Devotions for Holy Week

Traditional Catholic Devotions for Holy Week

Commentary taken from Blessed be God: A Complete Catholic Prayer Book, (1960, pp. 204 – 227):

Holy Week opens with Palm Sunday, which commemorates the triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem. The ceremony of Palm Sunday is one of the most impressive of the year and consists of the solemn blessing of the palm (Ed: Keep your palm fronds, they are sacramentals), of a procession and of the Mass, during which the Passion of our Lord is read. 

The most solemn parts of this week, however, are the last three days, which recall the passion, death and burial of our Lord. On Wednesday afternoon, therefore, begins the venerable and impressive office of the Tenebrae, consisting of Matins and Lauds of the divine office for the following day. This service is also held on the afternoons of Holy Thursday and Good Friday. It is made up of Psalms and extracts from the Prophets, St. Paul and the Church Fathers, expressive lamentation and sorrow over the Passion and death of the Redeemer. The name Tenebrae (darkness) is given this office because during it the lights in the sanctuary are gradually extinguished until but one remains. This is then carried behind the altar until the concluding prayer has been said. Then a noise is made, and the light hidden behind the altar is brought back to the sanctuary.

The extinction of the lights one after the other signifies the abandonment of Christ by His disciples; the candle taken behind the altar represents the death and burial of our Lord; the darkness of the sanctuary and the noise there made refer to the obscuring of the sun and the earthquake that occurred at the time of the Saviour’s death, and the light brought back to the sanctuary symbolises the Resurrection.

During these final days of Holy Week the Church anticipates the time for celebrating Matins and Lauds in order to make the sublime office of Tenebrae more convenient for the laity. All the faithful, therefore, who can possibly do so, should be present at these ancient and venerable mourning services in memory of the Passion and death of our Redeemer.

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Holy or Maundy Thursday

In many cathedrals and other churches there is still observed on this day the ancient custom of washing the feet of certain poor men, or ecclesiastics, in imitation of our Lord, Who washed the feet of the disciples at the Last Supper. This ceremony is called “maundy” from the Latin “mandatum” (command), because our Lord, after washing the disciples’ feet, commanded that they should do the same, one to another.

In ancient times, also, Holy Thursday was the day on which those who had been doing public penance during Lent were reconciled with the Church.

To-day the chief observance of Holy Thursday are three: (1) in the morning the Mass and procession of the Blessed Sacrament to the repository, in commemoration of the institution on this day of the Holy Eucharist; (2) in Cathedral churches, the blessing by the Bishop of the holy oils used in administering Baptism, Confirmation and Extreme Unction during the year: (3) the stripping of the altars after Vespers in memory of the parting of our Lord’s garments at the crucifixion.

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ANT. While they were at supper Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke, and gave to His disciples.

V/. A new commandment I give to you.
R/. That you love one another as I have loved you.

Let us pray.
O GOD, from Whom Judas received the punishment of his guilt and the thief the reward of his contrition, grant us the fruit of Thy mercy, that, as our Lord Jesus Christ in His Passion gave recompense to each according to his merits, so may He deliver us from our sins and bestow on us the grace of His Resurrection. Who liveth and reigneth, forever and ever. Amen.

Prayers for a Visit to the Repository

Sing My Tongue (Pange Lingua)

SING, my tongue, the Saviour’s glory,
Of His Flesh, the mystery sing;
Of His Blood, all price exceeding,
Shed by our immortal King,
Destin’d for the world’s redemption
From a noble Womb to spring.

Of a pure and spotless Virgin
Born for us on earth below,
He, as Man, with man conversing,
Stay’d the seeds of truth to sow;
Then He closed in solemn order
Wondrously His Life of woe.

On the night of that Last Supper,
Seated with His chosen band,
He, the Paschal Victim eating,
First fulfils the Lord’s command;
Then as Food to all His brethren,
Gives Himself with His own Hand.

Word-made-Flesh, the bread of nature
By His Word to Flesh He turns;
Wine into His Blood He changes:
What though sense no change discerns!
Only be the heart in earnest,
Faith her lesson quickly learns.

Down in adoration falling,
Lo! the sacred Host we hail!
Lo! o’er ancient forms departing
Newer rites of grace prevail;
Faith for all defects supplying,
When the feebler senses fail.

To the Everlasting Father,
And the Son Who comes on high,
With the Holy Ghost proceeding
Forth from each eternally,
Be salvation, honour, blessing,
Might and endless majesty.
Amen.

V/. Thou hast given them Bread from heaven.
R/. Containing all manner of sweetness.

Let us pray.
O GOD, Who hast left us, in this wonderful Sacrament, a perpetual memorial of Thy Passion: grant us, we beseech Thee, so to reverence the sacred mysteries of Thy Body and Blood that we may ever find in our souls the fruit of Thy Redemption. Who livest and reignest, forever and ever. Amen.
(Pre-1968 Indulgence of 7 years)

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Act of Reparation

IN THE NAME of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

MOST adorable Saviour, by the most wonderful prodigy of Thy love for us, Thou dost shut Thyself up in the most Blessed Sacrament of the altar in order to be the perpetual sacrifice of the New Law, the innocent victim of our sins, the celestial food of our souls, our kind physician, our good master, our powerful mediator, and our loving father. But, alas, with what infinite ingratitude on our part, Thine infinite kindness is repaid.

Prostrate before Thine altar, where Thou art as really present as in the highest heavens, we come to make reparation for all the injuries and for all the ingratitude inflicted on Thy loving Heart in this Sacrament.

O divine Jesus, grant us to make a fitting reparation for all blasphemies, for all profanations, and all sacrileges ever committed; for the want of devotion and neglect of preparation for Holy Communion*, for the little fruit we have drawn from it.

Pardon, O Lord, pardon for so many Christians who know Thee not and who offend Thee; for so many heretics who insult Thee; for so many impious men and apostates who persecute Thee. By the fervour of our love we would wish to make amends to Thee for all their contempt and for all their sacrileges.

How happy should we be, O Jesus, could we but make reparation to Thy glory by our respect, by our zeal, aye, even by the shedding of our blood. At least, most adorable Saviour, grant us the grace to love Thee in the most Holy Sacrament of the altar with the most tender, the most generous, the most perfect, the most constant love.

Virgin most holy, by thy holy and Immaculate Heart, make us enter into the adorable Heart of thy divine Son, Jesus Christ.

O sweet St. Joseph, obtain for me the gift of prayer and of perpetual union with Jesus and Mary. Amen.

* See posts: Prayers Before & After Communion and also How to Make a Good Confession.

 

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Prayers for Daily Communion

O SWEETEST Jesus, Who came into this world to enrich the souls of all with Thy grace, and Who, in order to preserve and increase it in their midst in the most august Sacrament of the Eucharist gave Thyself to be a salutary remedy for our infirmities and divine food to sustain our weakness; we humbly beg of Thee mercifully to pour out upon all men Thy Holy Spirit, which may enable them, if stained with any mortal guilt, to recover the life of grace lost by sin, and return to Thee; while those who through Thy great mercy are still united with Thee, may daily, so far as each may be able, to approach Thy heavenly table, where they may find strength, and an antidote for their daily faults, may nourish the life of grace within them and, being more and more purified, may attain to everlasting happiness in heaven. Amen.
(Pre-1968 Indulgence of 300 days once a week; PIUS X. June 3, 1905.)

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Tantum Ergo

DOWN in adoration falling,
Lo! the sacred Host we hail!
Lo! o’er ancient forms departing,
Newer rites of grace prevail;
Faith for all defects supplying,
When the feebler senses fail.

To the Everlasting Father,
And the Son Who reigns on high,
With the Holy Ghost proceeding
Forth from each eternally,
Be salvation, honour, blessing,
Might and endless majesty.
Amen.

V/. Thou hast given them Bread from heaven.
R/. Containing all manner of sweetness.

Let us pray.
O GOD, Who hast left us, in this wonderful Sacrament, a perpetual memorial of Thy Passion: grant us, we beseech Thee, so to reverence the sacred mysteries of Thy Body and Blood that we may ever find in our souls the fruit of Thy Redemption. Who livest and reignest, forever and ever. Amen.

(Pre-1968 Indulgence of 5 years)

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Upon That Hallowed Night

UPON that hallowed night
Christ with His brethren ate,
Obedient to the olden Law,
The Pasch before Him set.

Which done – Himself entire,
The true, incarnate God,
Alike on each, alike on all,
His sacred hands bestowed.

He gave His Flesh; He gave
His Precious Blood; sand said:
“Receive and drink ye all of this,
For your salvation shed.”
Thus did the Lord appoint
This sacrifice sublime,
And made His priests its ministers
Through all the bounds of time.

Farewell to types! Henceforth
We feed on angels’ for:
The guilty slave – oh, wonder! – eats
The Body of his God!
O blessed Triune Deity!
Visit our hearts, we pray;
And lead us on through Thine own paths
To Thy eternal day.
Amen.

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Act of Devout Affection to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament

BEHOLD, my dear and loving Jesus, whereunto Thy great excess of charity has arrived. Thou, of Thy sacred Flesh and most Precious Blood, hast prepared for me a divine banquet, wherein to give me all Thyself. Oh, what has moved Thee to this transport of love? Most certainly Thy loving Heart alone. O ever-adorable Heart of my Jesus! burning furnace of divine love! receive into Thy sacred wound my poor soul, that, in Thy school of charity, it may ever learn how to love this God Who has given me such wonderful proofs of His divine love. Amen.

(Pre-1968 Indulgence of 500 days)

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Indulgences for Holy Thursday *

(1) Plenary, to all who on Holy Thursday, either in public or private, shall for one hour practise some devotion in remembrance of the institution of the most Holy Eucharist; to be gained after confession and communion on that day, or some day in the following week, a prayer for the Pope being added.

(2) Plenary once for a visit to the repository on Holy Thursday and Good Friday. Conditions: Confession, Communion, prayers for the Holy Father’s intention.

(3) Ten years and ten quarantines for every further visit, with prayers for the Pope.

(PIUS IX, June 18, 1876.)

* Taken from the pre-1968 Blessed be God: A Complete Catholic Prayer Book, (1960, p. 213)

 

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Devotions for Good Friday

Commentary taken from Blessed be God: A Complete Catholic Prayer Book, (1960, pp. 213 – 224):

This day is called “good” because on it the condescension and goodness of God were exceedingly manifested toward mankind in the death of the Saviour of the world. Its ceremonies may be divided into four parts.

(1) The Mass of the Catechumens, which consists of lessons from the Old Testament, foretelling the Redemption of the nations by Christ and typifying His immolation in the sacrifice of the Paschal lamb. A prayer for forgiveness of sin is also offered and this first part of the day’s ceremonies is concluded with the reading of the Passion of our Lord according to St. John.

(2) Next follow the Good Friday supplications, in which solemn intercessions are made for the whole human race, for the Church, the Pope, Bishops, priests, deacons, and all the other clergy and the laity; for catechumens, for heretics, schismatics, Jews and pagans; for the unfortunate, the sick, prisoners, travellers and sailors. This is the only day in the year on which the Church prays publicly and solemnly for those outside her communion.

(3) The adoration of the cross constitutes the third part of today’s ceremonies. The cross is three times held up before the people and gradually unveiled, so that they may look upon the instrument of their salvation. At this same time those assisting the priest genuflect in adoration. The cross is then placed on a cushion before the altar, and solemnly venerated first by the celebrant and his ministers and then by all the faithful. Meanwhile are read or sung the reproaches uttered by the Messiah against those who had rejected Him. The hymn “Crux fidelis,” (“Faithful Cross,”) terminates this third part.

(4) Good Friday service ends with the Mass of the Presanctified, which is not a real sacrifice since there is no consecration on that day. The Church is so absorbed with the thought of our Lord’s death on this, its sorrowful anniversary, that she does not renew the immolation of the divine Victim on the altar. The Mass of the Presanctified is, therefore, in reality only a Communion service. It begins with the procession to the repository during which the beautiful hymn “Vexilla Regis” is sung. The sacred Host which was consecrated the day before is now brought back to the altar and incensed, and the priest takes wine and water into the chalice and again incenses the oblation and the altar. After washing his fingers he says the “Orate features” and the “Pater Noster,” elevates and breaks the Host, and concludes the service with his Communion and the taking of the ablutions. Besides the celebrant, only those in danger of death are allowed to receive Holy Communion on Good Friday. 

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• On Good Friday, it is most appropriate to say the Stations of the Cross.

• See also: Miraculous Good Friday Novenas

 

ANT. Toward the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice: My God, Why hast Thou forsaken Me? And bowing His head, He gave up the ghost.

V/. Lord, remember me. new commandment I give to you.
R/. When Thou comest into Thy kingdom.

Let us pray.
LOOK down, we beseech Thee, O Lord, upon us for whose sake our Lord Jesus Christ hesitated not to yield Himself into the hands of sinners, and to suffer the torments of the Cross. Who liveth and reigneth forever and ever. Amen.

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Abroad the Regal Banners Fly | Vexilla Regis

Abroad the regal banners fly,
now shines the Cross’s mystery:
upon it Life did death endure,
and yet by death did life procure.

Who, wounded with a direful spear,
did purposely to wash us clear
from stain of sin, pour out a flood
of precious water mixed with blood.

That which the prophet-king of old
hath in mysterious verse foretold,
is now accomplished, whilst we see
God ruling the nations form a Tree.

O lovely and refulgent Tree,
adorned with purpled majesty;
culled from a worthy stock, to bear
those limbs which sanctified were.

Blest Tree, whose happy branches bore
the wealth that did the world restore;
the beam that did that Body weigh
which raised up Hell’s expected prey.

Hail Cross, of hopes the most sublime!
Now, in the mournful Passion time;
grant to the just increase of grace,
and every sinner’s crimes efface.

Blest Trinity, salvation’s spring
may every soul Thy praises sing;
to those Thou grantest conquest by
the Holy Cross, rewards supply. Amen.

Commentary from CatholicTradition.org:

Vexilla Regis, one of the greatest hymns of the Roman rite liturgy, was written by Venantius Fortunatus who lived between 530 and 609. He wrote it in honour of the arrival of a large relic of the True Cross which had been sent to Queen Radegunda by the Emperor Justin II and his Empress Sophia.

Queen Radegunda, living in a convent she had built near Poitiers, was seeking out relics for the church there; to celebrate the arrival of the relic, the Queen requested Fortunatus to write a hymn for the procession of the relic to the church in 569. The hymn is traditionally sung at Vespers from Passion Sunday to Holy Thursday and on the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross. The hymn is also sung on Good Friday when the Blessed Sacrament is taken from the repository to the altar… The last two verses which form the concluding doxology are not by Fortunatus, but were penned by a later poet.

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The Seven Words Upon the Cross

INCLINE unto my aid, O God.
R/. O Lord, make haste to help me.

Gloria Patri …

 

The First Word

FATHER, forgive them for they know not what they do. 

V/. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.
R/. Because by Thy holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

O MY beloved Jesus, Who for the love of me didst agonise on the Cross that Thou mightest pay by Thy sufferings the debt my sins, and didst open Thy Divine mouth to obtain my pardon from eternal justice, have mercy on all the faithful in their agony, and on myself when I shall be in that extremity, and, by the merits of Thy Most Precious Blood shed for our salvation, give us so lively a sorrow for our sins that we may breathe out our souls into the bosom of Thine infinite mercy.

Gloria Patri … (x3)

V/. Have mercy on us, O Lord.
R/. Have mercy on us.

O my God, I believe in Thee, I hope in Thee, I love Thee, and I repent of having offended Thee by my sins.

 

The Second Word

THIS day Thou shalt be with Me in Paradise. 

V/. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.
R/. Because by Thy holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

O BELOVED Jesus, Who for the love of me didst agonize on the Cross, and with such readiness and bounty didst respond to the faith of the Good Thief, who in the midst of Thy humiliation acknowledged Thee to be the Son of God: O Thou Who didst assure him of Paradise, have mercy on all the faithful in their agony, and on me also when I shall be in that extremity, and through the merits of Thy Most Precious Blood, revive in our souls a faith so firm and constant that it may not waver at any suggestion of the devil, so that we also may obtain the blessed reward of Heaven.

Gloria Patri … (x3)

V/. Have mercy on us, O Lord.
R/. Have mercy on us.

O my God, I believe in Thee, I hope in Thee, I love Thee, and I repent of having offended Thee by my sins.

 

The Third Word

BEHOLD Thy Son; behold thy Mother. 

V/. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.
R/. Because by Thy holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

O BELOVED Jesus, Who for the love didst agonise on the Cross, and, forgetting Thy sufferings, didst leave us as a pledge of Thy love Thine Own most holy Mother, that her we might confidently have recourse in our greatest need: have mercy on all the faithful in their agony, and on me also when I shall be in that extremity, and through the interior martyrdom of this Thy dear Mother, awaken in our hearts a firm hope in the infinite merits of Thy Most Precious Blood, that we may avoid the eternal damnation which our sins have deserved. 

Gloria Patri … (x3)

V/. Have mercy on us, O Lord.
R/. Have mercy on us.

O my God, I believe in Thee, I hope in Thee, I love Thee, and I repent of having offended Thee by my sins.

 

The Fourth Word

MY GOD! My God! why hast Thou forsaken Me?

V/. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.
R/. Because by Thy holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

O BELOVED Jesus, Who for the love of me didst agonise on the Cross, and heaping suffering on suffering, didst endure with infinite patience not only Thy many bodily tortures, but the most heavy affliction of spirit through the dereliction of Thine eternal Father: have mercy on all the faithful in their agony, and on me also when I shall be in that extremity, and through the merits of Thy Most Precious Blood, give us the grace to suffer with true patience all the pains and afflictions of our agony, that, uniting them with Thine, we may be partakers of Thy glory in Paradise.

Gloria Patri … (x3)

V/. Have mercy on us, O Lord.
R/. Have mercy on us.

O my God, I believe in Thee, I hope in Thee, I love Thee, and I repent of having offended Thee by my sins.

 

The Fifth Word

I THIRST.  

V/. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.
R/. Because by Thy holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

O BELOVED Jesus, Who didst agonise on the Cross for the love of me, and Who, not satisfied with all the ignominy and suffering, wouldst willingly have suffered yet more, so that all men might be saved — as was clearly proved when all the torrents of Thy Passion would not allay the thirst of Thy tender Heart: have mercy on all the faithful in their agony, and on me also when I shall be in that extremity, and, through the merits of Thy Most Precious Blood, enkindle such a fire of charity in our hearts as may cause them to burn with the desire of uniting themselves to Thee for all eternity.

Gloria Patri … (x3)

V/. Have mercy on us, O Lord.
R/. Have mercy on us.

O my God, I believe in Thee, I hope in Thee, I love Thee, and I repent of having offended Thee by my sins.

 

The Sixth Word

IT IS consummated.

V/. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.
R/. Because by Thy holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

O BELOVED Jesus, Who for the love of me didst agonise on the Cross, and from  that throne of truth didst announce the completion of the work of our Redemption, through which, from being the children of wrath and perdition, we are become the children of God and the heirs of Heaven: have Mercy on all the faithful in their agony, and on me also when I shall be in that extremity, and through the merits of Thy Most Precious Blood, detach us entirely from the world and from ourselves, and at the moment of our agony give us the grace sincerely to offer the sacrifice of our life in expiation of our sins.

Gloria Patri … (x3)

V/. Have mercy on us, O Lord.
R/. Have mercy on us.

O my God, I believe in Thee, I hope in Thee, I love Thee, and I repent of having offended Thee by my sins.

 

The Seventh Word

FATHER, into Thy hands I commend My spirit. 

V/. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.
R/. Because by Thy holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

O BELOVED Jesus, Who didst agonise on the Cross for the love of me, and Who, in completing this great sacrifice, didst accept the will of Thine eternal Father, by resigning Thy spirit into His hands, and then bowing Thy head and dying: have mercy on all the faithful in their agony, and on me also when I shall be in that extremity, and through the merits of Thy Most Precious Blood, give us, in our agony, an entire conformity to the Divine will, that we may be ready either to live or die according as it shall best please Thee, desiring nothing but the accomplishment of Thy blessed will in us.

Gloria Patri … (x3)

V/. Have mercy on us, O Lord.
R/. Have mercy on us.

O my God, I believe in Thee, I hope in Thee, I love Thee, and I repent of having offended Thee by my sins.

 

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A Prayer to Our Blessed Lady of Sorrows

O HOLY Mother, most afflicted by the bitter sorrow which thou didst endure at the foot of the Cross during the three hours’ agony of Jesus: vouchsafe to assist all of us, the children of thy sorrows, in our last agony, that through thine intercession we may pass from the bed of death to form a crown for thee in the heavenly paradise.

(3x) Ave Maria …

O Mary, Mother of grace,
Mother of mercy,
Protect us from the enemy,
And receive us at the hour of death.

V/. From sudden and unlooked-for death,
R/. O Lord, deliver us.
V/. From the snares of the devil,
R/. O Lord, deliver us.
V/. From everlasting death,
R/. O Lord, deliver us.

Let us pray.
O GOD, Who for the salvation of mankind didst give an example and a help in the Passion and Death of Thy Son; grant, we beseech Thee, that in the hour of our death we may experience the effects of this Thy charity, and deserve to be partakes in the glory of Him our Redeemer, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

JESUS, Mary, and Joseph,
I give thee my heart and my soul.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
assist me in my last agony.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
may I breathe forth my soul in peace with thee.

(Pre-1968 Indulgence of 7 years)

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Good Friday Reproaches

MY PEOPLE! what have I done to thee? Or in what have I grieved thee? Answer Me. Because I brought thee out of the land of Egypt: thou hast prepared a cross for thy Saviour.

Holy God.
Holy God.
Holy and strong God.
Holy and strong God.
Holy and immortal God! Have mercy on us.
Holy and immortal God! Have mercy on us.

BECAUSE I led thee through the desert forty years and fed thee with manna and brought thee into an excellent land; thou hast prepared a cross for thy Saviour.

Holy God.
Holy God.
Holy and strong God.
Holy and strong God.
Holy and immortal God! Have mercy on us.
Holy and immortal God! Have mercy on us.

WHAT more should I have done to thee, and have not done? I have planted thee for My most beautiful vineyard; and thou hast proved very bitter to Me: for in My thirst thou gavest Me vinegar to drink: and with a spear thou hast pierced the side of thy Saviour.

Holy God.
Holy God.
Holy and strong God.
Holy and strong God.
Holy and immortal God! Have mercy on us.
Holy and immortal God! Have mercy on us.

FOR thy sake I scourged Egypt with her first-born; and thou hast delivered Me to be scourged.

I brought thee out of Egypt, having drowned Pharaoh in the Red Sea; and thou hast delivered Me over to the chief priests.

I opened the sea before thee; and thou hast opened My side.

I went before thee in a pillar of the cloud; and thou hast brought Me to the palace of Pilate.

I fed thee with manna in the desert; and thou hast beaten Me with buffets and scourges.

I gave thee wholesome water to drink out of the rock; and thou hast given me gall and vinegar.

For thy sake I struck the kings of the Chananites; and thou hast struck my head with a reed.

I gave thee a royal sceptre; and thou hast given Me a crown of thorns.

I have exalted thee with great strength; and thou hast hanged Me on the gibbet of the Cross.

MY PEOPLE! what have I done to thee? Or in what have I grieved thee? Answer Me.

 

 

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Miserére Mei, Deus | Have mercy on me, O God

The sublime Miserere mei, Deus (see Psalm 50, the fourth penitential psalm) by Allegri, performed by the Choir of New College, Oxford.

 

 

 

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Devotions for Holy Saturday

Commentary taken from Blessed be God: A Complete Catholic Prayer Book, (1960, pp. 224 – 225):

Originally the service of this day was celebrated during the late hours of Saturday night as an Easter vigil. The faithful watched in the Church all night, awaiting the dawn, the hour of the Resurrection, when the joyful Mass of Easter would be celebrated. Meanwhile, the long preparation of the catechumens was concluded with solemn Baptism, their resurrection to newness of life. 

Holy Saturday ceremonies are as follows.

(1) The blessing of the new fire and the Paschal candle. The new fire struck from flint represents Christ the corner-stone and light of the world. The Paschal candle symbolises the radiance and glory of His Resurrection.

(2) Next follow twelve prophecies taken from the Old Testament accompanied by prayers. These lessons, intended principally for the celebration of Baptism, contain types of the Redemption, of the Resurrection, of Baptism and of the Church.

(3) After this comes the blessing of the baptismal font, which in the early days ws followed by Baptism and Confirmation of the candidates who were prepared for these Sacraments.

(4) Finally there are the Litany of the Saints and the Mass. Immediately after the Communion, first vespers of Easter are sung.

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ANT. In the end of the Sabbath when it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalen and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

V/. His place is in peace.
R/. And His abode in Sion.

Let us pray.
O GOD, Who dost gladded us by the annual expectation of the Resurrection of Thy Son, mercifully preserve in us the spirit of adoption which we received in holy Baptism, that we may ever show forth a pure service in Thy sight.

To Jesus in the Sepulchre

JESU! as though Thyself wert here,
I draw in trembling sorrow near;
And, hanging o’er Thy form divine,
Kneel down to kiss these wounds of Thine.
Hail, awful brow! hail, thorny wreath!
Hail, countenance now pale in death!
Whose glance but late so brightly blazed,
That angels trembled as they gazed.
And hail to thee, my Saviour’s side;
And hail to thee, thou wound so wide;
Thou wound more ruddy than the rose,
True antidote of all our woes!
Oh, by those sacred hands and feet
For me so mangled! I entreat,
My Jesu, turn me not away,
But let me here forever stay.

Click here for Litany of the Saints

 

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Prayers for Easter Sunday

See “The Mystery of Paschal Time” by Abbot Guéranger on CatholicTradition.org

ANT. Christ our Pasch is immolated; therefore let us feast with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. Alleluia!

V/. This is the day which the Lord hath made. Alleluia.
R/. Let us be glad and rejoice therein. Alleluia.

Let us pray.
O GOD, Who through Thine only-begotten Son hast on this day overcome death and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life, follow up with Thine aid the desires which Thou didst forestall with Thine inspiration. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

The Paschal Sequence

CHRIST the Lord is ris’n today;
Christians, haste your vows to pay;
Offer now your praises meet
At the Paschal Victim’s feet.
For the sheep the Lamb has bled,
Sinless in the sinner’s stead;
Christ the Lord is ris’n on high;
Now he lives, no more to die.

Christ, the Victim undefiled,
God and sinners reconciled;
When in strange and awful strife
Met together death and life;
Christians, on this happy day
Haste with joy your vows to pay.
Christ the Lord is ris’n on high;
Now he lives, no more to die.

Say, O wond’ring Mary, say
What you saw along your way.
“I beheld where Christ had lain,
Empty tomb and angels twain.
I beheld the glory bright
Of the risen Lord of light.
Christ my hope is ris’n again;
Now he lives, and lives to reign.”

Christ, who once for sinners bled,
Now the firstborn from the dead,
Throned in endless might and pow’r,
Lives and reigns forevermore.
Hail, eternal Hope on high!
Hail, our King of victory!
Hail, our Prince of life adored!
Help and save us, gracious Lord.

 

•••••••

 

Q/. Why were Easter eggs red?
A/. He is Risen!

 

One version of the event, from RoseMarieBerger Blog

 

Mary-Magdalene_RED-EGG-HE-IS-RISEN
HE is Risen!
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