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LET US HELP THE HOLY SOULS IN PURGATORY (IT IS THE GREATEST CHARITY WE CAN PERFORM ON EARTH)

A SHORT NOTE FOR THE BENEFIT OF OUR SEPARATED BRETHREN:

Some terms are not used in the Bible; rather, those tenets of faith are described in the Scriptures without using the relevant term, such as “Holy Trinity” or “Purgatory”, the latter referring to the “fire that cleanses some souls so they can enter heaven”. These souls are saved, they will enter heaven eventually; Purgatory is not a place as such, it is a s t a t e of the soul. Holy Scripture teaches that God will render to every man according to his works; that nothing defiled shall enter heaven; and that some will be saved, ‘as one who has gone through fire’ (Mt 16:27; Apoc 21:27; 1 Co 3:15).

“THE GREAT IMPORTANCE OF DEVOTION TO THE HOLY SOULS

Devotion to the Holy Souls is so pleasing to God and so beneficial to our own souls. The least pain of Purgatory is far worse than the greatest suffering we can imagine upon this earth. This is why a moment in Purgatory can even seem to be hundreds of years. The Holy Souls cannot help themselves nor alleviate their sorrows in the slightest way. However great their sufferings may be, they can no longer merit, nor can they obtain new graces.

At death the time of working and meriting has ended once and for all and the soul remains in that state in which it has departed from this life. The punishments of Purgatory have one purpose alone and that is to satisfy God’s justice and to cleanse the souls from all stain of sin. Let us listen to the pleadings of our suffering brothers and sisters (who could also be our friends and relatives) and let us help them by all the means in our power.

If we fail in this, our hard-heartedness will most certainly be displeasing to Our Lord, for those who have no mercy on the suffering souls in Purgatory will also be wanting in mercy when they in their turn perhaps have to spend time in the purifying flames of Purgatory. ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.’

THE LONGING OF THE HOLY SOULS TO BE WITH GOD

The Holy Souls long to be with God and to enjoy the Beatific Vision. Their sufferings are indescribable in human terms, but what causes their greatest agony is the absence of God, Who is now the sole object of their desires.

On earth we cannot really understand Who God is, but the Holy Souls begin to know Him, His goodness, His mercy and His love. After this clearer view and their thirst for union, they yearn for God unceasingly. Whilst on earth so many people do not realise that this life is just a journey and do not even give God or eternity a thought, but if once opened to the Beatific Vision, even for a brief moment, the eyes of the soul can never again close without inexpressable pain. To shut out that most beautiful sight is agony.

IT IS VERY PROFITABLE TO HAVE DEVOTION TO THE HOLY SOULS

God often grants more graces through their intercession than through the prayers of the Saints. St Catherine of Bologna, whenever she wished to obtain any grace, had recourse to the Souls in Purgatory and her prayers were immediately heard. She even declared that by asking the intercession of these souls, she obtained many favours which she had not obtained through the intercession of the Saints.

Then if we want to be even more certain of obtaining what we request, we should pray for and at the same time ask the intercession of the Holy Souls who have loved Our Lady the most whilst upon earth. These are the ones She most wishes to release and we will surely see that our prayer is heard.

GOD WANTS US TO HELP THE HOLY SOULS

God is so pleased with those who help the Holy Souls, because He longs for them to be with Him for all eternity. By helping to deliver a soul from Purgatory, we give God as much pleasure as if we had released He Himself from a dark prison. Did He not say: ‘Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these My least brethren, you did it to Me.’

WE SHOULD STILL PRAY FOR THEM EVEN MANY YEARS AFTER THEIR DEATH

What suffering for the Holy Souls to see that they have been forgotten by those whom they loved during life and for whom, perhaps, they made sacrifices. We think far too little about our deceased friends and their memory often perishes soon after their death. But we should remember, and this has been confirmed by St Pio of Pietrelcina, that since with God there is an eternal present, the prayers we say for them now (even many years after their death) will have been taken into account by God at the moment of their death. That is why we should never cease in our prayers for them.

CHARITY COVERS OVER A MULTITUDE OF SINS

Those who help the poor souls in any way, perform not one, but all of the seven works of mercy at the same time, in a more perfect manner and deserving greater reward than if these acts of charity had been performed for a soul living on earth. In showing mercy to the holy souls, we have the great hope that God will also be merciful to us in our hour of need.

THE GRATITUDE OF THE HOLY SOULS

The Holy Souls, in their turn, will not be ungrateful to their benefactors who will most assuredly be remembered in their own prayers to God. It is their Guardian Angel who will make known to them how we have assisted them and will urge them to show their gratitude by praying for us. God so wants to relieve the Holy Souls of their sufferings and is pleased to answer the prayers which they offer for their benefactors.

THE SABBATINE PRIVILEGE

This is the early liberation from Purgatory on the first Saturday after death, through Our Lady’s intercession, for those who wear Her Brown Scapular, faithfully fulfilling the requisite obligations.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO AVOID PURGATORY?

God grants all souls all the graces and lights necessary so that they may go straight to Heaven. Those who abandon themselves completely into His hands and strive to do His holy Will in all things, will, at the end of their earthly lives, close their eyes upon the sun so as to open them to the true Light.

WAYS IN WHICH WE CAN ASSIST THE HOLY SOULS IN PURGATORY

God Himself has placed in our hands the keys of Purgatory so that we may help to alleviate their pains and hasten their arrival in Paradise, where they will love and praise God for all eternity. What a consoling thought it is that we are able to help, even after their death, those whom we have loved in this life, thus proving our sincere love and gratitude to them. There are many ways in which we can assist them.

THE HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASS

There is nothing more efficacious in satisfying the justice of God and in obtaining the remission of the temporal punishments due to sin as the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, during which Jesus Christ renews the Sacrifice He once offered on Calvary. St Cyril said: ‘This Sacrifice affords them extraordinary relief.’

HOLY COMMUNION

Another way in which we can help the Holy Souls very much is by fervently offering up our Holy Communion for them. In doing this we offer to the Heavenly Father all the merits of Christ’s Passion and Death in satisfaction for the temporal punishment still due to them.

INDULGENCES

The Council of Trent confirmed that the use of Indulgences are of great benefit to the Christian people. We can obtain both plenary and partial indulgences for the Holy Souls in many ways. Let us ask Our Blessed Lady to help us to obtain as many as we possibly can for our brothers and sisters suffering in the fires of Purgatory.

PRAYERS

Our prayers for the Holy Souls are very efficacious because they proceed from our true disinterested charity and because we are asking not for temporal but for spiritual favours. After the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the prayers which help them the most are the Holy Rosary and the Way of the Cross.

OFFERING UP SACRIFICES FOR THEIR RELIEF

Let us offer many little sacrifices for the Holy Souls during the day. These should be as hidden as possible and offered to God with love. One example is that we could abstain from eating or drinking something which we like. In addition to exterior mortifications we can also offer for the Holy Souls the interior mortifications of the overcoming of our sinful inclinations and subduing our evil passions. Let us also cheerfully embrace all the crosses which God sends to us each day and offer these in satisfaction for the Souls in Purgatory.

ALMSGIVING

We are able to assist the Holy Souls in Purgatory by almsgiving, which can be compared to a shower of rain falling into Purgatory and mitigating its devouring flames or even extinguishing them altogether.

(This leaflet is dedicated to St Michael the Archangel. He is the one who leads souls to Purgatory and then on to their eternal home after their purification. Everyone should honour him in a special way and the best way of doing this is by spreading devotion to the Holy Souls in Purgatory.)”
– This is the content of a leaflet by the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate, House of Contemplation, Blessed Virgin of Mt Carmel, Lanherne, St Mawgan, Newquay, Cornwall TR8 4ER

 
 

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THE BIBLE AND THE LITURGY OF HOLY MASS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

IN THE HOLY CHURCH, MASS IS CELEBRATED EVERY WEEKDAY AT LEAST ONCE, APART FROM THE SATURDAY EVENING (VIGIL) MASS AND SUNDAY MASSES. THE LITURGY IS THE SAME ALL OVER THE WORLD, IN LATIN OR THE VERNACULAR, BECAUSE WE PRAISE GOD IN UNITY AS ONE BODY COMPOSED OF MEMBERS. APART FROM AT LEAST THREE BIBLE READINGS WHICH VARY FROM DAY TO DAY, BELOW IS THE ORDER OF THE MASS CELEBRATED EACH DAY.

“Scripture in the order of the Mass:

Nearly everything we say at Mass has its roots in Sacred Scripture… Catholics quote scripture all the time, and their actions are deeply scriptural. After all, scripture flowed out of the early Church. The Church came first, the New Testament and the canon of scripture second.

THE ORDER OF MASS:

Greeting

Priest: In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. (Matt. 28:19)
People: Amen (1 Chr 16:36)
Priest: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Cor 13:13)
People: And with your spirit.

Liturgy of the Word

Penitential Rite

All: I confess to almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned, (Jas 5:16) in my thoughts and in my words (Jas 3:6) in what I have done and in what I have failed to do, (Rom. 12:16) through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault; therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin, all the Angels and Saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.(1Thess 5:25)

Priest: May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life. (1 John 1:9)

People: Amen (1 Chr 16:36)

All: Lord have mercy. (Tb 8:4) Christ have mercy. (1 Tim 1:2) Lord have mercy.

Gloria

All: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will. (Luke 2:14)
We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you,
we give you thanks for your great glory, (Rev 7:12)
Lord God, heavenly King, O God, almighty Father (Rev 19:6)
Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son, (2 John 3)Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us; (John 1:29) you take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer; you are seated at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us. (Rom 8:34) For you alone are the Holy One, (Luke 4:34)
you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, (Luke 1:32) with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father, Amen (John 14:26)

[The Liturgy of the Word consists of four readings from Scripture: the first is typically from the Old Testament, the second a psalm, followed by a reading from one of the epistles. Finally, the Gospel is proclaimed during which the people stand out of respect for the Word. The chosen readings change daily.]

A Sermon on the readings follows. (2 Tim 4:1-2)

Profession of Faith:

All: I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, (Gen 14:19) of all things visible and invisible. (Col 1:16) I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only Begotten Son of God, (Luke 1:35) born of the Father before all ages, God from God, Light from Light, True God from True God, begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father; (Heb 1:3) through him all things were made. (John 1:2-3) For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven: (John 3:13) and by the power of the Holy Spirit he was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, (Matt 1:18) and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, (John 19:16) he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. (1 Cor 15:3-4) He ascended into heaven (Luke 24:51) and is seated at the right hand of the Father. (Col 3:1) He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead (2 Tim 4:1) and his kingdom will have no end. (Luke 1:33) I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of Life, (Acts 2:17) who proceeds from the Father and the Son, (John 14:16) who with the Father and Son is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the prophets. (1 Peter 1:10-11) I believe in one holy, catholic and apostolic Church. (Rom 12:5) I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38) and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. (Rom 6:5) Amen

Liturgy of the Eucharist

[The gifts are brought to the altar. These include the bread and wine and the offering collected from the people.] (Malachi 3:10)

Priest: Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this bread to offer, which earth has given and human hands have made. (Eccl. 3:13) It will become for us the bread of life. (John 6:35)
People: Blessed be God forever. (Ps 68:36)
Priest: Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this wine to offer, fruit of the vine and work of human hands. It will become our spiritual drink. (Luke 22:17-18)
People: Blessed be God forever. (Ps 68:36)
Priest: Pray, brethren, that our sacrifice may be acceptable to God, the almighty Father. (Heb. 12:28)
People: May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of his name, for our sake and the good of all his holy Church. (Ps 50:23)
Priest: The Lord be with you.
People: And with your spirit.
Priest: Lift up your hearts.
People: We lift them up to the Lord. (Lam 3:41)
Priest: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. (Col 3:17)
People: It is right and just. (Col 1:3)

Preface Acclamation

All: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of hosts. Heaven and earth are full of your glory. (Is 6:3) Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest. (Mark 11:9-10)

Eucharistic prayer [There are four of these, based on ancient prayers of the Church. Eucharistic Prayer Two follows as an example:]

Priest: You are Holy indeed, O Lord the fount of all holiness. (2 Macc. 14:36) Make holy, therefore, these gifts, we pray, by sending down your Spirit upon them like the dewfall, so that they may become the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. At the time he was betrayed and entered willingly into his Passion (John 10:17-18) he took bread and, giving thanks, broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take this all of you, and eat of it: For this is my body which will be given up for you. In a similar way, when supper was ended, he took the chalice and, once more giving thanks, he gave the it to his disciples, saying: Take this, all of you, and drink from it: For this is the chalice of my blood, the blood of the new and eternal covenant. Which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this is memory of me. (Mark 14:22-25) Let us proclaim the mystery of faith.
All: When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your Death, O Lord, until you come again. (1Cor 11:26)
Priest: Therefore, as we celebrate the memorial of his Death and Resurrection, we offer you, Lord, the Bread of life and the Chalice of salvation, (John 6:51) giving thanks that you have held us worthy to be in your presence and minister to you. Humbly we pray that, partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ, we may be gathered into one by the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor.10:17) Remember, Lord, your Church spread throughout the world; bring her to the fullness of charity, together with our Pope and our bishop, and all the clergy. Remember our brothers and sisters who have fallen asleep and all who have died in your mercy: welcome them into the light of your face. (2 Macc 12:45-46) Have mercy on us all, we pray, that with the blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, with the apostles and with all the saints who have pleased you throughout the ages, may we merit to be co-heirs to eternal life, and may praise and glorify you through your Son, Jesus Christ. (2 Thes 1:4-5) Through him, with him, in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, almighty Father, for ever and ever.

All: Amen. (Rom 11:36)

Communion Rite

The Lord’s Prayer:

All: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. (Matt 6:9-13)

Priest: Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil, graciously grant peace in our days that by the help of your mercy, we may be always free from sin and safe from all distress, as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. (John 17:15)

All: For the kingdom the power and the glory are yours, now and forever. Amen

Priest: Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles; I leave you peace, my peace I give to you. (John 14:27) Look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church, and grant us the peace and unity of your kingdom where you live forever and ever.

Priest: The peace of the Lord be with you always! (John 20:19)

People: And with your spirit!

[The priest then directs the people to exchange a sign, such as a handshake or a kiss, or a word of God’s peace to one another.]

Breaking of the Bread

All: Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us. Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us. Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace. (John 1:29)

Communion

Priest: Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those who are called to the supper of the Lamb. (Rev. 19:9)

People: Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed. (Matt 8:8)

[Communion is distributed to the faithful at the altar by the priest
and lay ministers.]

Dismissal

Priest: Blessed be the name of the Lord. Now and forever. (Dan 2:20) May almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Luke 24:51) Go in peace (Luke 7:50) to love and serve the Lord. (2 Chr 35:3) [During the blessing the people make the Sign of the Cross, the traditional sign of the baptized and a public sign of their belief in the power of God.]
People: Thanks be to God. (2 Cor 9:15)”
– by Trisha Thacker

 
 

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THE PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO LUKE (LK 22:14-71, 23:1-56)

THE LAST SUPPER OF THE LORD

When the hour came, Jesus took his place at the table and the apostles with him. And he said to them, “I was eager to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for, I tell you, I shall not eat again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”

Then they passed him a cup, and when he had given thanks, he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves; for I tell you that, from now on, I will not drink the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes. Jesus also took bread, and after giving thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me. And after the supper, he did the same with the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant, sealed in my blood, which is poured out for you.

Yet the hand of the traitor is with me on the table. Know that the Son of Man is going the way marked out for him. But alas for the one who betrays him!” They began to ask one another which of them could do such a thing.

LAST CONVERSATION WITH JESUS

They also began to argue among themselves which of them should be considered the most important. And Jesus said, “The kings of the pagan nations rule over them as lords, and the most hardhearted rulers claim the title ‘Gracious Lord’. But not so with you; let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as the servant. For who is the greatest, he who sits at the table or he who serves? He who is seated, isn’t it? Yet I am among you as the one who serves.

You are the ones who have been with me, and stood by me, through my troubles; because of this, just as the kingship has been given to me by my Father, so I give it to you. You will eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and you will sit on thrones and govern the twelve tribes of Israel.

Simon, Simon, Satan has demanded to sift you like grain, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have recovered, you shall strengthen your brothers. Then Peter said, “Lord, with you I am ready to go even to prison and death.” But Jesus replied, “I tell you, Peter, the cock will not crow this day before you have denied three times that you know me.”

Jesus also said to them, “When I sent you without purse or bag or sandals, were you short of anything?” They answered, “No.” And Jesus said to them, “But now, the one who has a purse must take it, and a bag as well. And if anyone is without a sword, let him sell his cloak to buy one. For Scripture says: ‘He was numbered among criminals.’ These words have to be fulfilled in me, and now everything written about me is taking place. Then they said, “See Lord, here are two swords!” but he answered, “That is enough.”

THE AGONY IN THE GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE

After this, Jesus left to go as usual to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. When he came to the place, he told them, “Pray that you may not be put to the test.”

Then he went a little further, about a stone’s throw, and kneeling down he prayed, “Father, if it is your will, remove this cup from me; however, not my will but yours be done.” And an angel from heaven appeared to give him strength.

As he was in agony, he prayed even more earnestly, and great drops of blood formed like sweat and fell to the ground. When he rose from prayer, he went to his disciples, but found them worn out with grief, and asleep. And he said to them, “Why do you sleep? Get up and pray, so that you may not be put to the test.”

JUDAS’ BETRAYAL

Jesus was still speaking when a group appeared, and the man named Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him, and Jesus said to him, “Judas, with a kiss do you betray the Son of Man?”

Those with Jesus, seeing what would happen, said to him, “Master, shall we use the sword?” And one of them struck the High Priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. But Jesus stopped him, “No more of this!” He touched the man’s ear and healed him.

Then Jesus spoke to those coming against him, the chief priests, officers of the Temple and elders; and he said to them, “Did you really set out against a robber? Do you need swords and clubs to arrest me? Day after day I was among you, teaching in the Temple, and you did not arrest me. But this is the hour of the power of darkness; this is your hour.”

THE TRIAL OF JESUS, PETER’S DENIAL

Then they seized him away, bringing him to the High Priest’s house. Peter followed at a distance.

A fire was kindled in the middle of the courtyard where people were gathered, and Peter among them. A maidservant noticed him. Looking at him intently in the light of the fire, she exclaimed, “This man also was with him!” But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.”

A little later someone who saw him said, “You are also one of them!” Peter replied, “My friend, I am not!”

After about an hour another asserted, “Surely this man was with him, for he is a Galilean.”

Again Peter denied, “My friend, I don’t know what you are talking about.” He had not finished saying this, when a cock crowed. The Lord turned around and looked at Peter, and Peter remembered the word that the Lord had spoken, “Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times. Peter went outside, weeping bitterly.

And the guards, who had arrested Jesus, mocked and beat him. They blindfolded him, struck him, and then asked, “Who hit you? Tell us, prophet!” And they hurled many other insulting words at him.

At daybreak, the council of the elders of the people, among whom were the chief priests and the scribes, assembled again. Then they had Jesus brought before them, and they began questioning him, “Tell us, are you the Christ?” Jesus replied, “You will not believe, if I tell you, and neither will you answer, if I ask you. Yet, from now on, ‘the Son of Man will have his seat at the right hand of the Mighty God’.”

In chorus they asked, “So you are the Son of God?” And Jesus said to them, “You are right, I am.”

Then they said, “What need have we of witnesses? We have heard it from his own lips.”

JESUS BEFORE PILATE

The whole council rose and brought Jesus to Pilate. They gave their accusation: “We found this man subverting our nation, opposing payment of taxes to Caesar, and claiming to be Christ the king.”

Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus replied, “You said so.” Turning to the chief priests and the crowd, Pilate said, “I find no basis for a case against this man.” But they insisted, “All the country of the Jews is being stirred up with his teaching. He began in Galilee and now he has come all the way here.”

When Pilate heard this, he asked if the man was a Galilean. Finding the accused to come under Herod’s jurisdiction, Pilate sent Jesus over to Herod who happened to be in Jerusalem at that time.

Herod was delighted to have Jesus before him now; for a long time he had wanted to see him because of the reports about him, and he was hoping to see Jesus work some miracle. He piled up question upon question, but got no reply from Jesus.

All the while the chief priests and the scribes remained standing there, vehemently pressing their accusations. Finally, Herod ridiculed him and with his guests mocked him. And when he had put a rich cloak on him, he sent him back to Pilate. Pilate and Herod, who were enemies before, became friends from that day.

Pilate then called together the chief priests and the elders and the people, and said to them, “You have brought this man before me and accused him of subversion. In your presence I have examined him and found no basis for your charges; and neither has Herod, for he sent him back to me. It is quite clear that this man has done nothing that deserves a death sentence. I will therefore have him scourged and then release him. (On the Passover Pilate had to release a prisoner.)

Shouting as one man, they protested, “No! Away with this man! Release Barabbas instead!” This man had been thrown into prison for an uprising in the city and for murder. Since Pilate wanted to release Jesus, he appealed to the crowd once more, but they shouted back, “To the cross with him! To the cross!” A third time Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has he done? Since no crime deserving death has been proved, I shall have him scourged and let him go.”

But they went on shouting and demanding that Jesus be crucified, and their shouts grew louder. So Pilate decided to pass the sentence they demanded. He released the man they asked for, the one who was in prison for rebellion and murder, and he handed Jesus over in accordance with their wishes.

THE WAY OF CALVARY

When they led Jesus away, they seized Simon of Cyrene, who was coming from the fields, and laid the cross on him, to carry it behind Jesus.

A large crowd of people followed him; among them were women beating their breasts and grieving for him, but Jesus turned to them and said, “Women of Jerusalem, do not weep for me! Weep rather for yourselves and for your children, for the days are coming when people will say, ‘Happy are the women without child! Happy are those who have not given birth or nursed a child!’ And they will say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’ For if this is the lot of the green wood, what will happen to the dry?”

Along with Jesus, two criminals also were led out to be executed. There, at the place called the Skull, he was crucified together with two criminals – one on his right and another on his left. (Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.) And the guards cast lots to divide his clothes among themselves.

The people stood by, watching. As for the rulers, they jeered at him, saying to one another, “Let the man who saved others now save himself, for he is the Messiah, the chosen one of God!”

The soldiers also mocked him and, when they drew near to offer him bitter wine, they said, “So you are the king of the Jews? Free yourself!” Above Jesus there was an inscription in Greek, Latin and Hebrew, which read, “This is the King of the Jews.”

One of the criminals hanging with Jesus insulted him, “So you are the Messiah? Save yourself, and us as well!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Have you no fear of God, you who received the same sentence as he did? For us it is just: this is payment for what we have done. But this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me, when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus replied, “Truly, you will be with me today in paradise.”

It was almost midday. The sun was hidden, and darkness came over the whole land until mid-afternoon; and, at that time, the curtain of the Sanctuary was torn in two. Then Jesus gave a loud cry, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” And saying that, he gave up his spirit.

[When this part is read out in Church, all of the faithful go down on their knees.]

The captain, on seeing what had happened, acknowledged the hand of God. “Surely this was an upright man!” He said. And all the people who had gathered to watch the spectacle, as soon as they saw what had happened, went home beating their breasts. But those who knew Jesus remained there, at a distance, especially the women, who had followed him from Galilee; they witnessed all this.

Then intervened a member of the Jewish supreme council, a good and righteous man named Joseph, from the Judean town of Arimathea. He had not agreed with the decision and action of his fellow members, and he lived uprightly in the hope of seeing the kingdom of God. Joseph went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. He then took it down, wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid it in a yet unused tomb, cut out of a rock.

It was Preparation Day, and the star which marks the beginning of the Sabbath was shining. So the women, who had come with Jesus from Galilee, followed Joseph to see the tomb, and how his body was laid. And returning home, they prepared perfumes and ointments. And on the Sabbath day they rested, as the Law required.

 
 

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THE PRAYERS OF THE CROWN OF OUR LADY OF SORROWS

V. In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

R. Amen.

V. We praise and bless You, Lord.

R. Because You brought the Virgin Mary to the work of salvation.

V. We contemplate your sorrows, O Mother of God.

R. And we follow you on the way of faith.

FIRST SORROW:

Mary hears with faith the prophesy of Simeon.

“Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘You see this child: he is destined for the fall and for the rising of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is rejected – and a sword will pierce your own soul too’ – so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare” (Lk 2:34-35).

Say 1 Our Father, 7 Hail Marys.

SECOND SORROW:

Mary flees to Egypt with Jesus and Joseph.

“After they had left, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother with you, and escape into Egypt, and stay there until I tell you, because Herod intends to search for the child and do away with him.’ So Joseph got up and, taking the child and his mother with him, left that night for Egypt” (Mt 2:13-14).

Say 1 Our Father, 7 Hail Marys.

THIRD SORROW:

Mary looks for Jesus in Jerusalem.

“When they were on their way home after the feast, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem without his parents knowing it. They assumed he was with the caravan, and it was only after a day’s journey that they went to look for him among their relations and acquaintances. When they failed to find him they went back to Jerusalem looking for him everywhere” (Lk 2:43-45).

Say 1 Our Father, 7 Hail Marys.

FOURTH SORROW:

Mary meets Jesus on the way to Calvary.

“As they were leading him away they seized on a man, Simon from Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and made him shoulder the cross and carry it behind Jesus. Large numbers of people followed him, and of women too, who mourned and lamented for him” (Lk 23:26-27).

Say 1 Our Father, 7 Hail Marys.

FIFTH SORROW:

Mary at the foot of the Cross of Jesus.

“Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. Seeing his mother and the disciple he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, ‘Woman, this is your son.’ Then to the disciple he said, “This is your mother'” (Jn 19:25-27a).

Say 1 Our Father, 7 Hail Marys.

SIXTH SORROW:

Mary receives Jesus from the Cross into her arms.

“It was now evening, and since it was Preparation Day (that is, the vigil of the sabbath), there came Joseph of Arimathaea, a prominent member of the Council, who himself lived in the hope of seeing the kingdom of God, and he boldly went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus” (Mk 15:42-44).

Say 1 Our Father, 7 Hail Marys.

SEVENTH SORROW:

Mary puts Jesus in the sepulchre. “They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, following the Jewish burial custom. At the place where he had been crucified there was a garden, and in this garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been buried [..] They laid Jesus there” (Jn 19:40-41,42b).

Say 1 Our Father, 7 Hail Marys.

 
 

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FOR YOU I WAS BORN, LORD: “THY WILL BE DONE”

If You want me to rest,
I desire it for love;
If to labour,
I will die working:
Sweet Love say
Where, how and when.
What do You want of me?

Calvary or Tabor give me,
Desert for fruitful land;
As Job in suffering
Or John at Your breast;
Barren or fruited vine,
Whatever be Your will:
What do You want of me?

Be I Joseph chained
Or as Egypt’s governor,
David pained
Or exalted high,
Jonas drowned,
Or Jonas freed:
What do You want of me?

Silent or speaking,
Fruitbearing or barren,
My wounds shown by the Law,
Rejoicing in the tender Gospel;
Sorrowing or exulting,
You alone live in me:
What do You want of me?

Yours I am, for You I was born:
What do You want of me?
– St Teresa of Avila

 
 

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