Breviary

Office of Readings

INVITATORY

The Invitatory is said when this is the first ‘hour’ of the day.

Go to the Hymn

Go to the Psalmody

Lord, + open my lips.
And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, the Son of God, who redeemed us with his blood.

The antiphon is repeated. In individual recitation, the antiphon may be said only at the beginning of the psalm; it need not be repeated after each strophe.

Go to Psalm 24

Go to Psalm 67

Go to Psalm 100

Psalm 95
A call to praise God


Encourage each other daily while it is still today (Hebrews 3:13).

Come, let us sing to the Lord *
  and shout with joy to the Rock who saves us.
Let us approach him with praise and thanksgiving *
  and sing joyful songs to the Lord.

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, the Son of God, who redeemed us with his blood.

The Lord is God, the mighty God, *
  the great king over all the gods.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth *
  and the highest mountains as well.
He made the sea; it belongs to him, *
  the dry land, too, for it was formed by his hands.

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, the Son of God, who redeemed us with his blood.

Come, then, let us bow down and worship, *
  bending the knee before the Lord, our maker.
For he is our God and we are his people, *
  the flock he shepherds.

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, the Son of God, who redeemed us with his blood.

Today, listen to the voice of the Lord:
Do not grow stubborn, as your fathers did
  in the wilderness, *
when at Meriba and Massah
  they challenged me and provoked me, *
Although they had seen all of my works.

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, the Son of God, who redeemed us with his blood.

Forty years I endured that generation. *
I said, “They are a people whose hearts go astray
  and they do not know my ways.”
So I swore in my anger, *
  “They shall not enter into my rest.”

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, the Son of God, who redeemed us with his blood.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, the Son of God, who redeemed us with his blood.

Go to the Hymn

Psalm 24
The Lord’s entry into his temple


Christ opened heaven for us in the manhood he assumed (Saint Irenaeus).

The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness, *
the world and all its peoples.
It is he who set it on the seas; *
on the waters he made it firm.

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, the Son of God, who redeemed us with his blood.

Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord? *
Who shall stand in his holy place?
The man with clean hands and pure heart,
who desires not worthless things, *
who has not sworn so as to deceive his neighbor.

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, the Son of God, who redeemed us with his blood.

He shall receive blessings from the Lord *
and reward from the God who saves him.
Such are the men who seek him, *
seek the face of the God of Jacob.

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, the Son of God, who redeemed us with his blood.

O gates, lift high your heads;
grow higher, ancient doors. *
Let him enter, the king of glory!

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, the Son of God, who redeemed us with his blood.

Who is the king of glory?
The Lord, the mighty, the valiant, *
the Lord, the valiant in war.

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, the Son of God, who redeemed us with his blood.

O gates, lift high your heads;
grow higher, ancient doors. *
Let him enter, the king of glory!

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, the Son of God, who redeemed us with his blood.

Who is he, the king of glory?
He, the Lord of armies, *
he is the king of glory.

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, the Son of God, who redeemed us with his blood.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, the Son of God, who redeemed us with his blood.

Go to the Hymn

Psalm 67
People of all nations will worship the Lord


You must know that God is offering his salvation to all the world (Acts 28:28).

O God, be gracious and bless us *
and let your face shed its light upon us.
So will your ways be known upon earth *
and all nations learn your saving help.

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, the Son of God, who redeemed us with his blood.

Let the peoples praise you, O God; *
let all the peoples praise you.

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, the Son of God, who redeemed us with his blood.

Let the nations be glad and exult *
for you rule the world with justice.
With fairness you rule the peoples, *
you guide the nations on earth.

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, the Son of God, who redeemed us with his blood.

Let the peoples praise you, O God; *
let all the peoples praise you.

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, the Son of God, who redeemed us with his blood.

The earth has yielded its fruit *
for God, our God, has blessed us.
May God still give us his blessing *
till the ends of the earth revere him.

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, the Son of God, who redeemed us with his blood.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, the Son of God, who redeemed us with his blood.

Go to the Hymn

Psalm 100
The joyful song of those entering God’s temple


The Lord calls his ransomed people to sing songs of victory (Saint Athanasius).

Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness. *
Come before him, singing for joy.

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, the Son of God, who redeemed us with his blood.

Know that he, the Lord, is God.
He made us, we belong to him, *
we are his people, the sheep of his flock.

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, the Son of God, who redeemed us with his blood.

Go within his gates, giving thanks.
Enter his courts with songs of praise. *
Give thanks to him and bless his name.

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, the Son of God, who redeemed us with his blood.

Indeed, how good is the Lord,
eternal his merciful love. *
He is faithful from age to age.

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, the Son of God, who redeemed us with his blood.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, the Son of God, who redeemed us with his blood.

If the Invitatory is not said, then the following is used:

God, + come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

HYMN

Lord Jesus, as we turn from sin
With strength and hope restored,
Receive the homage that we bring
To you our risen Lord.

We call on you whose living word
Has made the Father known,
O Shepherd, we have wandered far,
Find us and lead us home.

Your glance at Peter helped him know
The love he had denied,
Now gaze on us and heal us, Lord,
Of selfishness and pride.

Reach out and touch with healing pow’r
The wounds we have received,
That in forgiveness we may love
And may no longer grieve.

Then stay with us when evening comes
And darkness makes us blind,
O stay until the light of dawn
May fill both heart and mind.

Tune: Forgiveness C.M.
Music: Austin Rennick, OSB
Text: Ralph Wright, OSB, 1938-
© 1981 ICEL


Go to the Psalmody

Or:

What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul?
What wondrous love is this, O my soul?
What wondrous love is this,
That caused the Lord of Bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul;
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul.

To God and to the Lamb I will sing, I will sing;
To God and to the Lamb I will sing.
To God and to the Lamb Who is the great I am,
While millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing;
While millions join the theme, I will sing.

And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on;
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on.
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing and joyful be,
And through eternity I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on!
And through eternity I’ll sing on.

Tune: Wondrous Love 12.9.12.12.9
Music: Southern Harmony, 1835
Text: Reverend Alexander Means in Southern Harmony, 1835

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 Earthly kings rise up, in revolt; princes conspire together against the Lord and his Anointed.

Psalm 2
The Messiah, king and conqueror


The rulers of the earth joined forces to overthrow Jesus, your anointed Son (Acts 4:27).

Why this tumult among nations, *
among peoples this useless murmuring?
They arise, the kings of the earth, *
princes plot against the Lord and his Anointed.
“Come let us break their fetters, *
come, let us cast off their yoke.”

He who sits in the heavens laughs; *
the Lord is laughing them to scorn.
Then he will speak in his anger, *
his rage will strike them with terror.
“It is I who have set up my king *
on Zion, my holy mountain.”

I will announce the decree of the Lord:

The Lord said to me: “You are my Son. *
It is I who have begotten you this day.
Ask and I shall bequeath you the nations, *
put the ends of the earth in your possession.
With a rod of iron you will break them, *
shatter them like a potter’s jar.”

Now, O kings, understand, *
take warning, rulers of the earth;
serve the Lord with awe *
and trembling, pay him your homage
lest he be angry and you perish; *
for suddenly his anger will blaze.

Blessed are they who put their trust in God.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm Prayer

Lord, God, you gave the peoples of the world as the inheritance of your only Son; you crowned him as King of Zion, your holy city, and gave him your Church to be his Bride. As he proclaims the law of your eternal kingdom, may we serve him faithfully, and so share his royal power for ever.

Ant. Earthly kings rise up, in revolt; princes conspire together against the Lord and his Anointed.

Ant. 2 They divided my garments among them; they cast lots for my clothing.

Psalm 22:2-23
God hears the suffering of his Holy One


Jesus cried with a loud voice: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46).

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? *
You are far from my plea and the cry of my distress.
O my God, I call by day and you give no reply; *
I call by night and I find no peace.

Yet you, O God, are holy, *
enthroned on the praises of Israel.
In you our fathers put their trust; *
they trusted and you set them free.
When they cried to you, they escaped. *
In you they trusted and never in vain.

But I am a worm and no man, *
scorned by men, despised by the people.
All who see me deride me. *
They curl their lips, they toss their heads.
“He trusted in the Lord, let him save him; *
let him release him if this is his friend.”

Yes, it was you who took me from the womb, *
entrusted me to my mother’s breast.
To you I was committed from my birth, *
from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
Do not leave me alone in my distress; *
come close, there is none else to help.

Many bulls have surrounded me, *
fierce bulls of Bashan close me in.
Against me they open wide their jaws, *
like lions, rending and roaring.

Like water I am poured out, *
disjointed are all my bones.
My heart has become like wax, *
it is melted within my breast.

Parched as burnt clay is my throat, *
my tongue cleaves to my jaws.
Many dogs have surrounded me, *
a band of the wicked beset me.
They tear holes in my hands and my feet *
and lay me in the dust of death.

I can count every one of my bones. *
These people stare at me and gloat;
they divide my clothing among them. *
They cast lots for my robe.

O Lord, do not leave me alone, *
my strength, make haste to help me!
Rescue my soul from the sword, *
my life from the grip of these dogs.
Save my life from the jaws of these lions, *
my poor soul from the horns of these oxen.

I will tell of your name to my brethren *
and praise you where they are assembled.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm Prayer

Father, when your Son was handed over to torture and seemed abandoned by you, he cried out to you from the cross and death was destroyed, life was restored. By his death and resurrection, may we see the day when the poor are saved, the downtrodden lifted up, and the chains that bind peoples are broken. United to the thanks that Christ gives you, your Church will sing your praises.

Ant. They divided my garments among them; they cast lots for my clothing.

Ant. 3 They sought to take my life by violence.

Psalm 38
A sinner in extreme danger prays earnestly to God


All his friends were standing at a distance (Luke 23:49).

O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger; *
do not punish me, Lord, in your rage.
Your arrows have sunk deep in me; *
your hand has come down upon me.

Through your anger all my body is sick: *
through my sin, there is no health in my limbs.
My guilt towers higher than my head; *
it is a weight too heavy to bear.

My wounds are foul and festering, *
the result of my own folly.
I am bowed and brought to my knees. *
I go mourning all the day long.

All my frame burns with fever; *
all my body is sick.
Spent and utterly crushed, *
I cry aloud in anguish of heart.

O Lord, you know all my longing: *
my groans are not hidden from you.
My heart throbs, my strength is spent; *
the very light has gone from my eyes.

My friends avoid me like a leper; *
those closest to me stand afar off.
Those who plot against my life lay snares;
those who seek my ruin speak of harm, *
planning treachery all the day long.

But I am like the deaf who cannot hear, *
like the dumb unable to speak.
I am like a man who hears nothing, *
in whose mouth is no defense.

I count on you, O Lord: *
it is you, Lord God, who will answer.
I pray: “Do not let them mock me, *
those who triumph if my foot should slip.”

For I am on the point of falling *
and my pain is always before me.
I confess that I am guilty *
and my sin fills me with dismay.

My wanton enemies are numberless *
and my lying foes are many.
They repay me evil for good *
and attack me for seeking what is right.

O Lord, do not forsake me! *
My God, do not stay afar off!
Make haste and come to my help, *
O Lord, my God, my savior!

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm Prayer

Do not abandon us, Lord our God; you did not forget the broken body of your Christ, nor the mockery his love received. We, your children, are weighed down with sin; give us the fullness of your mercy.

Ant. They sought to take my life by violence.

They brought false evidence against me.
They were breathing out fury.

READINGS

FIRST READING

From the letter to the Hebrews
9:11-28

By the shedding of his own blood, Christ, the high priest, entered the sanctuary once and for all


When Christ came as high priest of the good things which have come to be, he entered once for all into the sanctuary, passing through the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made by hands, that is, not belonging to this creation. He entered, not with the blood of goats and calves, but with his own blood, and achieved eternal redemption.

For if the blood of goats and bulls and the sprinkling of a heifer’s ashes can sanctify those who are defiled so that their flesh is cleansed, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered himself up unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to worship the living God!

This is why he is mediator of a new covenant: since his death has taken place for deliverance from transgressions committed under the first covenant, those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance. Where there is a testament, it is necessary that the death of the testator be confirmed. For a testament comes into force only in the case of death; it has no force while the testator is alive. Hence, not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood.

When Moses had read all the commandments of the law to the people, he took the blood of goats and calves, together with water and crimson wool and hyssop, and sprinkled the book and all the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has enjoined upon you.” He also sprinkled the tabernacle and all the vessels of worship with blood. According to the law almost everything is purified by blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

It was necessary that the copies of the heavenly models be purified in this way, but the heavenly realities themselves called for better sacrifices. For Christ did not enter into a sanctuary made by hands, a mere copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself that he might appear before God now on our behalf. Not that he might offer himself there again and again, as the high priest enters year after year into the sanctuary with blood that is not his own; if that were so, he would have had to suffer death over and over from the creation of the world. But now he has appeared at the end of the ages to take away sins once for all by his sacrifice. Just as it is appointed that men die once, and after death be judged, so Christ was offered up once to take away the sins of many; he will appear a second time not to take away sin but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await him.

RESPONSORY
See Isaiah 53:7, 12


He was led like a lamb to the slaughter;
no complaint from his lips against the evil done to him.
He was given up to death,
to give his people life.

He surrendered himself to death
and was counted among the wicked.
To give his people life.

SECOND READING

From the Catecheses by Saint John Chrysostom, bishop
(Cat. 3, 13-19: SC 50, 174-177)

The power of Christ’s blood


If we wish to understand the power of Christ’s blood, we should go back to the ancient account of its prefiguration in Egypt. Sacrifice a lamb without blemish, commanded Moses, and sprinkle its blood on your doors. If we were to ask him what he meant, and how the blood of an irrational beast could possibly save men endowed with reason, his answer would be that the saving power lies not in the blood itself, but in the fact that it is a sign of the Lord’s blood. In those days, when the destroying angel saw the blood on the doors he did not dare to enter, so how much less will the devil approach now when he sees, not that figurative blood on the doors, but the true blood on the lips of believers, the doors of the temple of Christ.

If you desire further proof of the power of this blood, remember where it came from, how it ran down from the cross, flowing from the Master’s side. The gospel records that when Christ was dead, but still hung on the cross, a soldier came and pierced his side with a lance and immediately there poured out water and blood. Now the water was a symbol of baptism and the blood, of the holy eucharist. The soldier pierced the Lord’s side, he breached the wall of the sacred temple, and I have found the treasure and made it my own. So also with the lamb: the Jews sacrificed the victim and I have been saved by it.

There flowed from his side water and blood. Beloved, do not pass over this mystery without thought; it has yet another hidden meaning, which I will explain to you. I said that water and blood symbolized baptism and the holy eucharist. From these two sacraments the Church is born: from baptism, the cleansing water that gives rebirth and renewal through the Holy Spirit, and from the holy eucharist. Since the symbols of baptism and the eucharist flowed from his side, it was from his side that Christ fashioned the Church, as he had fashioned Eve from the side of Adam. Moses gives a hint of this when he tells the story of the first man and makes him exclaim: Bone from my bones and flesh from my flesh! As God then took a rib from Adam’s side to fashion a woman, so Christ has given us blood and water from his side to fashion the Church. God took the rib when Adam was in a deep sleep, and in the same way Christ gave us the blood and the water after his own death.

Do you understand, then, how Christ has united his bride to himself and what food he gives us all to eat? By one and the same food we are both brought into being and nourished. As a woman nourishes her child with her own blood and milk, so does Christ unceasingly nourish with his own blood those to whom he himself has given life.

RESPONSORY
1 Peter 1:18-19; Ephesians 2:18; 1 John 1:7


The price of your redemption
was not something of fleeting value like gold or silver,
but the costly shedding of the blood of Christ,
the lamb without blemish.
Through him, in the one Spirit, we can approach the Father.

The blood of Jesus Christ washes away all our sins.
Through him, in the one Spirit, we can approach the Father.

If the Optional Vigil is not celebrated, continue with the Concluding Prayer.

Go to the Concluding Prayer


OPTIONAL VIGIL

CANTICLES


Ant. One of the soldiers pierced the side of the Lord with a lance, and immediately blood and water flowed out for the redemption of all mankind.

Canticle I: Jeremiah 14:17-21
The lament of the people in war and famine


The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the Good News (Mark 1:15).

Let my eyes stream with tears *
day and night, without rest,
Over the great destruction which overwhelms
the virgin daughter of my people, *
over her incurable wound.

If I walk out into the field, *
look! those slain by the sword;
If I enter the city, *
look! those consumed by hunger.
Even the prophet and the priest *
forage in a land they know not.

Have you cast Judah off completely? *
Is Zion loathsome to you?
Why have you struck us a blow *
that cannot be healed?

We wait for peace, to no avail; *
for a time of healing, but terror comes instead.
We recognize, O Lord, our wickedness,
the guilt of our fathers; *
that we have sinned against you.

For your name’s sake spurn us not,
disgrace not the throne of your glory; *
remember your covenant with us, and break it not.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Canticle II: Ezekiel 36:24-28
The Lord will renew his people


They will be his own people and God himself will be with them, their own God (Revelation 21:3).

I will take you away from among the nations,
gather you from all the foreign lands, *
and bring you back to your own land.

I will sprinkle clean water upon you
to cleanse you from all your impurities, *
and from all your idols I will cleanse you.

I will give you a new heart *
and place a new spirit within you,
taking from your bodies your stony hearts *
and giving you natural hearts.

I will put my spirit within you
and make you live by my statutes, *
careful to observe my decrees.

You shall live in the land I gave your fathers;
you shall be my people, *
and I will be your God.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Canticle III: Lamentations 5:1-7, 15-17, 19-21
A prayer in time of distress


At every moment we carry in our bodies the death of Jesus so that in our bodies the life of Jesus may also be manifested (2 Corinthians 4:10).

Remember, O Lord, what has befallen us, *
look, and see our disgrace:

Our inherited lands have been turned over to strangers, *
our homes to foreigners.

We have become orphans, fatherless; *
widowed are our mothers.

The water we drink we must buy, *
for our own wood we must pay.

On our necks is the yoke of those who drive us; *
we are worn out, but allowed no rest.

To Egypt we submitted, *
and to Assyria, to fill our need of bread.

Our fathers, who sinned, are no more; *
but we bear their guilt.

The joy of our hearts has ceased, *
our dance has turned into mourning;

The garlands have fallen from our heads: *
woe to us, for we have sinned!

Over this our hearts are sick, *
at this our eyes grow dim:

You, O Lord, are enthroned forever; *
your throne stands from age to age.

Why, then, should you forget us, *
abandon us so long a time?

Lead us back to you, O Lord, that we may be restored: *
give us anew such days as we had of old.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. One of the soldiers pierced the side of the Lord with a lance, and immediately blood and water flowed out for the redemption of all mankind

THE HOLY GOSPEL

Go to the Passion according to Mark

Go to the Passion according to Luke

The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew
27:1-2, 11-56

Are you the king of the Jews?

When it was morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death. They bound him, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate, the governor.

Now Jesus stood before the governor, and he questioned him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You say so.” And when he was accused by the chief priests and elders,  he made no answer. Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they are testifying against you?” But he did not answer him one word, so that the governor was greatly amazed.

Now on the occasion of the feast the governor was accustomed to release to the crowd one prisoner whom they wished. And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Jesus Barabbas. So when they had assembled, Pilate said to them, “Which one do you want me to release to you, Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus called Messiah?” For he knew that it was out of envy that they had handed him over.

While he was still seated on the bench, his wife sent him a message, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man. I suffered much in a dream today because of him.”

The chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas but to destroy Jesus. The governor said to them in reply, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” They answered, “Barabbas!” Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus called Messiah?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!” But he said, “Why? What evil has he done?” They only shouted the louder, “Let him be crucified!”

When Pilate saw that he was not succeeding at all, but that a riot was breaking out instead, he took water and washed his hands in the sight of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. Look to it yourselves.” And the whole people said in reply, “His blood be upon us and upon our children.” Then he released Barabbas to them, but after he had Jesus scourged, he handed him over to be crucified.

All hail, king of the Jews

Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus inside the praetorium and gathered the whole cohort around him. They stripped off his clothes and threw a scarlet military cloak about him. Weaving a crown out of thorns, they placed it on his head, and a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” They spat upon him and took the reed and kept striking him on the head. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the cloak, dressed him in his own clothes, and led him off to crucify him.

Two insurgents were crucified with him

As they were going out, they met a Cyrenian named Simon; this man they pressed into service to carry his cross. And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of the Skull), they gave Jesus wine to drink mixed with gall. But when he had tasted it, he refused to drink.

After they had crucified him, they divided his garments by casting lots; then they sat down and kept watch over him there. And they placed over his head the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Two revolutionaries were crucified with him, one on his right and the other on his left.

Come down off that cross if you are God’s Son

Those passing by reviled him, shaking their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself, if you are the Son of God, and come down from the cross!” Likewise the chief priests with the scribes and elders mocked him and said, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. So he is the king of Israel! Let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him.  He trusted in God; let him deliver him now if he wants him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” The revolutionaries who were crucified with him also kept abusing him in the same way.

Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani

From noon onward, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And about three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Some of the bystanders who heard it said, “This one is calling for Elijah.” Immediately one of them ran to get a sponge; he soaked it in wine, and putting it on a reed, gave it to him to drink. But the rest said, “Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to save him.”

But Jesus cried out again in a loud voice, and gave up his spirit.

Here kneel and pause for a little while.

And behold, the veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth quaked, rocks were split, tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised. And coming forth from their tombs after his resurrection, they entered the holy city and appeared to many. The centurion and the men with him who were keeping watch over Jesus feared greatly when they saw the earthquake and all that was happening, and they said, “Truly, this was the Son of God!”

There were many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him. Among them were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

Go to the Concluding Prayer

Or:

The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark
15:1-41

Do you want me to release the king of the Jews for you?

As soon as morning came, the chief priests with the elders and the scribes, that is, the whole Sanhedrin, held a council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate. Pilate questioned him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” He said to him in reply, “You say so.” The chief priests accused him of many things. Again Pilate questioned him, “Have you no answer? See how many things they accuse you of.” Jesus gave him no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed.

Now on the occasion of the feast he used to release to them one prisoner whom they requested. A man called Barabbas was then in prison along with the rebels who had committed murder in a rebellion. The crowd came forward and began to ask him to do for them as he was accustomed. Pilate answered, “Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?” For he knew that it was out of envy that the chief priests had handed him over. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release Barabbas for them instead.

Pilate again said to them in reply, “Then what do you want me to do with the man you call the king of the Jews?” They shouted again, “Crucify him.” Pilate said to them, “Why? What evil has he done?” They only shouted the louder, “Crucify him.” So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas to them and, after he had Jesus scourged, handed him over to be crucified.

They wove a crown of thorns and put it on him

The soldiers led him away inside the palace, that is, the praetorium, and assembled the whole cohort. They clothed him in purple and, weaving a crown of thorns, placed it on him. They began to salute him with, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and kept striking his head with a reed and spitting upon him. They knelt before him in homage. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak, dressed him in his own clothes, and led him out to crucify him.

They brought Jesus to the site of Golgotha

They pressed into service a passer-by, Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. They brought him to the place of Golgotha (which is translated Place of the Skull). They gave him wine drugged with myrrh, but he did not take it. Then they crucified him and divided his garments by casting lots for them to see what each should take. It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him. The inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.”

With him they crucified two revolutionaries, one on his right and one on his left. Those passing by reviled him, shaking their heads and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself by coming down from the cross.” Likewise the chief priests, with the scribes, mocked him among themselves and said, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe.” Those who were crucified with him also kept abusing him.

Jesus, uttering a loud cry, breathed his last

At noon darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Some of the bystanders who heard it said, “Look, he is calling Elijah.” One of them ran, soaked a sponge with wine, put it on a reed, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to take him down.” Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last.

Here kneel and pause for a little while.

The veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. When the centurion who stood facing him saw how he breathed his last he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!” There were also women looking on from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of the younger James and of Joses, and Salome. These women had followed him when he was in Galilee and ministered to him. There were also many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem.

Go to the Concluding Prayer

Or:

The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke
23:1-49

I do not find a case against this man

The whole assembly of them arose and brought him before Pilate. They brought charges against him, saying, “We found this man misleading our people; he opposes the payment of taxes to Caesar and maintains that he is the Messiah, a king.”

 Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” He said to him in reply, “You say so.” Pilate then addressed the chief priests and the crowds, “I find this man not guilty.” But they were adamant and said, “He is inciting the people with his teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee where he began even to here.”

On hearing this Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean; and upon learning that he was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod who was in Jerusalem at that time.

Herod and his guards treated him with contempt and insult

Herod was very glad to see Jesus; he had been wanting to see him for a long time, for he had heard about him and had been hoping to see him perform some sign. He questioned him at length, but he gave him no answer. The chief priests and scribes, meanwhile, stood by accusing him harshly.

Even Herod and his soldiers treated him contemptuously and mocked him, and after clothing him in resplendent garb, he sent him back to Pilate. Herod and Pilate became friends that very day, even though they had been enemies formerly.

Pilate delivered Jesus up to their wishes

Pilate then summoned the chief priests, the rulers, and the people and said to them, “You brought this man to me and accused him of inciting the people to revolt. I have conducted my  investigation in your presence and have not found this man guilty of the charges you have brought against him, nor did Herod, for he sent him back to us. So no capital crime has been committed by him. Therefore I shall have him flogged and then release him.”

But all together they shouted out, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us.”  (Now Barabbas had been imprisoned for a rebellion that had taken place in the city and for murder.)

Again Pilate addressed them, still wishing to release Jesus, but they continued their shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Pilate addressed them a third time, “What evil has this man done? I found him guilty of no capital crime. Therefore I shall have him flogged and then release him.” With loud shouts, however, they persisted in calling for his crucifixion, and their voices prevailed.

The verdict of Pilate was that their demand should be granted. So he released the man who had been imprisoned for rebellion and murder, for whom they asked, and he handed Jesus over to them to deal with as they wished.

Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me

As they led him away they took hold of a certain Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country; and after laying the cross on him, they made him carry it behind Jesus.

A large crowd of people followed Jesus, including many women who mourned and lamented him. Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep instead for yourselves and for your children, for indeed, the days are coming when people will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed.’ At that time people will say to the mountains, ‘Fall upon us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’ for if these things are done when the wood is green what will happen when it is dry?”

Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing

Now two others, both criminals, were led away with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him and the criminals there, one on his right, the other on his left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” They divided his garments by casting lots.

The people stood by and watched; the rulers, meanwhile, sneered at him and said, “He saved others, let him save himself if he is the chosen one, the Messiah of God.” Even the soldiers jeered at him. As they approached to offer him wine they called out, “If you are King of the Jews, save yourself.” Above him there was an inscription that read,

“THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us.” The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, “Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He replied to him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

Father, into your hands I commend my spirit

It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon because of an eclipse of the sun. Then the veil of the temple was torn down the middle. Jesus cried out in a loud voice,

“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”;

and when he had said this he breathed his last.

Here kneel and pause for a little while.

The centurion who witnessed what had happened glorified God and said, “This man was innocent beyond doubt.” When all the people who had gathered for this spectacle saw what had happened, they returned home beating their breasts; but all his acquaintances stood at a distance, including the women who had followed him from Galilee and saw these events.


CONCLUDING PRAYER

Let us pray.

Father,
look with love upon your people,
the love which our Lord Jesus Christ showed us
when he delivered himself to evil men
and suffered the agony of the cross,
for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Or:

Look, we pray, O Lord, on this your family,
for whom our Lord Jesus Christ
did not hesitate to be delivered into the hands of the wicked
and submit to the agony of the Cross.
Who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

ACCLAMATION

Let us praise the Lord.
And give him thanks.

******

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