The Messenger from God’s high throne
His secret counsel making known
Hails Mary, child of David’s race,
God’s Virgin Mother, full of grace.
The Mother Maid with joyous feet
Her friend, John’s mother, goes to greet;
He, stirring in the enclosing womb,
Declares that Christ his Lord has come.
The Word, who ere the worlds began,
From God the Father’s thought forth ran,
Of Mary, Virgin undefiled,
For us is born a mortal child.
Christ to the Temple courts they bring;
The King’s own law subjects the King;
The world’s Redeemer for a price
Is there redeemed, our sacrifice.
The joyful Mother finds once more
The Son she mourned as lost before;
While doctors by His speech were shown
The mysteries they had never known.
The Mount of Olives witnesseth
The awful agony of God;
His soul is sorrowful to death,
His sweat of blood bedews the sod.
And now the traitor’s work is done:
The clamorous crowds around Him surge;
Bound to pillar, God the Son
Quivers beneath the blood-red scourge.
Lo! clad in purple soiled and worn,
Meekly the Saviour waiteth now
While wretches plait the cruel thorn
To crown with shame His royal brow.
Sweating and sighing, faint with loss
Of what hath flowed from life’s red fount,
He bears the exceeding heavy Cross
Up the verge of Calvary’s mount.
Nailed to the wood of ancient curse,
Between two thieves the Sinless One
Still praying for His murderers,
Breathes forth His soul, and all is done!
All honour, laud, and glory be,
O Jesu, Virgin-born to thee;
All glory, as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.
– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964