotum et seniores persuaserunt populis ut peterent Barabbam: Jesum vero perderent. Respondens autem praeses, ait illis: Quem vultis vobis de duobus dimitti? At illi dixerunt: Barabbam. Dicit illis Pilatus: Quid igitur faciam de Jesu, qui dicitur Chnistus? Dicunt omnes: Crucifigatur. Ait illis praeses: Quid enim mali fecit? At illi magis clamabant dicentes: Crucifigatur.
Videns autem Pilatus, quia nihil proficeret, sed magis tumultus fieret: accepta aqua, lavit manus coram populo, dicens: Innocens ego sum a sanguine justi hujus, vos videritis. Et respondens universus populus, dixit: Sanguis ejus super nos, et super filios nostros. Tunc dimisit illis Barabbam: Jesum autem flagellatum tradidit eis, ut crucifigeretur.
Tunc milites praesidis suscipientes Jesum in praetorium, congregaverunt ad eum universam cohortem. Et exuentes eum, chlamydem coccineam circumdederunt ei. Et plectentes coronam de spinis, posuerunt super caput ejus, et arundinem in dextera ejus. Et genuflexo ante eum, illudebant ei, dicentes: Ave Rex Judaeorum! Et exspuentes in eum, acceperunt arundinem, et percutiebant caput ejus. Et post quam illuserunt ei, exuerunt eum chlamyde: et induerunt eum vestimentis ejus, et duxerunt eum ut crucifigerent.
Exeuntes autem, invenerunt hominem Cyrenum, nomine Simonem. Hunc angariaverunt, ut tolleret crucem ejus. Et venerunt in locum, qui dicitur Golgotha: quod est, Calvariae locus. Et dederunt ei vinum bibere cum felle mixtum. Et cum gustasset, noluit bibere. Postquam autem crucifixerunt eum, diviserunt vestimenta ejus sortem mittentes: ut impleretur quod dictum est per prophetam dicentem: Diviserunt sibi vestimenta mea, et super vestem meam miserunt sortem. Et sedentes, servabant eum. Et imposuerunt super caput ejus causam ipsius scriptam: Hic est Jesus Rex Judaeorum. Tunc crucifixi sunt cum eo duo latrones, unus a dextris, et unus a sinistris.
Praetereuntes autem blasphemabant eum, moventes capita sua, et dicentes: Vah! qui destruis templum Dei, et in triduo illud reaedificas. Salva temetipsum. Si Filius Dei es, descende de cruce. Similiter et principes sacerdotum illudentes cum scribis et senioribus dicebunt: Alios salvos fecit: seipsum non potest salvum facere. Si Rex Israel est, descendat nunc de cruce, et credimus ei. Confidit in Deo: liberet nunc si vult eum: dixit enim, quia Filius Dei sum. Idipsum autem et latrones, qui crucifixi erant eum eo, improperabant ei.
A sexta autem hora, tenebrae factae sunt super universam terram, usque ad horam nonam. Et circa horam nonam clamavit Jesus voce magna, dicens: Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani? Hoc est: Deus meus, Deus meus, ut quid dereliquisti me? Quidam autem illic stantes, et audientes dicebant: Eliam vocat iste. Et continuo currens unus ex eis acceptam spongiam implevit aceto, et imposuit arundini, et dabat ei bibere. Caeteri vero dicebant: Sine, videamus, an veniat Elias liberans eum. Jesus autem iterum clamans voce magna, emisit spiritum.
The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to Matthew.Ch. xxvi. and xxvii.
At that time: Jesus said to his disciples: You know that after two days shall be the Pasch, and the Son of man shall be delivered up to be crucified. Then were gathered together the chief priests and ancients of the people into the court of the high priest, who was called Caiphas; and they consulted together, that by subtility they might apprehend Jesus, and put him to death. But they said: Not on the festival day, lest perhaps there should be a tumult among the people.
And when Jesus was in Bethania, in the house of Simon the leper, there came to him a woman having an alabaster-box of precious ointment, and poured it on his head as he was at table. And the disciples seeing it had indignation, saying: To what purpose is this waste? For this might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. And Jesus knowing it, said to them: Why do you trouble this woman? For she hath wrought a good work upon me. For the poor you have always with you, but me you have not always. For she, in pouring this ointment upon my body, hath done it for my burial. Amen, I say to you, wheresoever the Gospel shall be preached in the whole world, that also which she hath done shall be told for a memory of her.
Then went one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, to the chief priests and said to them: What will you give me, and I will deliver him unto you? But they appointed him thirty pieces of silver. And from thenceforth he sought opportunity to betray him. And on the first day of the Azymes, the disciples came to Jesus, saying: Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the Pasch? But Jesus said: Go ye into the city, to a certain man, and say to him, The Master saith, my time is near at hand; with thee I make the Pasch with my disciples. And the disciples did as Jesus appointed to them, and they prepared the Pasch.
But when it was evening, he sat down with his twelve disciples; and whilst they were eating, he said: Amen, I say to you, that one of you is about to betray me. And they being very much troubled, began every one to say: Is it I, Lord? But he answering said: he that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, he shall betray me. The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him; but woe to that man, by whom the Son of man shall be betrayed. It were better for him, if that man had not been born. And Judas, that betrayed him, answering said: Is it I, Rabbi? He saith to him: Thou hast said it.
And while they were at supper, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke, and gave to his disciples, and said:
Take ye, and eat; this is my body. And taking the chalice he gave thanks, and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this; for this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins. And I say to you, I will not drink from hence forth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I shall drink it with you new in the kingdom of my Father.
And a hymn being said, they went out unto mount Olivet. Then Jesus saith to them: All you shall be scandalized in me this night. For it is written: I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be dispersed. But after I shall be risen again. I will go before you into Galilee. And Peter answering said to him: Although all shall be scandalized in thee, I will never be scandalized. Jesus said to him: Amen, I say to thee, that in this night, before the cock crow, thou wilt deny me thrice. Peter saith to him: Yea, though I should die with thee, I will not deny thee. And in like manner said all the disciples.
Then Jesus came with them into a country place which is called Gethsemani; and he said to his disciples: Sit you here, till I go yonder and pray. And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to grow sorrowful, and to be sad. Then he saith to them: My soul is sorrowful even unto death; stay you here and watch with me. And going a little further he fell upon his face, praying, and saying: My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me. Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt. And he cometh to his disciples, and findeth them asleep, and he saith to Peter: What! could you not watch one hour with me? watch ye, and pray that ye enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Again the second time he went and prayed, saying: My Father, if this chalice may not pass away, but I must drink it, thy will be done. And he cometh again, and findeth them sleeping: for their eyes were heavy. And leaving them he went again; and he prayed the third time, saying the self-same word. Then he cometh to his disciples, and saith to them: Sleep ye now, and take your rest: behold the hour is at hand, and the Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us go: behold he is at hand that will betray me.
As he yet spoke, behold Judas, one of the twelve came, and with him a great multitude with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the ancients of the people. And
he that betrayed him, gave them a sign, saying: Whomsoever I shall kiss, that is he, hold him fast. And forthwith coming to Jesus, he said: Hail, Rabbi! And he kissed him. And Jesus said to him: Friend, whereto art thou come? Then they came up, and laid hands on Jesus, and held him. And behold one of them that were with Jesus, stretching forth his hand, drew out his sword, and striking the servant of the high priest, cut off his ear. Then Jesus saith to him: Put up again thy sword into its place; for all that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot ask my Father, and he will give me presently more than twelve legions of angels? How then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that so it must be done? In that same hour Jesus said to the multitudes: You are come out as it were to a robber, with swords and clubs, to apprehend me. I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and you laid not hands on me. Now all this was done, that the Scriptures if the prophets might be fulfilled. Then the disciples all leaving him, fled.
But they holding Jesus, led him to Caiphas the high priest, where the scribes and the ancients were assembled. And
Peter followed him afar off, even to the court of the high priest; and going in, he sat with the servants, that he might see the end. And the chief priests and the whole council sought false witness against Jesus, that they might put him to death; and they found not, whereas many false witnesses had come in. And last of all there came two false witnesses; and they said: This man said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and after three days to rebuild it. And the high priest rising up said to him: Answerest thou nothing to the things which these witness against thee? But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest said to him: I adjure thee, by the living God, that thou tell us if thou be the Christ the Son of God. Jesus saith to him: Thou hast said it. Nevertheless I say to you, hereafter you shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of the power of God, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rent his garments, saying: He hath blasphemed, what further need have we of witnesses? Behold, now you have heard the blasphemy: what think you? But they answering, said: He is guilty of death. Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him, and others struck his face with the palms of their hands, saying, Prophesy unto us, O Christ, who is he that struck thee?
But Peter sat without in the court; and there came to him a servant-maid, saying: Thou also wast with Jesus the Galilean. But he denied before them all, saying: I know not what thou sayest. And as he went out of the gate, another maid saw him, and she saith to them that were there: This man also was with Jesus of Nazareth. And again he denied with an oath: That I know not the man. And after a little while they came that stood by, and said to Peter: Surely thou also art one of them; for even thy speech doth discover thee. Then he began to curse and to swear that he knew not the man. And immediately the cock crew. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus which he had said: Before the cock crow, thou wilt deny me thrice. And going forth, he wept bitterly.
And when morning was come, all the chief priests and ancients of the people took counsel against Jesus, that they might put him to death. And they brought him bound, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor. Then Judas, who betrayed him, seeing that he was condemned, repenting himself, brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and ancients, saying: I have sinned in betraying innocent blood. But they said: What is that to us? look thou to it. And casting down the pieces of silver in the temple, he departed, and went and hanged himself with an halter. But the chief priests having taken the pieces of silver, said: It is not lawful to put them into the corbona, because it is the price of blood. And after they had consulted together, they bought with them the potter’s field, to be a burying-place for strangers. For this cause that field was called Haceldama, that is the field of blood, even to this day. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremias the prophet, saying: And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was prized, whom they prized of the children of Israel. And they gave them unto the potter’s field, as the Lord appointed to me.
And Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him saying: Art thou the king of the Jews? Jesus saith to him: Thou sayest it. And when he was accused by the chief priests and ancients, he answered nothing. Then Pilate saith to him: Dost thou not hear how great testimonies they allege against thee? And he answered him to never a word; so that the governor wondered exceedingly.
Now upon the solemn day the governor was accustomed to release to the people one prisoner, whom they would. And he had then a notorious prisoner, that was called Barabbas. They therefore being gathered together, Pilate said: Whom will you that I release to you, Barabbas or Jesus, that is called Christ? For he knew that for envy they had delivered him. And as he was sitting in the place of judgment, his wife sent to him, saying: Have thou nothing to do with that just man. For I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him. But the chief priests and ancients persuaded the people, that they should ask Barabbas, and make Jesus away. And the governor answering, said to them: Whether will you of the two to be released unto you? But they said, Barrabas. Pilate saith to them: What shall I do then with Jesus that is called Christ? They say all: Let him he crucified. The governor said to them: Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying: Let him be crucified.
And Pilate seeing that he prevailed nothing, but that rather a tumult was made; taking water washed his hands before the people, saying: I am innocent of the blood of this just man: look you to it. And the whole people answering, said: His blood be upon us and upon our children. Then he released to them Barabbas: and having scourged Jesus delivered him unto them to be crucified.
Then the soldiers of the governor taking Jesus into the hall, gathered together unto him the whole band; and stripping him, they put a scarlet cloak about him. And platting a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand. And bowing the knee before him, they mocked him, saying: Hail, king of the Jews. And spitting upon him, they took the reed, and struck his head. And after they had mocked him, they took off the cloak from him, and put on him his own garments, and led him away to crucify him.
And going out they met a man of Cyrene, named Simon:
him they forced to take up the cross. And they came to the place that is called Golgotha, which is the place of Calvary. And they gave him wine to drink mingled with gall. And when he had tasted, he would not drink. And after they had crucified him, they divided his garments casting lots:
that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: ‘They divided my garments among them; and upon my vesture they cast lots.’ And they sat and watched him. And they put over his head his cause written: This is Jesus the King of the Jews. Then were crucified with him two thieves; one on the right hand, and one on the left.
And they that passed by blasphemed him, wagging their heads. and saying: Vah, thou that destroyest the temple of God, and in three days dost rebuild it, save thy own self: if thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. In like manner also the chief priests, with the scribes and ancients, mocking, said: He saved others; himself he cannot save: if he be the king of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God: let him now deliver him if he will have him: for he said: I am the Son of God. And the self same thing the thieves also that were crucified with him reproached him with.
Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over the whole earth, until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying: Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani? that is, My God. my God, why hast thou forsaken me? And some that stood there and heard, said:
This man calleth Elias. And immediately one of them running, took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink. And the others said: Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to deliver him. And Jesus again crying with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
Here the deacon pauses, and honours the Death of our Lord and Saviour by a solemn act of adoration. All the faithful kneel down, and remain for some time in that position. In many places, it is the custom to prostrate, and kiss the ground. The deacon then resumes his narration.
Et ecce velum templi scissum est in duas partes, a summo usque deorsum. Et terra mota est, et petrae scissae sunt, et monumenta aperta sunt : et multa corpora sanctorum, qui dormierant, surrexerunt. Et exeuntes de monumentis post resurrectionem ejus, venerunt in sanctam civitatem, et apparuerunt multis. Centurio autem, et qui cum eo erant, custodientes Jesum, viso terrae motu, et his quae fiebant, timuerunt valde, dicentes: Vere Filius Dei erat iste. Erant autem ibi mulieres multae a longe, quae secutae erant Jesum a Galilaea ministrantes ei: inter quas erat Maria Magdalene, et Maria Jacobi et Joseph mater, et mater filiorum Zebedaei. Cum autem sero factum esset, venit quidam homo dives Arimathaea, nomine Joseph, qui et ipse discipulus erat Jesu. Hic accessit ad Pilatum, et petiit corpus Jesu. Tunc Pilatus jussit reddi corpus. Et accepto corpore, Joseph involvit illud in sindone munda: et posuit illud in monumento suo novo, quod exciderat in petra. Et advolvit saxum magnum ad ostium monumenti, et abiit. Erat autem ibi Maria Magdalene, et altera Maria, sedentes contra sepulchrum. And behold the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top even to the bottom, and the earth quaked, and the rocks were rent. And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints that had slept arose; and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection, came into the holy city and appeared to many. Now the centurion, and they that were with him watching Jesus., having seen the earthquake and the things that were done, were sore afraid, saying: Indeed this was the Son if God. And there were there many women afar off who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him: among whom was Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee. And when it was evening, there came a certain rich man of Arimathea, named Joseph, who also himself was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate, and asked the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded that the body should be delivered. And Joseph taking the body, wrapped it up in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new monument, which he had hewn out in a rock. And he rolled a great stone to the door of the monument, and went his way. And there was there Mary Magdalen, and the other Mary sitting over against the sepulchre.
That the Mass of this Sunday may not be deprived of that essential rite which we call the Gospel, the deacon reserves a portion of the narrative; and going to the altar, he asks the priest to bless the incense. Which done, the deacon, himself also having received the priest’s blessing, goes to the place appointed for chanting the Gospel; but the acolytes do not carry their lights. After having thurified the book, he thus closes the history of the Passion.
Altera autem die, quae est post Parasceven, convenerunt principes sacerdotum, et pharisaei ad Pilatum, dicentes: Domine, recordati sumus, quia seductor ille dixit adhuc vivens: Post tres dies resurgam. Jube ergo custodiri sepulchrum usque in diem tertium; ne forte veniant discipuli ejus et furentur eum: et dicant plebi: Surrexit a mortuis. Et erit novissimus error pejor priore. Ait illis Pilatus: Habetis custodiam: ite, custodite sicut scitis. Illi autem abeuntes, munierunt sepulchrum, signantes lapidem, cum custodibus. And the next day, which followed the day of preparation, the chief priests and the pharisees came together to Pilate, saying: Sir, we have remembered, that that seducer said, while he was yet alive: After three days I will rise again. Command therefore the sepulchre to be guarded until the third day: lest perhaps his disciples come and steal him away and say to the people, he is risen from the dead: and the last error shall be worse than the first. Pilate said to them: You have a guard; go, guard it as you know. And they, departing, made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting guards.
The Offertory is again a prophecy of David. It foretells the state of abandonment to which our Saviour was to be reduced in the midst of all His sufferings, and the cruelty of His enemies, who would feed Him with gall and vinegar. Thus is He treated who is preparing to give us His Body for our food, and His Blood for our drink.


Improperium exspectavit cor meum, et miseriam: et sustinui qui simul mecum contristaretur et non fuit: consolantem me quaesivi, et non inveni: et dederunt in escam meam fel, et in siti mea potaverunt me aceto. My heart hath expected reproach and misery; and I looked for one that would grieve together with me, but there was none: and for one that would comfort me, and I found none: they gave me gall for my food, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
The Secret asks of God that He would impart to His servants the twofold fruit of Jesus’ Passion: grace in this life, and glory in the next.


Concede, quaesumus, Domine, ut oculis tuae majestatis munus oblatum, et gratiam nobis devotionis obtineat, et effectum beatae perennitatis acquirat. Per Dominum. Grant. we beseech thee, O Lord, that what hath been offered in the presence of thy divine Majesty may procure us the grace of devotion, and effectually obtain a blessed eternity. Through, &c.
In the Communion-anthem, the Church, after receiving into herself the life of Christ by the chalice of salvation, calls to our minds that other chalice which Jesus was to drink in order that He might gift us with immortality.


Pater, si non potest hic calix transire, nisi bibam illum: fiat voluntas tua. Father, if this cup cannot pass away, but I must drink it, thy will be done.
The Church concludes the prayers of the Sacrifice she has just been offering, by asking the remission of sin for all her children, that they may see fulfilled that longing of their souls - a share in the glorious Resurrection of Jesus.


Per hujus, Domine, operationem mysterii, et vitia nostra purgentur, et justa desideria compleantur. Per Dominum.  May our vices, O Lord, be destroyed, and our righteous desires fulfilled by the efficacy of these mysteries. Through, &c.