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Category Archives: Prayers for Lent and Easter

THE MORN HAD SPREAD HER CRIMSON RAYS (EASTER HYMN)

THE MORN HAD SPREAD HER CRIMSON RAYS (EASTER HYMN)

The morn had spread her crimson rays,

When rang the skies with shouts of praise;

Earth joined the joyful hymn swell,

That brought despair to vanquished hell.

 

He comes victorious from the grave,

The Lord omnipotent to save,

And brings with him the light of day

The Saints who long imprisoned lay.

 

Vain is the cavern’s threefold ward –

The stone, the seal, the armed guard;

O death, no more thine arm we fear,

The Victor’s tomb is now thy bier.

 

Enough of death, enough of tears,

Enough of sorrows and of fears!

O hear yon white-robed Angel cry,

“Death’s Conqueror lives, no more to die.”

 

With Christ we died, with Christ we rose,

When at the font his name we chose;

O let not sin our robes defile,

And turn to grief the Paschal smile.

 

To God the Father let us sing,

To God the Son, our risen King,

And equally let us adore

The Spirit, God forevermore.

Amen.

 

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AT THE LAMB’S HIGH FEAST WE SING (EASTER HYMN)

AT THE LAMB’S HIGH FEAST WE SING (EASTER HYMN)

At the Lamb’s high feast we sing

Praise to our victorious King,

Who hath washed us in the tide

Flowing from his pierced side;

 

Praise we him whose love divine

Gives the guests his Blood for wine,

Gives his Body for the feast,

Love the Victim, Love the Priest.

 

Where the Paschal Blood is poured,

Death’s dark Angel sheathes his sword;

Israel’s hosts triumphant go

Through the wave that drowns the foe.

 

Christ the Lamb whose Blood was shed,

Paschal victim, Paschal bread;

With sincerity and love

Eat we Manna from above.

 

Mighty Victim from the sky,

Powers of hell beneath thee lie;

Death is conquered in the fight;

Thou hast brought us life and light.

 

Now the banner thou dost wave;

Vanquished Satan and the grave;

Angels join his praise to tell –

See o’erthrown the prince of hell.

 

Paschal triumph, Paschal joy,

Only sin can this destroy;

From the death of sin set free,

Souls reborn, dear Lord, in thee.

 

Hymns of glory, songs of praise,

Father, unto thee we raise;

Risen Lord, all praise to thee,

Ever with the Spirit be.

Amen.

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 

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AND WE SHALL RISE AGAIN IN THE BODY

AND WE SHALL RISE AGAIN IN THE BODY

HOMILY OF ST AMBROSE, BISHOP, ON LUKE, Chapter 24

It is wonderful how a corporeal nature could pass through an impenetrable body and be invisible in its entrance, yet visibly beheld; easily touched, but not easily defined. Hence, the disciples were troubled, thinking that they saw a spirit.

And therefore, the Lord, in order to give us a tangible proof of his resurrection, says: “Feel me, and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”

It was not, then, with a spiritual nature, but with a glorious and risen body that he passed through what was solid and naturally impenetrable. For, what can be touched must be a body; what can be handled must be a body.

AND WE SHALL RISE AGAIN IN THE BODY 

And we shall rise again in the body. For what is sown as a natural body rises as a spiritual body. But that body will be subtler, while the present one is denser, seeing that it still bears the density due to its earthly imperfection. For how should that be other than a body in which still remained the marks of the wounds, the traces of the scars, those wounds that the Lord permitted to be touched. In so doing, he not only strengthened our faith, but quickened our love, seeing that he willed to carry into heaven the wounds which he had received for us.

He would not part with them that he might show to God, the Father, the price of our freedom. Such is he whom the Father has set at his right hand, welcoming the trophy of our salvation; and such, too, are those martyrs whom he has shown us, bearing their scars as a crown.

BOTH ACCOUNTS ARE IN AGREEMENT 

And since our discourse has now reached this point, let us consider how it is that, according to John, the apostles believed and were glad; according to Luke, they were, as it was, upbraided for their unbelief; according to John, they received the Holy Spirit; according to Luke, they were told to stay in the city, till they should be endued with power from on high.

It seems to me that the former [John], being an apostle, touches upon great and deep matters, while the latter [Luke] gives the human sequence of events.

Luke writes with historical fulness, John abridges. But, we cannot doubt him who gives testimony of those things which he himself witnessed, and his testimony is true.

On the other hand, we must certainly banish all suspicion of carelessness or untruthfulness in regard to one who was counted worthy to be an Evangelist. And, therefore, we hold both accounts to be true, and not to differ with regard to facts or persons. For, even if Luke says at first that they did not believe, he shows later that they did so; and if we consider what he says first, there is a contradiction; but if we examine what follows, we certainly find both accounts to be in agreement.

– St Ambrose, Book 10, Commentary on Luke, Ch. 24; An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 

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EASTER VIGIL, GOSPEL READING (MATTHEW 28:1-10)

EASTER VIGIL, GOSPEL READING (MATTHEW 28:1-10)

After the sabbath, and towards dawn on the first day of the week, Mary of Magdalen and the other Mary went to visit the sepulchre. And all at once there was a violent earthquake, and for the angel of the Lord, and descending from heaven, came and rolled away the stone and sat on it. His face was like lightning, his robe white as snow. The guards were so shaken, so frightened of him, that they were like dead men. But the angel spoke; and he said to the women, “There is no need for you to be afraid. I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.

He is not here, for he has risen, as he said he would. Come and see the place where he lay, then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has risen from the dead and now he is going before you to Galilee; it is there you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

Filled with awe and great joy the women came quickly away from the tomb and ran to tell the disciples. And there, coming to meet them, was Jesus. “Greetings,” he said. And the women
came up to him and, falling down before him, clasped his feet. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers that they must leave for Galilee;
they will see me there.”

V. The Gospel of the Lord.

R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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GOOD FRIDAY, GOSPEL READING (JOHN 18:1-19:42)

GOOD FRIDAY, GOSPEL READING (JOHN 18:1-19:42)

THE PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO JOHN 

When Jesus had finished speaking, he went with his disciples to the other side of the Kidron Valley. There was a garden there. Jesus entered with his disciples.

Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, since Jesus had often met there with his disciples. So Judas took soldiers and some servants from the chief priests and Pharisees, and they went to the garden with lanterns, torches and weapons.

Jesus knew all that was going to happen to him; he stepped forward and asked, “Who are you looking for?” They answered, “Jesus the Nazarene.” Jesus said, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, stood there with them.

When Jesus said, “I am he,” they moved back and fell to the ground. He then asked a second time, “Who are you looking for?” and they answered, “Jesus the Nazarene.” Jesus replied, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, let these others go.” So what Jesus had said came true: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”

Simon Peter had a sword; he drew it and struck Malchus, the High Priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. But Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup which the Father has given me?”

The guards and the soldiers, with their commander, seized Jesus and bound him; and they took him first to Annas. Annas was the father-in-law of Caiaphas who was the High Priest that year; and it was Caiaphas who had told the Jews, “It is better that one man should die for the people.”

Simon Peter with another disciple followed Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the High Priest, they let him enter the courtyard of the High Priest along with Jesus, but Peter had to stay outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the High Priest, went out and spoke to the maidservant at the gate and brought Peter in. Then this maidservant on duty at the door said to Peter, “So you also are one of his disciples?” But he answered, “I am not.”

Now the servants and the guards had made a charcoal fire and were standing and warming themselves, because it was cold. Peter was also with them warming himself.

The High Priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in places where the Jews meet together, either at the assemblies in synagogues or in the Temple. I did not teach secretly. Why then do you question me? Ask those who heard me, they know what I said.”

At this reply one of the guards standing there gave Jesus a blow on the face, saying, “Is that the way to answer the High Priest?” Jesus said to him, “If I have spoken wrongly, point it out; but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?”

Then Annas sent him, bound, to Caiaphas, the High Priest.

Now Simon Peter stood there warming himself. They said to him, “Surely you also are one of his disciples.” He denied it, and answered, “I am not.” One of the High Priest’s servants, a kinsman of the one whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you with him in the garden?” Again, Peter denied it, and at once the cock crowed.

Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the headquarters of the Roman governor. It was now morning. The Jews didn’t go inside, lest they be made unclean by entering the house of a pagan, and therefore not allowed to eat the Passover meal. So Pilate came out and asked, “What charge do you bring against this man?”

They answered, “If he were not a criminal, we would not be handing him over to you.” Pilate said, “Take him yourselves and judge him according to your own law.” But they replied, “We ourselves are not allowed to put anyone to death.”

It was clear from this what kind of death Jesus was to die, according to what Jesus himself had foretold.

Pilate then entered the court again, called Jesus and asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus replied, “Does this word come from you, or did you hear it from others?”

Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?” Jesus answered, “My kingship does not come from this world. If I were a king, like those of this world, my guards would have fought to save me from being handed over to the Jews. But my kingship is not of this world.”

Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” And Jesus answered, “Just as you say, I am a king. For this I was born and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is on the side of truth hears my voice.” Pilate said, “What is truth?”

Pilate then went out to the Jews again and said, “I find no crime in this man. Now, according to custom, I must release a prisoner to you at the Passover. With your agreement I will release to you the King of the Jews.” But they insisted and cried out, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.

Then Pilate had Jesus taken away and scourged. The soldiers also twisted thorns into a crown and put it on his head. They threw a cloak of royal purple around his shoulders; and they began coming up to him and saluting him, “Hail, king of the Jews!” and they struck him on the face.

Pilate went outside yet another time and said to the Jews, “Look, I am bringing him out, and I want you to know that I find no crime in him.” Jesus then came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak, and Pilate pointed to him, saying, “Here is the man!”

On seeing him the chief priests and the guards cried out, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Pilate replied, “Take him yourselves and have him crucified, for I find no case against him.” The Jews then said, “We have a Law, and according to the Law this man must die because he made himself Son of God.”

When Pilate heard this he was more afraid. And coming back into the court he asked Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. Then Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, just as I have power to crucify you?” Jesus replied, “You would have no power unless it had been given you from above; therefore the one who handed me over to you is more guilty.”

From that moment Pilate tried to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who makes himself a king is defying Caesar.”

When Pilate heard this, he had Jesus brought outside to the place called the Stone Floor – in Hebrew Gabbatha – and sat down in the judgment seat. It was the day of preparation for the Passover, about noon. Pilate said to the Jews, “Here is your king.” But they cried out, “Away! Take him away! Crucify him!” Pilate replied, “Shall I crucify your king?” And the chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!”
Then Pilate handed Jesus over to them to be crucified.

They took charge of him. Bearing his own cross, Jesus went out of the city to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew Golgotha. There he was crucified, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus in the middle.

Pilate had a notice written and fastened to the cross, which read: Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews. Many Jewish people saw this title, because the place where Jesus was crucified was very close to the city; and the title was written in Hebrew, Latin and Greek. The chief priests said to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The king of the Jews’; but, ‘This man claimed to be king of the Jews.’” Pilate answered them, “What I have written, I have written.”

When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one part for each of them. But as the tunic was woven in one piece from top to bottom, they said, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots to decide who will get it.” This fulfilled the words of Scripture: They divided my clothing among them; they cast lots for my garment.
This is what the soldiers did.

Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister Mary, who was the wife of Cleophas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw the mother, and the disciple whom he loved, he said to the mother, “Woman, this is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “There is your mother.” And from that moment the disciple took her to his own home.

Jesus knew all was now finished and, in order to fulfil what was written in Scripture, he said, “I am thirsty.” A jar full of bitter wine stood there; so, putting a sponge soaked in the wine on a twig of hyssop, they raised it to his lips. Jesus took the wine and said, “It is accomplished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up the spirit.

As it was Preparation Day, the Jews did not want the bodies to remain on the cross during the Sabbath, for this Sabbath was a very solemn day. They asked Pilate to have the legs of the condemned men broken, so that the bodies might be taken away.

The soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man and of the other man, who had been crucified with Jesus. When they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so they did not break his legs. One of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a lance, and immediately there came out blood and water.

The one who saw it, has testified to it, and his testimony is true; he knows he speaks the truth, so that you also might believe. All this happened to fulfil the words of Scripture: Not one of his bones shall be broken.
Another text says, They shall look on him whom they have pierced.

After this, Joseph of Arimathea approached Pilate, for he was a disciple of Jesus, though secretly, for fear of the Jews. And he asked Pilate to let him remove the body of Jesus. Pilate agreed, so he came and took the body.

Nicodemus, the man who at first had come to Jesus by night, also came and brought a jar of myrrh mixed with aloes, about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it in linen cloths with the spices, following the burial customs of the Jews.

There was a garden in the place where Jesus had been crucified, and, in the garden, a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. And therefore, because the sepulchre was nearby, and the Jewish day of preparation was coming to a close, they placed the body of Jesus there.

 

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CHAPLET OF THE FIVE WOUNDS

CHAPLET OF THE FIVE WOUNDS

THE BEADS OF THE FIVE WOUNDS

V. Incline unto my aid, O God!

R. O Lord, make haste to help me.

V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.

R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

 

Holy Mother! pierce me through;

In my heart each Wound renew

Of my Saviour Crucified. 

 

First Wound. – The Left Foot. 

My Crucified Jesus, I devoutly adore the painful Wound of thy Left Foot. Ah! by the pain which thou didst feel therein, and by the blood which thou didst shed from that foot, grant me grace to fly the occasions of sin, and not to walk in the way of iniquity, which leads to perdition.

Glory be to the Father, etc., five times. One Hail Mary and Holy Mother, pierce me, etc., as above. 

Second Wound. – The Right Foot. 

My Crucified Jesus, I devoutly adore the painful Wound of thy Right Foot! Ah! by the pain which thou didst feel therein, and by the blood which thou didst shed from that foot, grant me the grace to walk constantly in the way of Christian virtue, even to the entrance of Paradise.

Glory be to the Father, etc., five times. One Hail Mary and Holy Mother, pierce me, etc., as above. 

Third Wound. – The Left Hand. 

My Crucified Jesus, I devoutly adore the painful Wound of thy Left Hand. Ah! by the pain which thou didst feel therein, and by the blood which thou didst shed from that hand, deliver me from being found at thy left hand, with the reprobate, at the last judgment.

Glory be to the Father, etc., five times. One Hail Mary and Holy Mother, pierce me, etc., as above. 

Fourth Wound. – The Right Hand. 

My Crucified Jesus, I devoutly adore the painful Wound of thy Right Hand. Ah! by the pain which thou didst feel therein, and by the blood which thou didst shed from that hand, bless my soul, and conduct it to thy kingdom.

Glory be to the Father, etc., five times. One Hail Mary and Holy Mother, pierce me, etc., as above. 

Fifth Wound. – The Side. 

My Crucified Jesus, I devoutly adore the Wound in thy Sacred Side. Ah! by the blood which thou didst shed from it, enkindle in my heart the fire of thy love, and give me grace to persevere in loving thee to all eternity.

Glory be to the Father, etc., five times. One Hail Mary and Holy Mother, pierce me, etc., as above. 

 

 

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SALUTATIONS OF THE SACRED FACE

SALUTATIONS OF THE SACRED FACE

Hail, adorable Face of Jesus, disfigured by blows, and defiled by spittle in the day of the Passion!

Hail, Sacred Face, mocked and blindfolded by the Jews!

Hail, Blessed Eyes, which wept for our sins!

Hail, Blessed Ears, assailed by blasphemies and insults!

Hail, Blessed Mouth, filled with words of tenderness and benediction for all men, but embittered in return with gall!

Hail, Noble Brow, so often bedewed with sweat and pierced for us with cruel thorns!

Hail, Sacred Face, so lovely in thy disfigurement, so noble in thine a basement!

Hail, Sacred Face of the Man of Sorrows, outraged upon earth, triumphant, adored and glorified in Heaven! Praise, thanksgiving, and love be rendered thee for ever and ever.

– St Anthony’s Treasury, 1916

 

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