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Tag Archives: Good Friday

PRAYER OF THE SEVEN LAST WORDS (GOOD FRIDAY)

PRAYER OF THE SEVEN LAST WORDS (GOOD FRIDAY)

O Divine Jesus, incarnate Son of God, for our salvation You consented to be born in a stable, to spend Your whole life amid poverty, trials, and misery, and to die surrounded by sufferings on the Cross. At the hour of my death, please say to Your Father: “Father, forgive him/her”. Say to Your beloved Mother: “Behold your son/daughter”. Say to my soul: “This day you shall be with Me in paradise”.

“My God, my God, do not forsake me” in that hour. “I thirst”, yes, my soul thirsts for You Who are the fountain of living waters. My life passes away like a shadow; in a short while “everything will be accomplished”. Therefore, my adorable Saviour, from this moment and for all eternity “into Your hands I commend my spirit”. Lord Jesus, receive my soul. Amen.

 

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GOOD FRIDAY – “IT IS CONSUMMATED”

THE SACRIFICE

“CONSUMMATUM EST” – “IT IS CONSUMMATED”

I. “Such are the last words with which the Saviour, dying on the cross, accomplishes this day His sacrifice: such are the last sighs which the holy women and the beloved disciple gather from His dying lips; such the last instructions which they receive from their kind Master.

Thus it is that He leaves this earth, and that He leaves His dear disciples agitated equally by grief at losing Him, and by the profound mystery of this last utterance: ‘Consummatum est’? All is accomplished, as regards his Father’s justice, the malice of men, and His love.

Jesus Christ having nothing more to do for us on earth, the great sacrifice being offered, and all the ancient figures fulfilled; Jerusalem having filled up the measure of its fathers; all the oracles of the Prophets being explained, the true worship established, His Father’s glory vindicated, the course of His ministry ended; not being able to leave men any greater proofs of His love, He declares that all is accomplished: ‘Consummatum est.’ He bows His Head; He utters a loud cry to heaven; He dies, and gives back to his Father the life and soul which He had received from Him.

Look at this divine Saviour expiring on the cross, and looking to you alone as the reward of His sufferings; He dies your liberator, He dies in your stead; He dies in Time, in order that you may not die in Eternity; He dies because He loves you, He dies, because you do not love Him. Can your tenderness, your grief, your gratitude know any limits here? And are you not anathema if you love not Jesus Christ crucified?

II. Those who are looking upon Him dying say to Him: ‘Come down from the cross, and we will believe in You,’ but we ought to use quite different language towards Him.

‘It is because You are raised upon the cross, O my Saviour, it is because You are dying today for me, choosing this throne of ignominy on which to be our Victim and our Pontiff; it is for these very reasons that all our consolation is to believe in You, and to adore You as our mediator, and to consecrate to You what remains of our life.

Do not descend from this sacred wood, where You are the only hope of Your people. Rather draw us thither with You, as You have promised us; the more we see You saturated with reproaches, the more our faith is increased, our hope strengthened, our love inflamed.

Can so much pain and suffering offered for us, be of no avail? – Would You have redeemed our souls at such a great price, if You had been willing to let them perish? – And would You have died such a death of ignominy, if we were not by sharing in Your suffering, to become participators one day in the glory of our immortality?”
– Laverty & Sons (eds), 1905

 

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SHORT PRAYER ON GOOD FRIDAY

FROM THE BREVIARY

Be mindful, O Lord, of this people of yours, for whose sake our Lord Jesus Christ did not shrink from the hands of his enemies and the agony of the cross: who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

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“LORD JESUS, WE ARE A PEOPLE OF THE CROSS”

• “Nothing reveals God’s love as perfectly and supremely as the cross of Jesus.

• Reading: John 18:1-19:42
‘They will look on the one they have pierced.’

• We tend to focus on Jesus’ physical suffering and torments. But Jesus’ real suffering was less physical, but spiritual. He who knew no sin became as sin for us. As St Paul, the theologian par excellence, reflected many years after the event, ‘Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on the tree” (Gal 3:13). On the cross Jesus experienced what it meant to be forsaken, cut off from God, his Father. His cry from the cross, the prophetic fulfilment of the psalmist’s prayer, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ (Ps. 22:1), captures eloquently and powerfully Jesus’ terrible anguish and suffering of soul and spirit.

• Lord Jesus, we are a people of the cross. We are a people who rejoice and give thanks and praise for the wood of the cross on which you hung, the Saviour of the world.

• Our Father…, Ten Hail Marys…, Glory be…

• Today my prayer is for…”
– This short meditation was published in “A Lenten Journey of Prayer for 2013” by AlivePublishing. For information about their booklets please visit http://www.alivepublishing.co.uk (external link).

 

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GOOD FRIDAY: BEHOLD, BEHOLD THE WOOD OF THE CROSS (HYMN)

Behold the wood of the Cross (Ecce lignum Crucis)

Behold, behold the wood of the Cross
on which is hung our salvation.
O come let us adore.

Unless a grain of wheat fall upon the ground and die,
it shall remain but a single grain and not give life.

Behold…

And when my hour of glory comes as all was meant to be
you shall see me lifted up upon a tree.

Behold…

For there can be no greater love shown upon this land than
in the one who came to die that we might live.

Behold…

 

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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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GOOD FRIDAY, BIBLE READING II (HEBREWS 4:14-16; 5:7-9)

Since in Jesus, the Son of God, we have the supreme high priest who has gone through to the highest heaven, we must never let go of the faith that we have professed. For it is not as if we had a high priest who was incapable of feeling our weaknesses with us; but we have one who has been tempted in every way that we are, though he is without sin. Let us be confident, then, in approaching the throne of grace, that we shall have mercy from him and find grace when we are in need of help.

During his life on earth, he offered up prayer and entreaty, aloud and in silent tears, to the one who had the power to save him out of death, and he submitted so humbly that his prayer was heard. Although he was Son, he learned to obey through suffering; but having been made perfect, he became for all who obey him the source of eternal salvation.

V. The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.

 

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