Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!
  

Friday of Our Lord's Passion and Death,
otherwise known as Good Friday.
First Class
Station: Holy Cross in Jerusalem


Pietà--Giovanni Bellini (1430-1516)

After reciting the hour of None, the priest and his ministers assume amice, alb, cincture, and black stoles as appropriate to their function. Without candles or incense, they proceed to the altar, where all prostrate. After a brief pause, an acolyte rises and places a single cloth upon the altar. A missal is placed at the epistle side on an uncovered stand.

The priest and ministers approach the altar reciting the customary prayers. The priest kisses the altar, and then retires with his ministers to the sedilla.

At the Epistle side, or at the uncovered pulpit, a lector or subdeacon reads:

Osee vi: 1-6

Thus saith the Lord: In their affliction they will rise early to Me: Come and let us return to the Lord, for He has taken us, and He will heal us. He will strike and He will cure us. He will revive us after two days. On the third day He shall raise us up, and we shall live in His sight. We shall know and we shall follow on, that we may know the Lord. His going forth is prepared as the morning light, and He will come to us as the early and the later rain to the earth. What shall I do to thee, O Ephraim? What shall I do to thee, O Juda? Thy mercy is as a morning cloud, and as the dew that goes away in the morning. For this reason have I hewed them by the prophets. I have slain them by the words of my mouth: and thy judgements shall go forth as the light. For I desired mercy and not sacrifice: and the knowledge of God more than holocausts.

Tract: Habacuc iii

[All:] O Lord, I have heard Thy hearing and was afraid: I considered Thy works and trembled. In the midst of two animals Thou shalt be made known. When the years shall draw nigh Thou shalt be made known. When the time shall come Thou shalt be manifested. When my soul shall be in trouble Thou wilt remember mercy, even in Thy wrath. God will come from Libanus, and the Holy One from the shady and thickly covered mountain. His majesty covered the heavens: the earth is full of His praise.

During the tract, the priest and ministers go to stand one behind another at the epistle side.

[Priest:] Let us pray.

[Deacon:] Let us kneel.

[Subdeacon:] Arise.

[Priest:] O God, from whom Judas received the punishment of his guilt, and the thief the reward of his confession, grant us the effect of Thy clemency: that as our Lord Jesus Christ in His Passion gave to each a different recompense according to his merits, so may He deliver us from our old sins, and grant us the grace of His resurrection. Who with Thee and the Holy Ghost, livest and reignest, one God, world without end.

[All:] Amen.

The ministers return to the sedilla. The subdeacon returns to read, either at the epistle side, or at the pulpit:

Exodus xii: 1-11

In those days, the Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, "This month shall be to you the beginning of months; it shall be the first of the months of the year. Speak, yea, to the assembly of the children of Isræl, and say to them: On the tenth day of this month let every man take a lamb by their families and houses. But if the number be less than may suffice to eat the lamb, he shall take unto him his neighbor who joins to his house, according to the number of souls which may be enough to eat the lamb. It shall be a lamb without blemish, a male of one year: according to which rite also you shall take a kid. And you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; and the whole multitude of the children of Isræl shall sacrifice it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood thereof, and put it upon both the side posts and on the upper door posts of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh that night roasted at the fire, and unleavened bread, and wild lettuce. You shall not eat thereof anything raw, nor boiled in water, but only roasted at the fire. You shall eat the head with the feet, and the entrails thereof. Neither shall there remain anything of it until morning. If there be anything left, you shall burn it with fire. And thus you shall eat it: You shall gird your reins, and you shall have shoes on your feet, holding staves in your hands, and you shall eat in haste, for it is the Phase (that is, the Passage) of the Lord."

The choir or the congregation then sing or recite:

The Tract: Psalm cxxix: 2-10 & 14

[All:] Deliver me, O Lord, from the evil man. Rescue me from the unjust man. Who have devised iniquities in their hearts; all the day long they designed battles. They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent. The venom of asps is under their lips. Keep me, O Lord, from the hand of the wicked, and from the unjust men deliver me; who have proposed to supplant my steps. The proud have hidden a net for me. And they have stretched out cords for a snare for my feet. They have laid for me a stumbling block by the wayside. I said to the Lord, "Thou art my God. Hear, O Lord, the voice of my supplication." O Lord, Lord, the strength of my salvation, overshadow my head in the day of battle. Give me not up from my desire to the wicked; they have plotted against me. Do not thou forsake me, lest at any time they should triumph. The head of them compassing me about; the labor of their lips shall overwhelm them. But the just shall give glory to Thy name, and the upright shall dwell with Thy countenance.

The deacon reads the Passion at the pulpit. No introductory prayers are said; incense is not used; lights are not carried.

John xviii: 1-40; xix: 1-42

The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to John.

At that time, Jesus went forth with His disciples beyond the torrent of Cedron, where there was a garden into which He and His disciples entered. Now Judas, who betrayed Him, also knew the place, since Jesus had often met there together with His disciples. Judas, then, taking the cohort, and attendants from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns, and torches, and weapons. Jesus therefore knowing all that was to come upon Him, went forth and said to them, "Whom do you seek?" They answered Him, "Jesus of Nazareth." Jesus said to them, "I am He." Now Judas, who betrayed Him, was also standing with them. When, therefore, He said to them, "I am He," they drew back and fell to the ground. So He asked them again, "Whom do you seek?" And they said, "Jesus of Nazareth." Jesus answered, "I have told you that I am He. If therefore you seek Me, let these go their way." This was said so that the word which He said might be fulfilled, "Of those whom Thou hast given Me, I have not lost one." Simon Peter, therefore, having a sword, drew it, and struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear. Now the servant's name was Malchus. Jesus therefore said to Peter, " Put up thy sword into the scabbard. Shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given Me?"

    The cohort, therefore, and the tribune, and the attendants of the Jews seized Jesus and bound Him. And they brought Him to Annas first, for he was the father-in-law of Caiphas, who was the high priest that year. Now it was Caiphas who had given the counsel to the Jews that it was expedient that one man should die for the people. But Simon Peter was following Jesus, and so was another disciple. Now that disciple was known to the high priest, and he entered with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest. But Peter was standing outside of the gate. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the portress, and brought Peter in. The maid, who was portress, said therefore to Peter, "Art thou also one of this man's disciples?" He said, "I am not." Now the servants and attendants were standing at a coal fire and warming themselves, for it was cold. And Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself. The high priest therefore questioned Jesus concerning His disciples, and concerning his teaching. Jesus answered him, "I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in the synagogue and in the temple, where all the Jews gather, and in secret I have said nothing. Why dost thou question Me? Question those who have heard what I spoke to them; behold, these know what I have said." Now when He had said these things, one of the attendants, who was standing by, struck Jesus a blow, saying, "Is that the way thou dost answer the high priest?" Jesus answered him, If I have spoken ill, bear witness to the evil; but if well, why dost thou strike Me?" And Annas sent him bound to Caiphas, the high priest. But Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They therefore said to him, " Art thou one of His disciples?" He denied it, and said, "I am not." One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of him whose ear Peter had cut off, said, "Did I not see thee in the garden with Him?" Again, therefore, Peter denied it; and at that moment a cock crowed.

    They therefore led Jesus from Caiphas to the prætorium. Now it was early morning, and they themselves did not enter the prætorium, that they might not be defiled, but might eat the Passover. Pilate therefore went outside to them, and said, "What accusation do you bring against this man?" They said to him in answer, "If He were not a criminal, we should not have handed Him over to thee." Pilate therefore said to them, "Take Him yourselves, and judge Him according to your law." The Jews, then, said to him, "It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death." This was in fulfillment of what Jesus had said, indicating the manner of His death. Pilate therefore again entered into the prætorium, and he summoned Jesus, and said to Him, "Art Thou the king of the Jews?" Jesus answered, "Dost thou say this of thy self, or have others told thee of me?" Pilate answered, "Am I a Jew? Thine own people and the chief priests have delivered Thee to me. What hast Thou done?" Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My followers would have fought that I might not be delivered to the Jews. But, as it is, My kingdom is not from here." Pilate therefore said to Him, "Thou art then a king?" Jesus answered, "Thou sayest it; I am a king. This is why I was born, and why I have come into the world; to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice." Pilate said to him, "What is truth?" And when he said this, he went out to the Jews again, and said to them, "I find no guilt in him. But you have a custom that I should release someone to you at the Passover. Do you wish, therefore, that I release to you the king of the Jews?" They all therefore cried out again, saying, "Not this man, but Barabbas!" Now Barabbas was a robber.

    Pilate then took Jesus and had Him scourged. And the soldiers, plaiting a crown of thorns, put it upon His head and arrayed Him in a purple cloak. And they kept coming to Him and saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" and striking Him. Pilate therefore again went outside and said to them, "Behold, I bring Him out to you, that you may know that I find no guilt in him." Jesus therefore came forth, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak. And he said to them, "Behold the man!" When, therefore, the chief priests and the attendants saw him, they cried out, saying, "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!" Pilate said to them, "Take Him yourselves and crucify Him, for I find no guilt in Him." The Jews answered him, "We have a Law, and according to that Law He must die, because He made Himself Son of God." Now when Pilate heard this statement, he feared the more. And he again went back to the prætorium, and said to Jesus, Where art Thou from?" But Jesus gave him no answer. Pilate therefore said to Him, "Dost Thou not speak to me? Dost Thou not know that I have power to crucify Thee, and that I have power to release Thee?" Jesus answered, "Thou wouldst have no power at all over Me if it were not given Thee from above. Therefore, he who betrayed Me to Thee has the greater sin." And from then on Pilate was looking for a way to release Him. But the Jews cried out saying, "If thou release this Man, thou art no friend of Cæsar; for everyone who makes himself king sets himself against Cæsar." Pilate therefore, when he heard these words, brought Jesus outside, and sat down on the judgment-seat at a place called Lithostrotos, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. Now it was the Preparation Day for the Passover, about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, "Behold, your king!" But they cried out, "Away with Him! Away with Him! Crucify Him! Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your king?" The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Cæsar." The he handed Him over to them to be crucified. And so they took Jesus and led Him away.

    And bearing the cross for Himself, He went forth to the place called the Skull; in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified Him, and with Him two others, one on each side, and Jesus in the center. And Pilate also wrote an inscription, and had it put on the cross. And there was written, "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews." Many of the Jews therefore read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Greek, and in Latin. The chief priests of the Jews said therefore to Pilate, "Do not write, 'The King of the Jews,' but, 'He said, I am the King of the Jews.'" Pilate answered, "What I have written, I have written." The soldiers therefore, when they had crucified Him, took His garments and made of them four parts, to each soldier a part, and also the tunic. Now the tunic was without seam, woven in one piece from the top. They therefore said to one another, "Let us not tear it, but let us cast lots for it, to see whose it shall be." This was done that the Scripture might be fulfilled which says, "They divided my garments among them; and for my vesture they cast lots." These things therefore the soldiers did.

    Now there were standing by the cross of Jesus his mother and his mother's sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus, therefore, saw His mother and the disciple standing by, whom He loved, He said to His mother, "Woman, behold thy son." Then He said to the disciple, "Behold, thy mother." And from that hour the disciple took her into his home. After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now fulfilled, said, "I thirst." Now there was standing there a vessel full of common wine; and having put a sponge soaked with the wine on a stalk of hyssop, they put it to His mouth. Therefore, when Jesus had taken the wine, He said, "It is consummated!" And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

All kneel and pause for a moment.

    The Jews therefore, since it was the Preparation Day, in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a solemn day), besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other, who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs; but one of the soldiers opened His side with a lance, and immediately there came out blood and water. And he who saw it has borne witness, and his witness is true; and he knows that he tells the truth, that you also may believe. For these things came to pass that the Scripture might be fulfilled, "Not a bone of Him shall you break." And again another Scripture says, "They shall look upon Him whom they have pierced."

    Now after these things Joseph of Arimathea, because he was a disciple of Jesus, (although for fear of the Jews a secret one), besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus. And Pilate gave permission. He came therefore, and took away the body of Jesus. And there also came Nicodemus (who at first had come to Jesus by night), bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, in weight about a hundred pounds. They therefore took the body of Jesus and wrapped it in linen cloths with the spices, after the Jewish manner of preparing for burial. Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. There, accordingly, because of the Preparation Day of the Jews, for the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus.

Part II: The Solemn Prayers

Assuming the cope and dalmatic and tunic if available (otherwise, wearing stoles as appropriate), the priest and ministers stand before the altar at the center.

[Priest:] Let us pray, dearly beloved, for the holy Church of God, that our Lord and God may deign to give it peace, keep it in unity, and protect it throughout the world, subjecting principalities and powers to it, and may grant unto us that, leading a peaceful and quiet life, we may glorify God the Father almighty.

[Priest:] Let us pray.
[Deacon:]
Let us kneel.
[Subdeacon:]
Arise.
[Priest:]
Almighty and everlasting God, Who in Christ hast revealed Thy glory to all nations, guard the works of Thy mercy; that Thy Church, spread all over the world, may with constant faith persevere in the confession of Thy name. Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ . . . World without end.

[All:] Amen.

[Priest:] Let us pray also for our most Holy Father Pope N., that our Lord and God, who chose him for the order of the Episcopate, may keep him in health and safety for His holy Church to govern God's holy people.

[Priest:] Let us pray.
[Deacon:] Let us kneel.
[Subdeacon:]
Arise.
[Priest:]
Almighty and ever-lasting God, by Whose judgement all things are established, mercifully regard our prayers, and in Thy goodness preserve the Bishop chosen for us, that the Christian people who are ruled by Thine authority, may under so great a Pontiff be increased in the merits of their faith. Through our Lord Jesus Christ . . . World without end.

[All:] Amen.

[Priest:] Let us pray also for all Bishops, Priests, Deacons, Subdeacons, Acolytes, Exorcists, Readers, Porters, Confessors, Virgins, Widows, and for all the holy people of God.

[Priest:] Let us pray.
[Deacon:]
Let us kneel.
[Subdeacon:]
Arise.
[Priest:]
Almighty and ever-lasting God, by Whose Spirit the whole body of the Church is sanctified and ruled, hear our humble pleading for all its orders, faithfully served by all degrees. Through our Lord Jesus Christ . . . World without end.

[All:] Amen.

[Priest:] Let us pray also for all catechumens, that our Lord and God would open the ears of their hearts and the gate of mercy; that having received by the font of regeneration the remission of all their sins, they also may be found in Christ Jesus our Lord.

[Priest:] Let us pray.
[Deacon:]
Let us kneel.
[Subdeacon:]
Arise.
[Priest:]
Almighty and ever-lasting God, Who dost ever make Thy Church fruitful with new offspring, increase the faith and understanding of our catechumens; that being born again in the font of Baptism, they may be associated with the children of Thine adoption. Through our Lord Jesus Christ . . . World without end.

[All:] Amen.

[Priest:] Let us pray, dearly beloved, to God the Father Almighty, that He cleanse the world of all errors: take away diseases, drive away famine, open prisons, break chains, grant a sure return to travelers, health to the sick, and a safe haven to those at sea.

[Priest:] Let us pray.
[Deacon:] Let us kneel.
[Subdeacon:]
Arise.
[Priest:]
Almighty and ever-lasting God, the comfort of the sorrowful, and the strength of those who labor, let the prayers of those who call upon Thee in any trouble reach Thee; that all may rejoice because in their necessities Thy mercy has helped them. Through our Lord Jesus Christ . . . World without end.

[All:] Amen.

[Priest:] Let us pray also for heretics and schismatics: that our Lord and God may be pleased to deliver them from all their errors, and to recall them to our holy mother the Catholic and Apostolic Church.

[Priest:] Let us pray.
[Deacon:] Let us kneel.
[Subdeacon:]
Arise.
[Priest:]
Almighty and ever-lasting God, Who savest all and willest that no one should perish, look on the souls that are led astray by the deceit of the devil, that having set aside all heretical evil, the hearts of those who err may repent, and return to the unity of Thy truth. Through our Lord Jesus Christ . . . World without end.

[All:] Amen.

[Priest:] Let us pray also for the unfaithful Jews, that our God and Lord would remove the veil from their hearts; that they also may acknowledge our Lord Jesus Christ.

"Amen" is not said, nor "Let us pray," "Let us kneel," nor "Arise."

[Priest:] Almighty and ever-lasting God, Who drivest not even the faithless Jews away from Thy mercy, hear our prayers which we offer for the blindness of that people, that, acknowledging the light of Thy truth, which is Christ, they may be rescued from their darkness. Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ . . . World without end.

[All:] Amen.

[Priest:] Let us pray also for the pagans, that Almighty God would remove iniquity from their hearts, that, putting aside their idols, they may be converted to the true and living God, and His only Son, Jesus Christ our God and Lord.

[Priest:] Let us pray.
[Deacon:] Let us kneel.
[Subdeacon:]
Arise.
[Priest:]
Almighty and ever-lasting God, Who always seekest not the death, but the life of sinners, mercifully hear our prayer, and deliver them from the worship of idols, and join them to Thy holy Church for the praise and glory of Thy name. Through our Lord Jesus Christ . . . World without end.

[All:] Amen.

 

Part III: Adoration of the Holy Cross

The priest and ministers lay aside the cope, dalmatic, and tunic. The priest stands on the floor of the sanctuary as the deacon brings him the veiled cross from the center of the altar. Turning toward the people, the priest intones:

[Priest:] Behold the wood of the Cross, on which hung the Savior of the world.

[All:] Come, let us adore.

This is repeated three times, each on a higher note if sung. Each time the priest removes a portion of the veil, so that the cross is completely uncovered after the third. The cross may be placed on a cushion, or held by one of the ministers during the veneration which follows.

The priest and ministers remove their shoes, form a line, genuflect three times, and kneel to kiss the cross. After those in the sanctuary have venerated the cross, the laity are invited to the altar rail to do likewise.

During the veneration the choir and congregation recite or sing the following:

[Verse:] Because I led thee out of the land of Egypt, thou hast prepared a Cross for thy Savior.

[Response:] O My people, what have I done to thee, or wherein have I offended thee? Answer Me.

[All:] O Holy God! Agios o Theos! Sanctus Deus!

O Holy Strong One! Agios Ischyros! Sanctus Fortis!

O Holy Immortal One! Agios Anthanatos! Sanctus Immortalis!

Have mercy on us! Eleison imas! Miserere nobis!

[V] Because I led thee out through the desert forty years, and fed thee manna, and brought thee into a land exceedingly good, thou hast prepared a cross for thy Savior.

[All:] O Holy God! Agios o Theos! Sanctus Deus!

O Holy Strong One! Agios Ischyros! Sanctus Fortis!

O Holy Immortal One! Agios Anthanatos! Sanctus Immortalis!

Have mercy on us! Eleison imas! Miserere nobis!

[V] What more ought I to have done for thee than I have done? I planted thee, indeed, My most beautiful vineyard: and thou hast become exceedingly bitter to Me: for in My thirst thou gavest Me vinegar to drink: and with a lance thou hast pierced the side of thy Savior.

[All:] O Holy God! Agios o Theos! Sanctus Deus!

O Holy Strong One! Agios Ischyros! Sanctus Fortis!

O Holy Immortal One! Agios Anthanatos! Sanctus Immortalis!

Have mercy on us! Eleison imas! Miserere nobis!

[V] For thy sake I scourged Egypt with its firstborn: and thou hast scourged Me and delivered Me up.

[R] O My people, what have I done to thee, or wherein have I offended thee? Answer Me.

[V] I led thee out of Egypt, having drowned Pharaoh in the Red Sea: and thou hast delivered Me to the chief priests.

[R] O My people, what have I done to thee, or wherein have I offended thee? Answer Me.

[V] I opened the sea before thee: and thou with a spear hast opened my side.

[R] O My people, what have I done to thee, or wherein have I offended thee? Answer Me.

[V] I went before thee in a pillar of cloud: and thou hast led me to the judgement hall of Pilate.

[R] O My people, what have I done to thee, or wherein have I offended thee? Answer Me.

[V] I fed thee with manna in the desert: and thou hast beaten Me with blows and scourges.

[R] O My people, what have I done to thee, or wherein have I offended thee? Answer Me.

[V] I gave thee the water of salvation from the rock to drink: and thou hast given Me gall and vinegar.

[R] O My people, what have I done to thee, or wherein have I offended thee? Answer Me.

[V] For thy sake, I struck the kings of the Chananites: and thou hast struck My head with a reed.

[R] O My people, what have I done to thee, or wherein have I offended thee? Answer Me.

[V] I gave thee a royal scepter: and thou hast given to My head a crown of thorns.

[R] O My people, what have I done to thee, or wherein have I offended thee? Answer Me.

[V] I exalted thee with great strength: and thou hast hanged Me on the gibbet of the Cross.

[All:] We adore Thy Cross, O Lord, and we praise Thy holy Resurrection, for behold, by that wood joy came into the whole world.

May God have mercy on us, and bless us: may He cause the light of His countenance to shine upon us, and have mercy on us.

We adore Thy Cross, O Lord, and we praise Thy holy Resurrection, for behold, by that wood joy came into the whole world.

 

If the number venerating the cross is large, the hymn Pange Lingua is sung, alternating with verses of the hymn Crux Fidelis:

 

Hymn: Crux Fidelis

 

[R]
Faithful Cross, thou stand'st alone,

None like thee in our woods is grown;

Nor can with thy rich growth compare,

Or leaves like thine, or flowers bear.

Sweet wood, sweet nails, both sweet and fair,

Sweet is the precious weight ye bear.

 

Hymn: Pange Lingua

 

[V]
Sing, O my tongue, the victor's praise,

For Him the noblest trophy raise,

The victory of His cross proclaim,

His glory and His laureled fame:

Sing of His conquests when He proved

The Savior of the souls He loved.

[R]
Faithful Cross, thou stand'st alone.

[V]
The great Creator, Lord of all,

Pitying our parents' early fall,

When death from that destructive tree

Rushed on them, and their progeny,

Would, by a tree, Himself make good

The evils of that deadly wood.

[R]
Sweet wood, sweet nails, both sweet and fair,

Sweet is the precious weight ye bear.

[V]
Order like this was just and meet,

Poor man's redemption to complete,

That heavenly wisdom might destroy

Our artful foe's malicious joy,

And from our evil's fatal spring

A balsam for our wounds might bring.

[R]
Faithful Cross, thou stand'st alone,

None like thee in our woods is grown;

Nor can with thy rich growth compare,

Or leaves like thine, or flowers bear.

Sweet wood, sweet nails, both sweet and fair,

Sweet is the precious weight ye bear.

[V]
Time's solemn plenitude was run

When God sent forth His only Son

He Who the world's foundation laid,

Born of a poor and lowly maid,

Came clothed in mortal flesh and gave

His life our fallen race to save.

[R]
Sweet wood, sweet nails, both sweet and fair,

Sweet is the precious weight ye bear.

[V]
Beneath an infant form debased,

Within a lowly manger placed,

For us He weeps: and filled with grief

The Virgin's love would yield relief,

And fold Him with maternal care,

To screen Him from the piercing air.

[R]
Faithful Cross, thou stand'st alone,

None like thee in our woods is grown;

Nor can with thy rich growth compare,

Or leaves like thine, or flowers bear.

Sweet wood, sweet nails, both sweet and fair,

Sweet is the precious weight ye bear.

[V]
In pains and labors from His birth,

Passed His appointed term on earth,

Freely our Redeemer chose

His sufferings and His mortal throes,

And as a lamb, whose blood is shed,

A Victim on the Cross He bled.

[R]
Sweet wood, sweet nails, both sweet and fair,

Sweet is the precious weight ye bear.

[V]
Gall is His drink, His spirit fails,

Beneath the thorns and torturing nails;

The soldier's spear has brought a flood

Of water mingled with His Blood:

A stream of grace and purest worth,

To wash the deepened stains of earth.

[R]
Faithful Cross, thou stand'st alone,

None like thee in our woods is grown;

Nor can with thy rich growth compare,

Or leaves like thine, or flowers bear.

Sweet wood, sweet nails, both sweet and fair,

Sweet is the precious weight ye bear.

[V]
O bend thy boughs, exalted tree,

Relax thy stern rigidity:

An envied burden shalt thou bear,

Receive it to thy tenderest care:

And gently take the precious load,

The members of our King and God.

[R]
Sweet wood, sweet nails, both sweet and fair,

Sweet is the precious weight ye bear.

[V]
Thou wert worthy, chosen tree,

The envied task was given to thee,

A Victim for the world to bear,

An ark for sinners to prepare,

Stained with the Lamb's redeeming Blood,

To save us from the 'whelming flood.

[R]
Faithful Cross, thou stand'st alone. . . .

[V]
To God eternal glory be,

In essence one, in Persons Three;

To each is highest honor meet,

To Father, Son, and Paraclete:

May the whole world with joy proclaim

Our God's adored and hallowed name.

Amen.

[R]
Sweet wood, sweet nails, both sweet and fair,

Sweet is the precious weight ye bear.

 

 

Part IV: Mass of the Presanctified

 

When the adoration of the cross is completed, the candles are lighted, and the Sacred Host, consecrated at yesterday's Mass of the Lord's Supper is brought to the altar. At the altar of repose the Blessed Sacrament is incensed. It is then borne back to the main altar in solemn procession. The hymn Vexilla Regis is sung as this is done.

 

Hymn: Vexilla Regis

 

Vexilla Regis pródeunt:
Fulget crucis mystérium,
Qua vita mortem pértulit.
Et morte vitam prótulit

The Royal banners forward go,
The Cross shines forth in mystic glow,
Where life Himself our death endured,
And by His death our life procured.

   

Quæ vulneráta lánceæ
Mucróne diro, críminum
Ut nos laváret sórdibus
Manávit unda et sánguine.

Where deep for us the spear was dyed,
Life's torrent rushing from His side,
To wash us in that precious flood
Where mingled water flowed, and blood.

   

Impléta sunt quæ cóncinit
David fidéli cármine,
Dicéndo natiónibus:
Regnávit a ligno Deus.

Fulfilled is all that David told
In true prophetic song of old
To all the nations: "God," saith he,
"Hath reigned and triumphed from the Tree."

   

Arbor decóra et fúlgida,
Ornáta Regis púrpura,
Elécta digno stípite
Tam sancta membra tángere.

O Tree of beauty, Tree of light,
O Tree with royal purple bright,
Elect on whose triumphal breast
Those holy limbs should find their rest.

   

Beáta, cujus bráchiis
Prétium pepéndit sæculi:
Statéra facta córporis,
Tulítque prædam tártari.

On whose dear arms, so widely flung,
The weight of this world's ransom hung;
The price of human kind to pay,
And spoil the spoiler of his prey.

   

O crux, ave, spes única,
Hoc Passiónis témpore
Piis adáuge grátiam,
Reísque dele crímina.

O Cross, our one reliance hail!
This holy Passiontide avail
To give new virtue to the saint
And pardon to the penitent.

   

Te, fons salútis, Trínitas,
Colláudet omnis spíritus:
Quibus Crucis victóriam
Largíris, adde præmium.
Amen.

To Thee, eternal Three in One,
Let homage met by all be done;
As by the Cross Thou dost restore
So rule and guide us evermore.
Amen.

On arrival at the altar, the priest incenses the Blessed Sacrament, places the Host on the Corporal, and having received wine and water in the chalice, incenses as at Solemn Mass:

The Oblata:

Incénsum istud a te benedíctum, ascéndat ad te, Dómine: et descéndat super nos misericórdia tua.

May this incense blessed by Thee, arise before Thee, O Lord, and may Thy mercy come down upon us.

The altar itself:

Dirigátur, Dómine, orátio mea, sicut incénsum, in conspéctu tuo: elevátio mánuum meárum sacrifícium vespertínum. Pone, Dómine, custódiam ori meo, et óstium circumstántiæ lábiis meis: ut non declínet cor meum in verba malítiæ, ad excusándas excusatiónes in peccátis.

May my prayer be an incense offering in Thy sight, my uplifted hands, as an evening sacrifice. Set, O Lord, a watch over my mouth, and a guard over the door of my lips. Permit not my heart to turn to evil, seeking pretexts for wickedness, with men who work iniquity.

Giving the thurible to the deacon:

Accéndat in nobis Dóminus ignem sui amóris, et flámmam ætérnæ caritátis. Amen.

May the Lord enkindle in us the fire of His love and the flame of everlasting charity. Amen.

The priest is not, himself, incensed.

He then steps down on the Epistle side to wash his hands, saying nothing.

He returns and bows before the Blessed Sacrament saying:

In spíritu humilitátis, et in ánimo contríto suscipiámur a te, Dómine: et sic fiat sacrifícium nostrum in conspéctu tuo hódie, ut pláceat tibi, Dómine Deus.

In a humble spirit and with a contrite heart, may we be accepted by Thee, O Lord, and may our sacrifice so be offered in Thy sight this day as to please Thee, O Lord God.

He turns toward the people, being careful not to turn his back toward the Blessed Sacrament. He turns back to the altar without completing a full circle after saying:

Oráte fratres, ut meum, ac vestrum sacrifícium acceptábile fiat apud Deum Patrem omnipoténtem.

Pray, brethren, that my sacrifice and yours may become acceptable to God the Father almighty.

There is no answer.

The priest begins immediately in the ferial tone:

Orémus. Præcéptis salutáribus móniti, et divína institutióne formáti, audémus dícere:

Let us Pray. Directed by saving precepts, and formed by divine institution, we make bold to say:

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.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation.

[All:] Sed líbera nos a malo.
[P] Amen.

[All:] But deliver us from evil.
[P] Amen.

Libera nos, quæsumus, Dómine, ab ómnibus malis, prætéritis, præséntibius, et futúris: et intercedénte beáta, et gloriósa semper Vírgine Dei Genitríce María, cum beátis Apóstolis tuis, Petro et Paulo, atque Andréa, et ómnibus Sanctis [The sign of the cross is not made.] da propítius pacem in diébus nostris; ut ope misericórdiæ tuæ adjúti, et a peccáto simus semper líberi, et ab omni perturbatióne secúri. Per eúmdem Dóminum nostrum....

Deliver us, O Lord, we beseech Thee, from all evils, past, present, and to come: and through the intercession of the glorious and blessed Mary, ever virgin, mother of God, together with Thy blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and Andrew, and all the saints The sign of the cross is not made.] grant of Thy goodness, peace in our days, that aided by the riches of Thy mercy, we may be always free from sin, and safe from all disquiet. Through the same our Lord....

 

After genuflecting, the priest holds the paten under the Blessed Sacrament, and with his right hand elevates It high enough to be seen by the people. Then, over the chalice, he divides it into three parts, the smallest of which he drops into the wine and water in the chalice. Nothing is said; the Pax is not given.

 

The last of the usual three pre-Communion prayers is said:

Percéptio Córporis tui, Dómine Jesu Christe, quod ego indígnus súmere præsúmo, non mihi provéniat in judícium et condemnátionem: sed pro tua pietáte prosit mihi ad tutaméntum mentis et córporis, et ad medélam percipiéndam: Qui vivis et regnas cum Deo Patre in unitáte Spíritus Sancti Deus, per ómnia sæcula sæculórum. Amen.

Let not the partaking of Thy Body, O Lord Jesus Christ, which I, though unworthy, make bold to receive, turn to my judgement and condemnation, but by reason of Thy loving kindness, may it be to me a safeguard of both soul and body, and an effective remedy. Who livest and reignest with God the Father in the union of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

He genuflects, takes the paten with the Body of Christ, and humbly says:

Panem cæléstem accípiam, et nomen Dómini invocábo.

I will take the Bread of Heaven, and call upon the name of the Lord.

He strikes his breast, saying three times:

Dómine non sum dignus, ut intres sub tectum meum: sed tantum dic verbo, et sanábitur ánima mea.

Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldst come under my roof; but only say the word and my soul will be healed.

He signs himself with the Blessed Sacrament, saying before he receives It:

Corpus Dómini nostri Jesu Christi custódiat ánimam meam in vitam ætérnam. Amen.

May the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ keep my soul unto life everlasting. Amen.

Without saying anything more, he receives the wine containing the particle of the Sacred Host.

The priest takes the ablutions in the normal way, but saying nothing until he has returned to the center, veiled the chalice, and folded his hands. Then he says only the following prayer:

Quod ore súmpsimus, Dómine, pura mente capiámus: et de múnere temporáli fiat nobis remédium sempitérnum.

What has passed our lips as food, O Lord, may we possess in purity of heart, that what is given to us in time, be our healing for eternity.

Nothing else is said. The book is closed; the cross placed in front of the tabernacle; the lights are extinguished (except where Vespers are to follow); the priest takes up the veiled chalice and paten; the sacred ministers bow to the cross and exit in silence.

The altar is stripped privately.

  



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