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TWELVE ANGLO-SAXON PRAYERS ON THE PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

30 Jun

THE PASSION:

Only-begotten Son of God, who art ever to me an impregnable protection, my guard that never sleeps, my defence that never fails: O Christ, who in Heaven art the stay of the Angels, be now and for ever my propitiator with the Father. O Mediator between God and man, I beseech thee, through thy Passion and the redemption of thy life-giving Cross, that when thou shalt please to call me from this world, thou wilt send the Angel of Peace to guard my soul and conduct it to the place of rest, and enable it to pass unscathed through the ranks of the rulers and powers of darkness. And, O Jesus Christ my Lord, may all who in that hour pray and plead for me find the ears of thy mercy open to their cries.

THE LORD’S EARS HAVE TO LISTEN TO BLASPHEMIES:

O King of Kings and Lord of Lords, for my sake, who am but a lowly sinner, thou didst allow thy ears, which never hearkened to aught against the inward will of the Father, to fail in death. Grant thy merciful pardon to one whose ears have been so deeply polluted by a wilful listening to evil. O may it not be my lot in the hour of the coming judgment to hear that sentence I have truly deserved: “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire.” O Jesus Christ my Lord, by the intense ardour of thy love, let me not be separated from thee for ever. Amen.

PILATE’S CONDEMNATION:

O most just judge of all men, Jesus Christ my Lord, who thyself placed before a human judge didst receive unjust condemnation, grant that I may never be compelled to hear from thy loving lips the terrible sentence of everlasting doom.

THE CROWNING WITH THORNS:

O God, my most merciful protector and guardian, who didst not refuse to wear a crown of thorns upon thy sacred head, pardon me whatsoever sins I have committed by my senses. Without thy protection, I am ever being pierced by the dense thorns of all my vicious habits. O Christ, on the throne of thy might, thou art crowned for all ages with glory, honour, and eternal majesty. O Jesus Christ my Lord, I confess that thou art the only-begotten Son of the unbegotten Father, and, with the Holy Spirit, dost exist in the one substance of the Triune Godhead.

OUR LORD CARRYING HIS CROSS:

O Lord, who art exalted in thy humility, and alone in thy holy charity: O Lord, the unspotted Lamb, who didst not refuse, in carrying thy cross, to take upon thy shoulders the heavy burden of the sins of all men, reach forth thy loving hand even to me, who am entangled in my many sins. Thou dost not will the death of the sinner, but that he should be converted and live, so do thou break the bonds of my sins, and raise me up. I, indeed, have done nothing in thy sight to deserve thy mercy: still, Jesus Christ my Lord, I humbly beg thy Majesty that thou, who art my God, wouldst blot out my offences, which are without number. Amen.

OUR LORD IS STRIPPED OF HIS GARMENTS:

O Jesus Christ, my Lord and my God, the Heavenly Way, the Truth, and the Life, by thee the gates of the Kingdom are opened to us. Clothed in all virtue, thou didst allow thy holy and immaculate Body to be exposed to ignomity, and to be raised aloft upon the Cross by the polluted hands of wicked sinners. Do thou remove from me the veil of my vicious habits, and clothe me with all virtue. O Jesus Christ my Lord, who didst not abandon the strayed sheep, but, when found, lifted it in thy arms and carried it thyself to the flock, do thou raise me from earth to heaven.

OUR LORD FASTENED TO THE CROSS:

O Author of Charity, Model of Chastity, and Lover of Men: O Christ, our most merciful God, who didst stretch forth thy arms upon the Cross, that thy hands might be pierced by the nails, do thou reach out to me the hand of thy mercy, pierce my heart with the sharp darts of fear and awe, of love and trust in thee. O Jesus Christ my Lord, do thou, who didst allow thy innocent hands to be fastened to the wood of the Cross, heal my heart from every wound, and cleanse my hands from every stain of vice. Amen.

OUR LORD IS OFFERED VINEGAR AND GALL:

O Good Master, my God, God of armies, God of all earth, who, tasting the bitterness of the offered vinegar and gall, didst refuse it, I honour thee because thou hast opened to all the way of life and truth, and offered to them the joys of eternal life. Grant that I, poor sinner though I be, may with the rest of men escape the bitterness of eternal death. Hear me, hearken to my prayers, listen to my supplications, O Eternal God. Jesus Christ my Lord, in thy great mercy, and not for any merit of mine, pardon my offences against thee when my lips have sinned by blasphemies, oaths, falsehoods, or idle talk.

OUR LORD’S EYES CLOSE IN DEATH:

O prince of Peace, teacher of patience, and model of true humility, who, bowing thy head on the Cross, didst give up thy most blessed spirit, pardon me for all my pride and vainglory. O Jesus Christ my Lord, who, as a proof of thy entire obedience, when offering thyself to the Father for the salvation of the world, didst close thine eyes in death, by thy most true love for me, I pray thee that, in honour of these sacred eyes, thou wouldst lovingly pardon whatever stain my soul has suffered by the wrong use of my sense of sight. Amen.

THE WOUND IN OUR LORD’S SIDE:

O holy Saviour, health of the dying, most skilful physician, who dost furnish oil and wine for the wounds of travellers in this earthly life, O Christ, who didst permit thy side to be pierced by the lance, open unto me the gate of life, that I, entering therein, may confess thee as my Lord and my God. Through the healing virtue of thy wounded side, in thy mercy cure the wounds of my vices. Let me not on account of my sins incure the guilt of being an unworthy partaker of thy Body and Blood. O Jesus Christ, my Lord and my God, who hast said: “He who eats my Body and drinks my Blood, shall abide in me and I in him,” in thy unspeakable mercy so help me that I may receive the fruit of this thy promise.

OUR LORD IN THE TOMB:

True giver of everlasting life and bestower of perpetual light; buried in the tomb, thou didst will to dispel the darkness of hell and of earth. By the memory of thy sacred Body, which rested incorrupt in the grave, grant that after my death, my soul, though most unworthy, may not be found in the prison of hell. Against thee alone, as the Innocent One, the brazen gates of hell have not prevailed; thou hast broken the iron bars which fastened them, hast set at liberty the captives, and hast led captivity captive. Do thou then, Jesus Christ, my Lord and my God, save me from the hands of my enemies, and bring me into the holy place thy hands have prepared for me.

OUR LORD’S RESURRECTION:

O Christ, thou art the life of the dying, the health of the sick, the only hope of those in misery, and the resurrection of all that are dead. O Jesus Christ my Lord, who on the third day didst break the bonds of death and rise free and glorious from the grave, do thou grant to me, though I am unworthy, a portion in the first resurrection by remitting my sins, and in the second resurrection a place for ever with thy saints. Amen.

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