Carissimi; Sunday’s Mass: Palm Sunday

Palm_Sunday_(Mt_21_1-9)2Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday would be in any case a great and holy day, as it commemorates the last triumph of Our Lord Jesus Christ on earth and opens the Holy Week. On this day, the Church celebrates the triumphant entry of Our Lord into Jerusalem, when the multitude, going before and following after Him, cut off branches from the trees and strewed in His way, shouting: “Hosanna [glory and praise] to the Son of David. Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord.” It is in commemoration of this triumph that palms are blessed and borne in solemn procession.

The principal ceremonies of the day are the blessing of the palms, the procession, and the Mass with the reading of the Passion. The blessing of the palms follows a ritual similar to that of the Mass, — having an Epistle, a Gospel, a Preface, and a Sanctus. The Epistle refers to the murmuring of the Israelites in the desert, and their sighing for the flesh-pots of Egypt. The Gospel describes the triumphant entry into Jerusalem. The prayers which follow the Sanctus ask God to “bless the branches of palm . . . that whoever receives them may find protection of soul and body . . . that into whatever place they shall be brought, the inhabitants may obtain His blessing; that the devout faithful may understand the mystical meaning of the ceremony, that is, that the palms represent the triumph over the prince of death . . . and therefore, the issue thereof declares both the greatness of the victory, and the riches of God’s mercy.”

These ceremonies are the remainder of the early custom of having two Masses on this day: one for the blessing of the palms, the other after the procession. The prayers of the blessing, the Antiphon of the procession and the hymn Gloria laus make this one of the most impressive ceremonies of the Liturgical Year.

After the holy water has been sprinkled and the Asperges me has been sung, the priest in purple cope, with his ministers also vested in purple, proceeds to the blessing of the palms, or of branches of olive or other trees which are placed in front or on the epistle side of the altar. The choir sings first the following anthem:

ANTIPHON Matthew 21: 9
Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord. O King of Israel: Hosanna in the highest!


O God, whom to love above all is righteousness, multiply in us the gifts of Thine ineffable grace: and since Thou hast given us in the death of Thy Son to hope for those things which we believe, grant us by the Resurrection of the same to attain the end to which we aspire. Who with Thee liveth and reigneth in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. R. Amen.

EPISTLE Exodus 15. 27; 16. 1-7

In those days the children of Israel came into Elim, where there were twelve fountains of water, and seventy palm trees; and they encamped by the waters. And they set forward from Elim, and all the multitude of the children of Israel came into the desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai: the fifteenth day of the second month after they came out of the land of Egypt. And all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. And the children of Israel said to them: Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat over the fleshpots and ate bread to the full. Why have you brought us into this desert, that you might destroy all the multitude with famine? And the Lord said to Moses: Behold I will rain bread from Heaven for you; let the people go forth and gather what is sufficient for every day; that I may prove them whether they will walk in My law or not. But the sixth day let them provide for to bring in; and let it be double to that they were wont to gather every day. And Moses and Aaron said to the children of Israel: In the evening you shall know that the Lord hath brought you forth out of the land of Egypt; and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord.

RESPONSORY John 11. 47-50, 53

The chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said: What do we, for this man doth many miracles? If we let Him alone so, all will believe in Him; * and the Romans will come, and take away our place and nation. V.: But one of them, called Caiphas, being the high priest that year, prophesied, saying: It is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. From that day, therefore, they devised to put Him to death, saying: * And the Romans…

GOSPEL Matthew 21: 1-9

At that time, when Jesus drew nigh to Jerusalem, and was come to Bethphage, unto Mount Olivet, then He sent two disciples, saying to them: “Go ye into the village that is over against you, and immediately you shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her; loose them and bring them to Me; and if any man shall say anything to you, say ye that the Lord hath need of them; and forthwith he will let them go.” Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: Tell ye the daughter of Sion: Behold thy King cometh to thee meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of her that is used to the yoke. And the disciples going did as Jesus commanded them. And they brought the ass and the colt, and laid their garments upon them, and made Him sit thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way, and others cut boughs from the trees, and strewed them in the way, and the multitudes that went before and that followed cried, saying: Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord.

The priest blesses the palms

V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
Increase, O God, the faith of them that hope in Thee, and in Thy mercy hear the prayers of Thy suppliant people; let Thy multiplied mercy descend upon us, and may these branches of palm trees or olive trees be + blessed; and as in a figure of Thy Church Thou didst multiply Noah going forth from the ark, and Moses going out of Egypt with the children of Israel, so may we go forth to meet Christ with good works, bearing palms and olive branches; and enter through Him into everlasting joy; Who with Thee and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth for ever and ever. R. Amen

The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
Lift up your hearts.
R.We have lifted them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
R. It is meet and just.
It is truly meet and just, right and availing unto salvation, that we should always and in all places give thanks unto Thee, O Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God. Who dost glory in the assembly of Thy Saints. For Thy creatures serve Thee, because they acknowledge Thee as their only Creator and God; and Thy whole creation praiseth Thee, and Thy Saints bless Thee. For with free voice they confess that great Name of Thine only-begotten Son before the kings and powers of this world. Around whom the Angels and Archangels, the Thrones and Dominions stand; and with all the host of the heavenly army, sing the hymn of Thy glory, saying without ceasing:
HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, Lord God of hosts. Heaven and earth are full of Thy glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
Let us pray. – We beseech Thee, O holy Lord, almighty Father, everlasting God, that Thou wouldst vouchsafe to bless + and hallow + this creature of the olive tree, which Thou didst cause to shoot out of the substance of the wood, and which the dove when returning to the ark brought in its mouth: that whosoever shall receive it may find protection of soul and body; and that it may be to us, O Lord, a saving remedy and the sacred sign of Thy grace. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God for ever and ever.
R. Amen.

Let us pray. – O God, who dost gather what is dispersed abroad, and preserve what is gathered together; who didst bless the people who went forth to meet Jesus, bearing branches of palms; bless + likewise these branches of palm and olive, which Thy servants receive faithfully in honor of Thy Name; that into whatsoever place they shall be brought, those who dwell in that place may obtain Thy blessing, and all adversities being removed, Thy right hand may protect those who have been redeemed by our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son. Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God for ever and ever.
R. Amen.

Let us pray. – O God, who, by the wonderful order of Thy disposition, hast been pleased to manifest the dispensation of our salvation even from things insensible: grant, we beseech Thee, that the devout hearts of Thy faithful may understand to their benefit what is mystically signified by the fact that on this day the multitude, taught by a heavenly illumination, went forth to meet their Redeemer, and strewed branches of palms and olive at His feet. The branches of palms, therefore, represent His triumphs over the prince of death; and the branches of olive proclaim, in a manner, the coming of a spiritual unction. For that pious multitude understood that these things were then prefigured; that our Redeemer, compassionating human miseries, was about to fight with the prince of death for the life of the whole world, and, by dying, to triumph. For which cause they dutifully ministered such things as signified in Him the triumphs of victory and the richness of mercy. And we also, with full faith, retaining this as done and signified, humbly beseech Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, that in Him and through Him, whose members Thou hast been pleased to make us, we may become victorious over the empire of death, and may deserve to be partakers of His glorious Resurrection. Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God for ever and ever.
R. Amen.

Let us pray. – O God, who by an olive branch didst command the dove to proclaim peace to the earth: hallow, we beseech Thee, by Thy heavenly blessing + these branches of the olive and other trees; that they may profit all Thy people unto salvation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God for ever and ever.
R. Amen.

Let us pray. – Bless, + we beseech Thee, O Lord, these branches of palm or olive: and grant that what Thy people today bodily perform for Thy honor, they may perfect spiritually with the utmost devotion, by gaining the victory over the enemy, and ardently loving every work of mercy. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God for ever and ever.
R. Amen.

Here the celebrant puts incense into the thurible and sprinkles the palms thrice with holy water, reciting the anthem Asperges me without the psalm; then he incenses them thrice, and proceeds:

V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
Let us pray. – O God, who for our salvation didst send into this world Thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, that He might humble Himself unto our state, and call us back to Thee; for whom also, as He entered into Jerusalem to fulfill the Scriptures, a multitude of faithful people, with zealous devotion, strewed their garments, with palm branches, in the way: grant, we beseech Thee, that we may prepare for Him the way of faith, from which the stone of offense and rock of scandal being removed, our works may flourish before Thee with branches of justice, that so we may be found worthy to follow His footsteps: Who livest and reignest with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God for ever and ever. R. Amen.

When the blessing is finished, the first in rank amoung the clergy goes up to the altar and gives a palm to the celebrant, who neither genuflects nor kisses his hand. The priest then distributes the palms, first to the clergy, and afterwards to the laity, who all genuflect and kiss both the palm and the hand of the celebrant. Meanwhile the choir sings the following anthems and repeats them until all palms are distributed:

Antiphon. The Hebrew children bearing olive branches, went forth to meet the Lord, crying out, and saying, Hosanna in the highest.
Antiphon. The Hebrew children spread their garments in the way, and cried out, saying: Hosanna to the Son of God: blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord

V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.

Let us pray. Almighty and everlasting God, who didst ordain that our Lord Jesus Christ should sit upon the foal of an ass, and didst teach the multitude to spread their garments or branches of trees in the way and to sing Hosanna to His praise: grant, we beseech Thee, that we may be able to imitate their innocence and deserve to partake of their merit. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God for ever and ever. R. Amen.


The procession of palms now takes place. When the priest places incense in the thurible, the deacon, turning towards the people, sings:
Procedamus in pace.
Let us go forth in peace.
The choir answers:
In Nomine Christi. Amen.
In the Name of Christ, Amen.
The thurifer precedes with the smoking censer, followed by the subdeacon, bearing the processional cross between two acolytes carrying lighted candles. Then follow the clergy in order of rank, and finally the celebrant with the deacon on his left. All carry palms, and all or some of them sing the following anthems, during the whole time the procession lasts.

ANTHEM:   Matthew 21: 1-3, 7-9

When our Lord drew nigh to Jerusalem, He sent two of His disciples, saying: Go ye into the village over against you; and you shall find an ass’s colt tied, on which no man hath sat: loose it, and bring it to Me. If any man shall question you, say: The Lord hath need of it. They loosed it and brought it to Jesus, and laid their garments upon it, and He seated Himself on it; some spread their garments in the way; others strewed branches from the trees; and those who followed cried out: Hosanna! Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord; blessed be the reign of our father David! Hosanna in the highest! O Son of David, have mercy on us!
Another Antiphon (John 12: 12, 13)
When the people heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, they took palm branches, and went forth to meet Him; and the children cried out, saying: This is He that is come for the salvation of the people. He is our salvation, and the redemption of Israel. How great is He whom the Thrones and Dominions go forth to meet! Fear not, O daughter of Sion; behold thy King cometh to thee sitting on an ass’s colt, as it is written. Hail, O King, Creator of the world, who art come to redeem us.

Another Antiphon – Six days before the solemn feast of the Passover, when our Lord came into the city of Jerusalem, the children met Him: and in their hands they caried palm branches, and they cried out with a loud voice, saying: Hosanna in the highest! Blessed art Thou who art come in the multitude of Thy mercy. Hosanna in the highest!

Another Antiphon – The multitude goeth forth to meet our Redeemer with flowers and palms, and payeth the homage due to a triumphant Conqueror: the Gentiles proclaim the Son of God; and their voices thunder through the skies in praise of Christ: Hosanna in the highest!

Another Antiphon – Let the faithful join with the Angels and children, singing to the Conqueror of dath: Hosanna in the highest!

Another Antiphon – A great multitude that was met together at the festival cried out to the Lord: Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord: Hosanna in the Highest!

At the return of the procession two or four cantors go into the church and, shutting the door, stand facing towards the procession, singing the two first verses of the Gloria laus. These the priest repeats with those who are outside the church. The other verses, all or in part as may be found desirable, are then sung by those within, those remaining outside answering Gloria, laus . . . after every second verse:

Glory, praise and honor to Thee, O King Christ, the Redeemer: to whom children poured their glad and sweet hosanna’s song.
Glory, praise and honor to Thee, O King Christ, the Redeemer: to whom children poured their glad and sweet Hosanna’s song.

Hail, King of Israel! David’s Son of royal fame! Who comest in the Name of the Lord, O Blessed King.

Glory, praise and honor to Thee, O King Christ, the Redeemer: to whom children poured their glad and sweet Hosanna’s song.

The Angel host laud Thee on high, On earth mankind, with all created things.

Glory, praise and honor to Thee, O King Christ, the Redeemer: to whom children poured their glad and sweet Hosanna’s song.

With palms the Jews went forth to meet Thee. We greet Thee now with prayers and hymns.

Glory, praise and honor to Thee, O King Christ, the Redeemer: to whom children poured their glad and sweet Hosanna’s song.

On Thy way to die, they crowned Thee with praise; We raise our song to Thee, now King on high.

Glory, praise and honor to Thee, O King Christ, the Redeemer: to whom children poured their glad and sweet Hosanna’s song.

Their poor homage pleased Thee, O gracious King! O clement King, accept too ours, the best that we can bring.

Glory, praise and honor to Thee, O King Christ, the Redeemer: to whom children poured their glad and sweet Hosanna’s song.

After this, the subdeacon knocks thrice on the door with the shaft of the processional cross: when the door is opened, the procession enters the church, singing:


As our Lord entered the holy city, the Hebrew children, declaring the resurrection of life, * With palm branches, cried out: Hosanna in the highest. V. When the people heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, they went forth to meet Him:
* With palm branches . . .

With the Blessing and Procession ended, the Mass begins. The Gloria Patri is not said. The Mass is then celebrated, and at Mass all hold the palms in their hands while the Passion and Gospel are sung.

palmsunday2INTROIT:   Psalm 21: 20,22

O Lord, keep not Thy help far from me: look to my defense: deliver me from the lion’s mouth and my lowness from the horns of the unicorns. Ps. O God, my God, look upon me: why hast Thou forsaken me? Why cannot my sinful words reach Thee, Who art my salvation? Repeat O Lord, keep not Thy help far from me…


Almighty and everlasting God, by whose ordinance our Saviour took flesh and suffered crucifixion to give mankind a pattern of humility, grant us this boon, that, with the lesson of His endurance before us, we may be found worthy to have fellowship in His resurrection: through the same Jesus Christ Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R.Amen.

EPISTLE Philippians 2: 5-11

A reading from the Epistle of the blessed Apostle Paul to the Philippians. Brethren: yours is to be the same mind which Christ Jesus showed. His nature is, from the first, divine, and yet He did not see, in the rank of Godhead, a prize to be coveted; He dispossessed Himself, and took the nature of a slave, fashioned in the likeness of men, and presenting Himself to us in human form; and then He lowered His own dignity, accepted an obedience which brought Him to death, death on a cross. That is why God has raised Him to such a height, given Him that name which is greater than any other name; [here all kneel] So that everything in heaven and on earth and under the earth must bend the knee before the name of Jesus, and every tongue must confess Jesus Christ as the Lord, dwelling in the glory of God the Father.

GRADUAL Psalm 72: 24, 1-3

Thou dost hold me by my right hand: Thine to lead me in a way of Thy own choosing, Thine to take me up to Thyself in glory. What bounty God shows to Israel, to all upright hearts! Yet I came near to losing my foothold, and felt the ground sink under my steps, so indignant was I over the good fortune of the sinners that flout His law.

TRACTUS Psalm 21: 2-9, 18, 19, 22, 24, 32

My God, my God, look upon me; why hast Thou forsaken me? Why cannot my sinful words reach Thee, Who art my salvation? Thou dost not answer, my God, when I cry out to Thee day and night and I am patient still. Thou art there nontheless, dwelling in the holy place Israel’s ancient boast. It was in Thee that our fathers trusted, and Thou didst reward their trust by delivering them. They cried to Thee, and rescue came; no need to be ashamed of such trust as theirs. But I, poor worm, have no manhood left; I am a by-word to all, the laughing-stock of the rabble. All those who catch sight of me fall to mocking; mouthing out insults, while they toss their heads in scorn. He committed Himself to the Lord, why does not the Lord come to His rescue and set His favorite free? They stand there watching Me, gazing at Me. They divide My spoils among them, cast lots for My garments. Deliver me from the lion’s mouth and my lowness from the horns of the unicorns. Praise the Lord, all you that are His worshippers; honor to Him, from the sons of Jacob. The Lord will claim for His own a generation that is still to come; Heaven itself will make known His faithfulness. To a people yet to be born, a people of the Lord’s own founding.

GOSPEL Matthew 26: 1-75; 27: 1-66

The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. Matthew: And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended all these words, He said to His disciples: You know that after two days shall be the Pasch, and the Son of man shall be delivered up to be crucified: Then were gathered together the chief priests and ancients of the people into the court of the high priest, who was called Caiphas: And they consulted together, that by subtlty they might apprehend Jesus, and put Him to death. But they said: Not on the festival day, lest perhaps there should be a tumult among the people. And when Jesus was in Bethania, in the house of Simon the leper, there came to Him a woman having an alabaster box of precious ointment, and poured it on His head as He was at table. And the disciples seeing it, had indignation, saying: To what purpose is this waste? For this might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. And Jesus knowing it, said to them: Why do you trouble this woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon Me. For the poor you have always with you: but Me you have not always. For she in pouring this ointment upon My body, hath done it for My burial. Amen I say to you, wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, that also which she hath done, shall be told for a memory of her. Then went one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, to the chief priests, And said to them: What will you give me, and I will deliver Him unto you? But they appointed him thirty pieces of silver. And from thenceforth he sought opportunity to betray Him. And on the first day of the Azymes, the disciples came to Jesus, saying: Where wilt thou that we prepare for Thee to eat the pasch? But Jesus said: Go ye into the city to a certain man, and say to him: the master saith, My time is near at hand, with thee I make the pasch with My disciples. And the disciples did as Jesus appointed to them, and they prepared the pasch. But when it was evening, He sat down with his twelve disciples. And whilst they were eating, He said: Amen I say to you, that one of you is about to betray Me. And they being very much troubled, began every one to say: Is it I, Lord? But He answering, said: He that dippeth his hand with Me in the dish, he shall betray Me. The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of Him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man shall be betrayed: it were better for him, if that man had not been born. And Judas that betrayed Him, answering, said: Is it I, Rabbi? He saith to him: Thou hast said it. And whilst they were at supper, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke: and gave to His disciples, and said: Take ye, and eat. This is My body. And taking the chalice, He gave thanks, and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this. For this is My blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins. And I say to you, I will not drink from henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I shall drink it with you new in the kingdom of My Father. And a hymn being said, they went out unto mount Olivet. Then Jesus said to them: All you shall be scandalized in Me this night. For it is written: I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be dispersed. But after I shall be risen again, I will go before you into Galilee. And Peter answering, said to Him: Although all shall be scandalized in thee, I will never be scandalized. Jesus said to him: Amen I say to thee, that in this night before the cock crow, thou wilt deny me thrice. Peter saith to Him: Yea, though I should die with Thee, I will not deny Thee. And in like manner said all the disciples. Then Jesus came with His disciples to a country place called Gethsemani, and He said to His disciples, “Sit down here, while I go over yonder and pray.” And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be saddened and exceedingly troubled. Then He said to them, “My soul is sad, even unto death. Wait here and watch with Me.” And going forward a little, He fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from Me; yet not as I will, but as Thou willest.” Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And He said to Peter, “Could you not then watch one hour with Me? Watch and pray, that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again a second time He went away and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cup cannot pass away unless I drink it, Thy will be done.” And He came again and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. And leaving them He went back again, and prayed a third time, saying the same words over. Then He came to His disciples, and said to them, “Sleep on now, and take your rest. Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man will be betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us go. Behold, he who betrays Me is at hand.” And while He was yet speaking, behold Judas, one of the Twelve, came and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and elders of the people. Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, that is He; lay hold of Him.” And he went straight up to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and kissed Him. And Jesus said to him, “Friend, for what purpose hast thou come?” Then they came forward and set hands on Jesus and took Him. And behold, one of those who was with Jesus, stretching forth his hand, drew his sword, and striking the servant of the high priest, cut off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, “Put back thy sword into its place; for all those who take the sword will perish by the sword. Or dost thou suppose that I cannot entreat My Father, and He will even now furnish Me with more than twelve legions of angels? How then are the Scriptures to be fulfilled, that thus it must happen?” In that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “As against a robber you have come out, with swords and clubs to seize Me. I sat daily with you in the temple teaching, and you did not lay hands on Me.” Now all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples left Him and fled. Now those who had taken Jesus led Him away to Caiphas the high priest, where the Scribes and the elders had gathered together. But Peter was following Him at a distance, even to the courtyard of the high priest, and he went in and sat with the attendants to see the end. Now the chief priests and all the Sanhedrin were seeking false witness against Jesus, that they might put Him to death, but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. But last of all there came forward two false witnesses, and they said, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to rebuild it after three days.'” Then the high priest, standing up, said to Him, “Dost Thou make no answer to the things that these men prefer against Thee?” But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, “I adjure Thee by the living God that Thou tell us whether Thou art the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus said to him, “Thou hast said it. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power of God and coming upon the clouds of Heaven.” Then the high priest tore his garments, saying, “He has blasphemed; what further need have we of witnesses? Behold, now you have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?” And they answered and said, “He is liable to death.” Then they spat in His face and buffeted Him; while others struck His face with the palms of their hands, saying, “Prophesy to us, O Christ! who is it that struck Thee?” Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard; and a maidservant came up to him and said, “Thou also wast with Jesus the Galilean.” But he denied before them all, saying, “I do not know what thou art saying.” And when he had gone out to the gateway, another maid saw him, and said to those who were there, “This man also was with Jesus of Nazareth.” And again he denied with an oath, “I do not know the Man!” And after a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Surely thou also art one of them, for even thy speech betrays thee.” Then he began to curse and to swear that he did not know the Man. And at that moment the cock crowed. And Peter remembered the word that Jesus had said, “Before the cock crows, thou wilt deny Me thrice.” And he went out and wept bitterly. Now when morning came all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel together against Jesus in order to put Him to death. And they bound Him and led Him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the procurator. Then Judas, who betrayed Him, when he saw that He was condemned, repented and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying, “I have sinned in betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to it thyself.” And he flung the pieces of silver into the temple, and withdrew; and went away and hanged himself with a halter. And the chief priests took the pieces of silver, and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, seeing that it is the price of blood.” And after they had consulted together, they bought with them the potter’s field, as a burial place for strangers. For this reason that field has been called even to this day, Haceldama, that is, the Field of Blood. Then was fulfilled what was spoken through Jeremias the prophet, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of Him Who was prized, upon whom the children of Israel set a price; and they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord directed me.” Now Jesus stood before the procurator; and the procurator asked Him, saying, “Art Thou the King of the Jews?” Jesus said to him “Thou sayest it.” And when He was accused by the chief priests and the elders, He made no answer. Then Pilate said to Him, “Dost Thou not hear how many things they prefer against Thee?” But He did not answer him a single word, so that the procurator wondered exceedingly. Now at festival time the procurator used to release to the crowd a prisoner, whomever they would. Now he had at that time a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. Therefore, when they had gathered together, Pilate said, “Whom do you wish that I release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus Who is called Christ?” For he knew that they had delivered Him up out of envy. Now, as he was sitting on the judgment-seat, his wife sent to him, saying, “Have nothing to do with that Just Man, for I have suffered many things in a dream today because of Him.” But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to destroy Jesus. But the procurator addressed them, and said to them, “Which of the two do you wish that I release to you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” Pilate said to them, “What then am I to do with Jesus Who is called Christ?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!” The procurator said to them, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they kept crying out the more, saying, “Let Him be crucified!” Now Pilate, seeing that he was doing no good, but rather that a riot was breaking out, took water and washed his hands in sight of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this Just Man; see to it yourselves.” And all the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children.” Then he released to them Barabbas; but Jesus he scourged and delivered to them to be crucified. Then the soldiers of the procurator took Jesus into the praetorium, and gathered together about Him the whole cohort. And they stripped Him and put on Him a scarlet cloak; and plaiting a crown of thorns, they put it upon His head, and a reed into His right hand; and bending the knee before Him they mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they spat on Him, and took the reed and kept striking Him on the head. And when they had mocked Him, they took the cloak off Him and put on Him His own garments, and led Him away to crucify Him. Now as they went out, they found a man of Cyrene named Simon; him they forced to take up His cross. And they came to the place called Golgotha, that is, the Place of the Skull. And they gave Him wine to drink mixed with gall; but when He had tasted it, He would not drink. And after they had crucified Him, they divided His garments, casting lots, to fulfill that which was spoken through the prophets, saying, “They divided My garments among them, and upon My vesture they cast lots.” And sitting down they kept watch over Him. And they put above His head the charge against Him, written This is Jesus, the King of the Jews. Then two robbers were crucified with Him, one on His right hand and one on His left. Now the passers-by were jeering at Him, shaking their heads, and saying, “Thou Who destroyest the temple, and in three days buildest it up again, save Thyself! If Thou art the Son of God, come down from the cross!” In like manner, the chief priests with the Scribes and the elders, mocking, said, “He saved others, Himself He cannot save! If He is the King of Israel, let Him come down now from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now, if He wants Him; for He said, “I am the Son of God.”‘ And the robbers also, who were crucified with Him, reproached Him in the same way. Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. But about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani.” That is, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?”‘ And some of the bystanders on hearing this said, “This man is calling Elias.” And immediately one of them ran and, taking a sponge, soaked it in common wine, put it on a reed and offered it to Him to drink. But the rest said, “Wait, let us see whether Elias is coming to save Him.” But Jesus again cried out with a loud voice, and gave up His spirit.

[Here all kneel, and pause a little while.]

And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were rent, and the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep arose; and coming forth out of the tombs after His resurrection, they came into the holy city, and appeared to many. Now when the centurion, and those who were with him keeping guard over Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that were happening, they were very much afraid, and they said, “Truly He was the Son of God.” And many women were there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to Him. Among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee. Now when it was evening, there came a certain rich man of Arimathea, Joseph by name, who also himself was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered the body to be given up. And Joseph taking the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock. Then he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb, and departed.

OFFERTORY Psalm 68: 21-22

Naught else but shame and misery does My heart forbode. I look around for pity, where pity is none; for comfort, where there is no comfort to be found: they gave Me gall to eat, and when I was thirsty they gave Me vinegar to drink.


Grant, we pray Thee, Lord, that the gift we set before Thy majesty may obtain for us the grace of devotion, and ensure us an eternity of bliss. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son. Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen.

PREFACE of the Holy Cross

It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God : Who didst establish the salvation of mankind on the tree of the Cross: that whence death came thence also life might arise again, and that he, Who overcame by the tree, by the tree also might be overcome: Through Christ our Lord. Through Whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, the Dominations worship it, the Powers stand in awe. The Heavens and the Heavenly hosts together with the blessed Seraphim in triumphant chorus unite to celebrate it. Together with these we entreat Thee, that Thou mayest bid our voices also be admitted while we say with lowly praise:

COMMUNION Matthew 26: 42

Father, if this chalice may not pass Me by, but I must drink it, then Thy will be done.


By the working of this sacrament, Lord, may our sins be purged away, and our just desires fulfilled. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen.