Holy Week [Monday - Wednesday]
Monday in Holy Week
Taken from The Liturgical Year by Dom Prosper Gueranger (1841-1875)

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This morning also, Jesus goes with his Disciples to Jerusalem. He is fasting, for the Gospel tells us that he was hungry. He approaches a fig-tree, which is by the wayside; but finds nothing on it, save leaves only. Jesus, wishing to give us an instruction, curses the fig-tree, which immediately withers away. He would hereby teach us what they are to expect, who have nothing but good desires, and never produce in themselves the fruit of a real conversion. Nor is the allusion to Jerusalem less evident. This City is zealous for the exterior of Divine Worship; but her heart is hard and obstinate, and she is plotting, at this very hour the death of the Son of God.

The greater portion of the day is spent in the Temple, where Jesus holds long conversations with the Chief Priests and Ancients of the people. His language to them is stronger than ever, and triumphs over all their captious questions. It is principally in the Gospel of St. Matthew (chapters 26, 27, and 28) that we shall find these answers of our Redeemer, which so energetically accuse the Jews of their sin of rejecting the Messias, and so plainly foretell the punishment their sin is to bring after it.

At length, Jesus leaves the Temple, and takes the road that leads to Bethania. Having come as far as Mount Olivet, which commands a view of Jerusalem, he sits down and rests awhile. The Disciples make this an opportunity for asking him how soon the chastisements he has been speaking of in the Temple will come upon the City. His answer comprises two events: the destruction of Jerusalem, and the final destruction of the world. He thus teaches them that the first is a figure of the second. The time when each is to happen is to be when the measure of iniquity is filled up. But with regard to the chastisement that is to befall Jerusalem, he gives this more definite answer: Amen, I say to you: this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done. History tells us how this prophecy of Jesus was fulfilled; forty years had scarcely elapsed after his Ascension, when the Roman army encamped on this very place where he is now speaking to his Disciples, and laid siege to the ungrateful and wicked City. After giving a prophetic description of that Last Judgment, which is to rectify all the unjust judgments of men, he leaves Mount Olivet, returns to Bethania, and consoles the anxious heart of his most holy Mother.

The Station, at Rome, is in the Church of Saint Praxedes. It was in this Church, that Pope Paschal II, in the 9th century, placed 2,300 bodies of holy Martyrs, which he had ordered to be taken out of the catacombs. The pillar, to which our Saviour was tied during his scourging, is also here.


The Introit is taken from the 34th Psalm. Jesus, by these words of the Royal Prophet, prays to his Eternal Father that he would defend him against his enemies.

Judica, Domine, nocentes me, expugna impugnantes me: apprehende arma et scutum, et exsurge in adjutorium meum, Domine virtus salutis meæ.
Judge thou, O Lord, them that wrong me; overthrow them that fight against me: take hold of arms and shield, and rise up to help me, O Lord, my mighty deliverer.

Ps. Effunde frameam, et conclude adversus eos qui persequuntur me: dic animæ meæ: Salus tua ego sum.
Ps. Bring out the sword, and shut up the way against them that persecute me; say to my soul, I am thy salvation.

Judica, Domine.
Judge thou, &c.

In the Collect, the Church teaches us to have recourse to the merits of our Savior’s Passion, in order that we may obtain from God the help we stand in need of amidst our many miseries.

Da, quæsumus, omnipotens Deus: ut, qui in tot adversis ex nostra infirmitate deficimus, intercedente unigeniti Filii tui Passione respiremus. Qui tecum.
Grant, we beseech thee, O Almighty God, that we, who through our weakness, faint under so many adversities, may recover by the Passion of thy Only Begotten Son. Who liveth, &c.

Then is added one of the following Collects.

Against the Persecutors of the Church
Ecclesiæ tuæ, quæsumus, Domine, preces placatus admitte: ut destructis adversitatibus et erroribus universis, secura tibi serviat libertate. Per Dominum.
Mercifully hear, we beseech thee, O Lord, the prayers of thy Church: that all oppositions and errors being removed, she may serve thee with a secure liberty. Through, &c.

For the Pope
Deus, omnium fidelium pastor et rector, famulum tuum N. quem pastorem Ecclesiæ tuæ præesse voluisti propitius respice: da ei, quæsumus, verbo et exemplo, quibus præest, proficere: ut ad vitam, una cum grege sibi credito, perveniat sempiternam. Per Dominum.
O God, the Pastor and Ruler of all the Faithful, look down, in thy mercy, on thy servant N., whom thou hast appointed Pastor over thy Church; and grant, we beseech thee, that both by word and example, he may edify all those that are under his charge; and with the flock entrusted to him, arrive at length at eternal happiness. Through, &c.

Lesson from Isaias the Prophet. Ch. L.

In those days, Isaias said: The Lord hath opened my ear making known his will to me, and I do not resist: I have not gone back. I have given my body to the strikers, and my cheeks to them that plucked them: I have not turned away my face from them that rebuked me, and spit upon me. The Lord God is my helper, therefore am I not confounded. He is near that justifieth me, who will contend with me? let us stand together. Who is my adversary? let him come near to me. Behold the Lord God is my helper: who is he that shall condemn me? Lo, they shall all be destroyed as a garment, the moth shall eat them up. Who is there among you that feareth the Lord, that heareth the voice of his servant? He that hath walked in darkness, and hath no light, let him hope in the name of the Lord, and lean upon his God.

Quote:The Sufferings of our Redeemer, and the patience wherewith he is to bear them, are thus prophesied by Isaias, who is always so explicit on the Passion. Jesus has accepted the office of Victim for the world’s salvation; he shrinks from no pain or humiliation: he turns not his Face from them that strike him and spit upon him. What reparation can we make to this Infinite Majesty, who, that he might save us, submitted to such outrages as these? Observe these vile and cruel enemies of our Divine Lord: now that they have him in their power, they fear him not. When they came to seize him in the Garden, he had but to speak, and they fell back upon the ground; but he has now permitted them to bind his hands and lead him to the High Priest. They accuse him; they cry out against him; and he answers but a few words. Jesus of Nazareth, the great Teacher, the wonder-worker, has seemingly lost all his influence; they can do what they will with him. It is thus with the sinner; when the thunder-storm is over, and the lightning has not struck him, he regains his courage. The holy Angels look on with amazement at the treatment shown by the Jews to Jesus, and falling down, they adore the Holy Face, which they see thus bruised and defiled: let us, also, prostrate and ask pardon, for our sins have outraged that same Face.

But let us hearken to the last words of our Epistle: He that hath walked in darkness, and hath no light, let him hope in the name of the Lord, and lean upon his God. Who is this but the Gentile, abandoned to sin and idolatry? He knows not what is happening at this very hour in Jerusalem; he knows not that the earth possesses its Savior, and that this Savior is being trampled beneath the feet of his own chosen people: but in a very short time, the light of the Gospel will shine upon this poor Gentile: he will believe; he will obey; he will love his Redeemer, even to the laying down his life for him. Then will be fulfilled the prophecy of the unworthy Pontiff, who prophesied against his will that the death of Jesus would bring salvation to the Gentiles, by gathering into one family the children of God, that hitherto had been dispersed.

In the Gradual, the Royal Prophet again calls down, on the executioners of our Lord, the chastisements they have deserved by their ingratitude and their obstinacy in sin.

The Tract is the one used by the Church on every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during Lent. It is a prayer, begging God to bless the works of penance done during this holy Season.

Exsurge, Domine, et intende judicio meo, Deus meus et Dominus meus, in causam meam.
Arise, O Lord, and be attentive to my trial; my God and my Lord, undertake my cause.

℣. Effunde frameam, et conclude adversus eos qui me persequuntur.
℣. Draw thy sword, and stop those that are in pursuit of me.

℣. Domine, non secundum peccata nostra, quæ fecimus nos: neque secundum iniquitates nostras retribuas nobis.
℣. O Lord, deal not with us according to our sins, which we have done, nor reward us according to our iniquities.

℣. Domine, ne memineris iniquitatum nostrarum antiquarum: cito anticipent nos misericordiæ tuæ, quia pauperes facti sumus nimis.
℣. O Lord, remember not our former iniquities: let thy mercies speedily prevent us, for we are become exceedingly poor.

℣. Adjuva nos, Deus salutaris noster: et propter gloriam Nominis tui, Domine, libera nos: et propitius esto peccatis nostris propter Nomen tuum.
℣. Help us, O God, our Savior: and for the glory of thy Name, O Lord, deliver us: and forgive us our sins, for thy Name’s sake.

Sequel of the holy Gospel according to John. Ch. XII.

Jesus, six days before the Pasch, came to Bethania, where Lazarus had been dead, whom Jesus raised to life. And they made him a supper there; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of them that were at table with him. Mary therefore took a pound of ointment of right spikenard, of great price, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment. Then one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, he that was about to betray him, said: Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? Now he said this, not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and, having the purse, carried the things that were put therein. Jesus therefore said: Let her alone, that she may keep it against the day of my burial; for the poor you have always with you, but me you have not always. A great multitude therefore of the Jews knew that he was there; and they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead.

Quote:As we have already said, the event related in this passage of the Gospel took place on Saturday, the eve of Palm Sunday; but, as formerly there was no Station for that day, the reading of this Gospel was deferred till the following Monday. The Church brings this episode of the last days of our Savior before us, because it enables us to have a clearer understanding of the history of the Passion.

Mary Magdalene, whose conversion was the subject of our meditation a few days back, is a prominent figure in the Passion and Resurrection of her Divine Master. She is the type of a soul that has been purified by grace, and then admitted to the enjoyment of God’s choicest favors. It is of importance that we study her in each of the several phases, through which divine grace led her. We have already seen how she keeps close to her Savior and supplies his sacred wants; elsewhere, we shall find Jesus giving the preference to her over her sister Martha, and this because Mary chose a better part than Martha; but now, during these days of Passiontide, it is her tender love for Jesus that makes her dear to us. She knows that the Jews are plotting Jesus’ death; the Holy Ghost, who guides her through the different degrees of perfection, in spires her, on the occasion mentioned in today’s Gospel, to the performance of an action which prophesied what she most dreaded.

One of the three gifts offered by the Magi to the Divine Infant was Myrrh; it is an emblem of death, and the Gospel tells us that it was used at the Burial of our Lord. Magdalene, on the day of her conversion, testified the earnestness of her change of heart by pouring on the feet of Jesus the most precious of her perfumes. She gives him, today, the same proof of her love. Her divine Master is invited by Simon the Leper to a feast: his Blessed Mother and his Disciples are among the guests: Martha is busy, looking after the service. Outwardly, there is no disturbance; but inwardly, there are sad forebodings. During the repast, Magdalene is seen entering the room, holding in her hand a vase of precious spikenard. She advances towards Jesus, kneels at his feet, anoints them with the perfume, and wipes them with her hair, as on the previous occasion.

Jesus lay on one of those couches, which were used by the Eastern people during their repasts. Magdalene, therefore, could easily take her favorite place at Jesus’ feet, and give him the same proof of her love as she had already in the Pharisee’s house. The Evangelist does not say that this time, she shed tears. St. Matthew and St. Mark add that she poured the ointment on his head also. Whether or not Magdalene herself understood the full import of what the Holy Ghost inspired her to do, the Gospel does not say; but Jesus himself revealed the mystery to his Disciples, and we gather from his words that this action of Magdalene was, in a certain manner, the commencement of his Passion: She, in pouring this ointment upon my body, hath done it for my burial.

The fragrance of the Ointment fills the whole house. One of the Disciples, Judas Iscariot, dares to protest against this waste, as he calls it. His base avarice deprives him of feeling and respect for his Divine Master. His opinion was shared in by several of the other Disciples, for they were still carnal minded. For several reasons Jesus permits Magdalene’s generosity to be thus blamed. And firstly, he wishes to announce his approaching death, which is mystically expressed by the pouring of this ointment upon his body. Then, too, he would glorify Magdalene; and he therefore tells them that are present that her tender and ardent love shall be rewarded, and that her name shall be celebrated in every country, wheresoever the Gospel shall be preached. And lastly, he would console those whose generous love prompts them to be liberal in their gifts to his Altars, for what he here says of Magdalene is, in reality, a defense for them, when they are accused of spending too much over the beauty of God’s House.

Let us prize each of these diving teachings. Let us love to honor Jesus, both in his own person, and in his poor. Let us honor Magdalene, and imitate her devotion to the Passion and Death of our Lord. In fine, let us prepare our perfumes for our Diving Master: there must by the Myrrh of the Magi, which signifies penance, and the precious Spikenard of Magdalene, which is the emblem of generous and compassionating love.

In the Offertory, our Redeemer implores his Eternal Father to deliver him from his enemies, and to fulfill the decrees regarding the salvation of mankind.

Eripe me de inimicis meis, Domine: ad te confugi, doce me facere voluntatem tuam: quia Deus meus es tu.
Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord; to thee have I fled, teach me to do thy will, because thou art my God.

The Secret tells us the wonderful power of the Sacred Mysteries. Not only does this Sacrifice purify our souls; it also raises them to perfect union with Him who is their Creator.

Hæc sacrificia nos, omnipotens Deus, potenti virtute mundatos, ad suum faciant puriores venire principium. Per Dominum.
Grant, O Almighty God, that being purified by the powerful virtue of this sacrifice, we may arrive with greater purity to the author and institutor thereof. Through, &c.

Then is added one of the following Prayers:

Against the Persecutors of the Church
Protege nos, Domine, tuis mysteriis servientes: ut divinis rebus inhærentes, et corpore tibi famulemur et mente. Per Dominum.
Protect us, O Lord, while we assist at thy sacred mysteries: that being employed in acts of religion, we may serve thee both in body and mind. Through, &c.

For the Pope
Oblatis, quæsumus, Domine, placare muneribus: et famulum tuum N. quem pastorem Ecclesiæ tuæ præesse voluisti, assidua protectione guberna. Per Dominum.
Be appeased, O Lord, with the offering we have made: and cease not to protect thy Servant N., whom thou hast been pleased to appoint Pastor over thy Church. Through, &c.

After the Faithful have partaken of the Divine Mystery, there is read, in the Communion-Anthem, a malediction against the enemies of our Savior. Thus does God act in his government of the world: they who refuse his mercy cannot escape his justice.

Erubescant, et revereantur simul, qui gratulantur malis meis: induantur pudore et reverentia, qui maligna loquuntur adversus me.
Let them blush and be ashamed, who rejoice at my misfortunes; let them be covered with shame and confusion, who speak maliciously against me.

The Church concludes her Prayers of this morning’s Sacrifice by begging that her children may persevere in the holy fervor which they have received at its very source.

Præbeant nobis, Domine, divinum tua Sancta fervorem; quo eorum pariter et actu delectemur et fructu. Per Dominum.
Let thy holy mysteries, O Lord, inspire us with divine fervor, that we may delight both in their effect and celebration. Through, &c.

To this is added one of the following:

Against the Persecutors of the Church
Quæsumus, Domine Deus noster: ut quos divina tribuis participatione gaudere, humanis non sinas subjacere periculis. Per Dominum.
We beseech thee, O Lord our God, not to leave exposed to the dangers of human life, those whom thou hast permitted to partake of these divine mysteries. Through, &c.

For the Pope
Hæc nos, quæsumus, Domine, divini sacramenti perceptio protegat: et famulum tuum N. quem pastorem Ecclesiæ tuæ præesse voluisti, una cum commisso sibi grege salvet semper, et muniat. Per Dominum.
May the participation of this divine Sacrament protect us, we beseech thee, O Lord; and always procure safety and defense to thy Servant N., whom thou hast appointed Pastor over thy Church, together with the flock entrusted to his charge. Through, &c.

Humiliate capita vestra Deo.
Bow down your heads to God.

Adjuva nos, Deus salutaris noster; et ad beneficia recolenda, quibus nos instaurare dignatus es, tribue venire gaudentes. Per Dominum.
Help us, O God, our Salvation; and grant that we may celebrate with joy the memory of these benefits, by which thou hast been pleased to redeem us. Through, &c.

As an appropriate conclusion to this day, we may use the following beautiful Prayer, taken from the ancient Gallican Liturgy:
(Oratio ad Sextam)
Christe Deus, Adonaï magne, nos tecum quasi huic mundo cricifige; ut vita tua in nobis sit: nostraque peccata super te pone, ut ea crucifigas: nos quoque ad teipsum trahe, cum pro nobis exaltatus es a terra, ut nos eripias ab adultero tyranno: quia licet carne et vitiis diabolo noxii sumus; tibi tamen, non illi optamus servire: et sub tuo jure vivere desideramus, et a te gubernari rogamus; qui nos mortales et a morte invasos, per mortem crucis liberare voluisti. Pro quo singulari beneficio hodierna tibi nostra famulatur devotio: teque nunc hodie supplices adoramus, imploramus, invocamus; ut ad nos properes, virtus æterna Deus: quod nobis proficiat tua crux, triumphans scilicet de mundo in nobis per crucis virtutem: atque tua pietas nobis illus antiquum restituat beneficium, virtute scilicet et gratia: qui per potentiam futura præterita; per præsentiam facis similiter præterita præsentia: redde, ut nobis tua Passio salutaris sit, quasi præsens et hodierna; et sic nobis hodie, illa gutta sancti sanguinis super terram olim de cruce stillantis, sit salus: ut omnia terræ nostræ delicta lavans, et corporis nostri humo quodam modo immixta, nos de terra tos efficiat; nos quoque tibi quasi corpus idem reconciliati capitis. Qui regnas cum Patre semper et Spiritu Sancto; nunc nobis regnare incipe, Homo Deus, Christi Jesu, Rex in sæcula sæculorum.

O great and Sovereign Lord! (Adonaï!) Christ our God! crucify us, with thyself, to this world, that so thy life may be in us. Take upon thee our sins, that thou mayst crucify them. Draw us unto thyself, since it was for our sakes that thou wast raised up from the earth; and thus snatch us from the power of the unclean tyrant: for, though by flesh and our sins, we exposed to the insults of the devil, yet do we desire to serve, not him, but thee. We would be thy subjects; we ask to be governed by thee; for, by thy death on the cross, thou didst deliver us, who are mortals and surrounded by death. It is to bless thee for this wonderful favor, that we this day offer thee our devoted service; and humbly adoring thee, we now implore and beseech thee, to hasten to our assistance, O thou our God, the Eternal and Almighty! Let thy Cross thus profit us unto good, that thou, by its power, mayst triumph over the world in us, and thine own mercy restore us, by thy might and grace, to the ancient blessing. O thou, whose power hath turned the future into the past, and whose presence maketh the past to be present—grant that thy Passion may avail us to salvation, as though it were accomplished now on this very day. May the drops of thy holy Blood, which heretofore fell upon the earth from the Cross, be our present salvation: may it wash away all the sins of our earthly nature, and be, so to say, commingled with the earth of our body, rendering it all thine, since we, by our reconciliation with thee, our Head, have been made one body with thee. Thou that ever reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, now begin to reign over us, O God-Man, Christ Jesus, King for ever and ever!

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"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
Tuesday in Holy Week
Taken from The Liturgical Year by Dom Prosper Gueranger (1841-1875)

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Today, again, our Savior sets out in the morning for Jerusalem. His intention is to repair to the temple, and continue his yesterday’s teachings. It is evident that his mission on earth is fast drawing to its close. He says 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.

On the road from Bethania to Jerusalem, the Disciples are surprised at seeing the fig-tree, which their Divine Master had yesterday cursed, now dead. Addressing himself to Jesus, Peter says: Rabbi, behold, the fig-tree, which thou didst curse, is withered away. In order to teach us that the whole of material nature is subservient to the spiritual element, when this last is united to God by faith—Jesus replies: Have the faith of God. Amen I say to you, that whosoever shall say to this mountain: Be thou removed and cast into the sea! and shall not stagger in his heart, but believe, that whatsoever he saith shall be done, it shall be done unto him.

Having entered the City, Jesus directs his steps towards the Temple. No sooner has he entered, than the Chief Priests, the Scribes, and the Ancients of the people accost him with these words: By what authority dost thou these things? and who has given thee this authority, that thou shouldst do these things? We shall find our Lord’s answer given in the Gospel. Our object is to mention the leading events of the last days of our Redeemer on earth; the holy Volume will supply the details.

As on the two preceding days, Jesus leaves the City towards evening: he passes over Mount Olivet, and returns to Bethania, where he finds his Blessed Mother and his devoted friends.

In today’s Mass, the Church reads the history of the Passion according to St.Mark, who wrote his Gospel the next after St. Matthew: hence it is that the second place is assigned to him. His account of the Passion is shorter than St. Matthew’s, of which it would often seem to be a summary; and yet certain details are peculiar to this Evangelist, and prove him to have been an eyewitness. Our readers are aware that St. Mark was the disciple of St. Peter, and that his Gospel was written under the very eye of the Prince of the Apostles.

In Rome, the Station for today is in the Church of St. Prisca, which is said to have been the house of Aquila and his wife Prisca, to whom St. Paul sends his salutations, in his Epistle to the Romans. In the 3rd century, Pope St. Eutychian had translated thither, on account of the sameness of the name, the body of St. Prisca, a Virgin and Martyr of Rome.


Three days hence, and the Cross will be lifted up on Calvary, bearing upon itself the Author of our Salvation. The Church, in the Introit of today’s Mass, bids us at once pay our homage to this trophy of our victory, and glory in it.

Nos autem gloriari oportet in cruce Domini nostri Jesu Christi: in quo est salus, vita, et resurrectio nostra, per quem salvati, et liberati sumus.
We ought to glory in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom is our salvation, life, and resurrection; by whom we have been saved and delivered.

Ps. Deus misereatur nostri, et benedicat nobis: illuminet vultum suum super nos, et misereatur nostri. 
Ps. May God have mercy on us, and bless us; may his countenance shine upon us, and may he have mercy on us.

Nos autem. 
We ought, &c.

In the Collect, the Church prays that the sacred anniversaries of our Savior’s Passion may be to us a source of pardon; and that they may work in us a full reconciliation with the Divine Justice.

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, da nobis ita Dominicæ Passionis sacramenta peragere, ut indulgentiam percipere mereamur. Per eumdem. 
O Almighty and everlasting God, grant that we may so celebrate the mysteries of our Lord’s Passion, as to obtain thy pardon. Through the same, &c.

For the other Collects, see the Mass for Monday in Holy Week.

Lesson from Jeremias the Prophet. Ch. XI.

In those days: Jeremias said: Thou, O Lord, hast shewed me, and I have known: then thou shewedst me their doings. And I was as a meek lamb, that is carried to be a victim; and I knew not that they had devised counsels against me, saying: Let us put wood on his bread, and cut him off from the land of the living, and let his name be remembered no more. But thou, O Lord of Sabaoth, who judgest justly, and triest the reins of the heart, let me see thy revenge on them; for to thee I have revealed my cause, O Lord, my God!

Quote:Again, we have the plaintive words of Jeremias: he gives us the very words used by his enemies, when they conspired his death. It is evident, however, that the Prophet is here a figure of one greater than himself. Let us, say these enemies, put wood upon his bread: that is, let us put poisonous wood into what he eats, that so we may cause his death. This is the literal sense of these words, as applied to the Prophet; but how much more truly were they fulfilled in our Redeemer! He tells us that his Divine Flesh is the True Bread that came down from heaven. This Bread, this Body of the Man-God, is bruised, torn, and wounded; the Jews nail it to the Wood; so that it is, in a manner, made one with the Wood, and the Wood is all covered with Jesus’ Blood. This Lamb of God was immolated on the Wood of the Cross: it is by his immolation that we have had given to us a Sacrifice which is worthy of God; and it is by this Sacrifice that we participate in the Bread of Heaven, the Flesh of the Lamb, our true Pasch.

The Gradual, which is taken from the 34th Psalm, shows us the humility and meekness of our Jesus under his sufferings. How they contrast with the haughty pride of his enemies!

Ego autem, dum mihi molesti essent, induebam me cilicio, et humiliabam in jejunio animam meam: et oratio mea in sinu meo convertetur. 
When they were troublesome to me, I clothed myself with haircloth, and I humbled my soul with fasting; and I will yet continue to pour forth my prayer in my bosom.

℣. Judica, Domine, nocentes me, expugna impugnantes me: apprehende arma et scutum, et exsurge in adjutorium mihi. 
℣. Judge thou, O Lord, them that wrong me, overthrow them that fight against me; take hold of arms and shield, and rise to help me.

After the Gradual, is sung the Passion according to Saint Mark. The same ceremonies are observed as during the Passion, which was read to us on Sunday, excepting only what regarded the Palms.

The Passion and Gospel
The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark. Ch. XIV. and XV.

At that time, The Feast of the Pasch and of Azymes was after two days; and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might by some wile lay hold on Jesus, and kill him. But they said: Not on the festival day, lest there should be a tumult among the people.

And when Jesus was in Bethania, in the house of Simon the Leper, and was at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of precious spikenard; and breaking the alabaster box, she poured it out upon his head. Now there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said: Why was this waste of the ointment made? For this ointment might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and given to the poor. And they murmured against her. But Jesus said: Let her alone, why do you molest her? She hath wrought a good work upon me. For the poor you have always with you, and whensoever you will, you may do them good; but me you have not always. What she had, she hath done; she is come beforehand to anoint my body for the 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 memorial of her.

And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests, to betray him to them. Who hearing it were glad; and promised to give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray him.

Now on the first day of the unleavened bread, when they sacrificed the Pasch, the disciples say to him: Whither wilt thou that we go and prepare for thee to eat the Pasch? And he sendeth two of his disciples, and saith to them: Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you, a man carrying a pitcher of water; follow him, and whithersoever he shall go in, say to the master of the house: The Master saith: Where is my refectory, that I may eat the Pasch with my disciples? And he will shew you a large dining room furnished; and there prepare ye for us. And his disciples went their way, and came into the city; and they found as he had told them, and they prepared the Pasch.

And when evening was come, he cometh with the twelve. And when they were at table eating, Jesus saith: Amen I say to you, one of you that eateth with me shall betray me. But they began to be sorrowful, and to say to him one by one: Is it I? Who saith to them: One of the twelve, who dippeth his hand in the dish with me. And the Son of Man 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 whilst they were eating, Jesus took bread: and blessing, broke, and gave to them, and said: Take ye, this is my body. And having taken the chalice, giving thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank of it; and he said to them: This is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many. Amen I say to you, that I will drink no more of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I shall drink it new in the kingdom of God.

And when they had sung an hymn, they went forth to the mount of Olives. And Jesus saith to them: You will all be scandalized in my regard this night; for it is written: “I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep shall be dispersed.” But after I shall be risen again, I will go before you into Galilee. But Peter saith to him: Although all shall be scandalized in thee, yet not I. And Jesus saith to him: Amen I say to thee, today, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. But he spoke the more vehemently: Although I should die together with thee, I will not deny thee. And in like manner also said they all.

And they came to a farm called Gethsemani. And he saith to his disciples: Sit you here, while I pray. And he taketh Peter, and James, and John with him; and he began to fear and to be heavy. And he saith to them: My soul is sorrowful even unto death; stay you here, and watch. And when he had gone forward a little, he fell flat on the ground; and he prayed that, if it might be, the hour might pass from him: and he saith: Abba, Father, all things are possible to thee, remove this chalice from me; but not what I will, but what thou wilt. And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping. and he saith to Peter: Simon, sleepest thou? couldst thou not watch one hour? Watch ye, and pray, that ye enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. And going away again, he prayed, saying the same words. And when he returned, he found them again asleep (for their eyes were heavy), and they knew not what to answer him. And he cometh the third time, and saith to them: Sleep ye now, and take your rest. It is enough, the hour is come; behold the Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise up, let us go. Behold he that will betray me is at hand.

And while he was yet speaking, cometh Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests, and the scribes, and the ancients. And he that betrayed him had given them a sign, saying: Whomsoever I shall kiss, that is he, lay hold on him, and lead him away carefully. And when he was come, immediately going up to him, he saith: Hail, Rabbi! And he kissed him. But they laid hands on him, and held him. And one of them that stood by, drawing a sword, struck a servant of the chief priest, and cut off his ear. And Jesus answering, said to them: Are you come out as a robber with swords and staves to apprehend me? I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and you did not lay hands on me. But, that the scripture may be fulfilled. Then his disciples leaving him, all fled away. And a certain young man followed him, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and they laid hold on him. But he casting off the linen cloth, fled from them naked.

And they brought Jesus to the High Priest; and all the priests and the scribes and the ancients were assembled together. And Peter followed him afar off even into the place of the High Priest; and he sat with the servants at the fire and warmed himself. And the chief priests and all the council sought for evidence against Jesus that they might put him to death, and they found none. For many bore false witness against him, and their evidences were not agreeing. And some rising up, bore false witness against him, saying: We heard him say: I will destroy this temple made with hands, and within three days I will build another not made with hands. And their witness did not agree.

Again the High Priest asked him, and said to him: Are thou Christ the Son of the Blessed God? and Jesus said to him: I am. And you shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of the power of God, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the High Priest rending his garments saith: What need we any further witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy. What think you? Who all condemned him to be guilty of death. And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say to him: Prophesy! And the servants struck him with the palms of their hands.

Now when Peter was in the court below, there cometh to him one of the maid servants of the High Priest; and when she had seen Peter warming himself, looking on him, she saith: Thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth. But he denied, saying: I neither know nor understand what thou sayest. And he went forth before the court, and the cock crew. And again a maid-servant seeing him, began to say to the standers-by: This is one of them. But he denied again. And after a while, they that stood by said again to Peter: Surely thou art one of them, for thou also art a Galilean. But he began to curse and swear, saying: I know not this man of whom you speak. And immediately the cock crew again. And Peter remembered the word that Jesus had said to him: Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he began to weep.

And straightway in the morning, the chief priests holding a consultation with the ancients and the scribes, and the whole council, binding Jesus, led him away, and delivered him to Pilate. And Pilate asked him: Art thou the king of the Jews? But he answering, saith to him: Thou sayest it. And the chief priests accused him in many things. And Pilate again asked him, saying: Answerest thou nothing? behold in how many things they accuse thee. But Jesus still answered nothing; so that Pilate wondered.

Now on the festival day he was wont to release unto them one of the prisoners, whomsoever they demanded. And there was one called Barabbas, who was put in prison with some seditious men, who in the sedition had committed murder. And when the multitude was come up, they began to desire that he would do as he had ever done unto them. And Pilate answered them, and said: Will you that I release to you the King of the Jews? For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him up out of envy. But the chief priests moved the people that he should rather release Barabbas to them. And Pilate again answering, saith to them: What will you then that I do with the King of the Jews? But they again cried out: Crucify him. And Pilate saith to them: Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more: Crucify him.

And Pilate being willing to satisfy the people, released to them Barabbas, and delivered up Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified. And the soldiers led him away into the court of the palace, and they called together the whole band; and they clothed him with purple, and platting a crown of thorns, they put it upon him. And they began to salute him: Hail, king of the Jews. And they struck his head with a reed, and they did spit on him; and bowing their knees, they adored him.

And after they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own garments on him, and they led him out to crucify him. And they forced one Simon, a Cyrenean, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and of Rufus, to take up his cross. And they bring him into the place called Golgotha, which being interpreted is, The place of Calvary. And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh; but he took it not. And crucifying him, they divided his garments casting lots for them, what every man should take. And it was the third hour, and they crucified him. And the inscription of his cause was written over, The King of the Jews. And with him they crucified two thieves, the one on his right hand and the other on his left. And the scripture was fulfilled which saith: “And with the wicked he was reputed.”

And they that passed by blasphemed him, wagging their heads, and saying: Vah, thou that destroyest the Temple of God, and in three days buildest it up again, save thyself, coming down from the cross. In like manner also the chief priests with the scribes mocking, said one to another: He saved others, himself he cannot save. Let Christ the King of Israel come down from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him.

And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole world until the ninth hour; and at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying: Eloï, Eloï, lama sabacthani? which is, being interpreted: My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? And some of the standers-by hearing, said: Behold, he calleth Elias. And one running and filling a sponge with vinegar, and putting it upon a reed, gave him to drink, saying: Stay, let us see if Elias will come to take him down. And Jesus having cried out with a loud voice, gave up the ghost.

Here a pause is made, as on Palm Sunday. All kneel down, and if such be custom of the place, prostrate and kiss the ground.

And the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top to the bottom; and the centurion who stood over against him, seeing that crying out in this manner he gave up the ghost, said: Indeed this man was the Son of God. And there were also women looking on afar off, among whom was Mary Magdalen, and Mary the Mother of James the Less, and of Joseph, and Salome; who also when he was in Galilee followed him, and ministered to him, and many other women that came up with him to Jerusalem.

Here, the Deacon presents the Incense to the Priest, that it may be blessed; and, after having himself received a blessing, 
he terminates the Passion, observing the ceremonies which are used at the singing of the Gospel in a High Mass.

And when the evening was now come (because it was the Parasceve, that is, the day before the Sabbath), Joseph of Arimathea, a noble counsellor, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, came and went in boldly to Pilate and begged the body of Jesus. But Pilate wondered that he should be already dead; and sending for the centurion, he asked him if he were already dead. And when he had understood it by the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. And Joseph buying fine linen, and taking him down, wrapped him up in the fine linen, and laid him in a sepulcher which was hewn out of a rock, and he rolled a stone to the door of the sepulcher.

At the Offertory, the Messias asks his Eternal Father to defend him from the enemies that are preparing his destruction.

Custodi me, Domine, de manu peccatoris: et ab hominibus iniquis eripe me. 
Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the sinful man; and from unjust men deliver me.

In the Secret, the Church offers to the Majesty of God the tribute of our fasts, in union with the Holy Host on our Altar, and from which they derive all their merit and efficacy.

Sacrificia nos, quæsumus, Domine, propensius ista restaurent: quæ medicinalibus sunt instituta jejuniis. Per Dominum. 
May these sacrifices, O Lord, we beseech thee, which are accompanied with healing fasts, mercifully repair us. Through, &c.

For the other Secrets, see the Mass for Monday in Holy Week.

The words of the Psalmist, used by the Church in her Communion-Anthem, show us the blasphemous daring of our Savior’s enemies, as also the dispositions in which this dear Jesus himself was during his sacred Passion.

Adversum me exercebantur, qui sedebant in porta: et in me psallebant, qui bibebant vinum: ego vero orationem meam ad te, Domine: tempus beneplaciti Deus, in multitudine misericordiæ tuæ. 
The judges in the gate spoke against me, and they that drank wine made songs against me. But I poured forth my prayer to thee, O Lord: it is time, O God, to shew thy good will to me, according to the multitude of thy mercies.

In the Postcommunion, the Church prays that, by the merits of the Sacrifice she has just offered, we may obtain the perfect cure of our spiritual infirmities; for the Blood of the Lamb takes away the sins of the world.

Sanctificationibus tuis, omnipotens Deus, et vitia nostra curentur: et remedia nobis sempiterna proveniant. Per Dominum. 
May these thy holy mysteries, O Almighty God, both cure our vices and become an eternal remedy to us. Through, &c.

For the other Postcommunions, see the Mass for Monday in Holy Week.

Let us pray

Humiliate capita vestra Deo. 
Bow down your heads to God.

Tua nos misericordia, Deus, et ab omni subreptione vetustatis expurget, et capaces sanctæ novitatis efficiat. Per Dominum. 
May thy mercy, O God, purify us from the corruption of the old man, and enable us to put on the new. Through, &c.

We may close this day by saying these few verses, taken from a Hymn of the Greek Church on the Passion of our Lord.
(In Parasceve)
Vitale latus tuum, tanquam fons ex Eden scaturiens, Ecclesiam tuam, Christe, tanquam rationalem hortum adaquat: inde tanquam in quædam initia se dividens i quatuor Evangelis: mundum irrigans; creaturam lætificans, gentesque fideliter docens venerari regnum tuum. 
The life-giving Wound of thy Side, O Jesus! like the fountain that sprang from Eden, waters the spiritual garden of thy Church. Thence, dividing itself into the four Gospels, as into so many master-streams, it freshens the world, gladdens creation, and teaches all nations to bow down in faith, and venerate thy Kingdom.

Crucifixus es propter me; ut velut ex fonte mihi effunderes remissionem. Punctus es in latere, ut mihi vitæ scaturgines aperires; clavis confixus es, ut ego in passionum tuarum profundo altitudinem tuæ potentiæ confessus, clamen ad te, vitæ largitor Christe: Gloria Cruci tuæ, Salvator, ac Passioni tuæ. 
Thou wast crucified for me, that thou mightest be to me as a fountain, pouring out forgiveness upon me. Thou wast wounded in thy Side, that thou mightest open to me the sources of life. Thou wast nailed to the Cross, that I, confessing the greatness of thy power in the depth of thy Passion, might sing to thee, O Christ, thou giver of life: Glory be to thy Cross and Passion, O Savior!

Chirographum nostrum in cruce dirupisti, Christe: et inter mortuos reputatus, tyrannum illic ligasti, liberatis omnibus ex vinculis mortis resurrectione tua. Per qua illuminati sumus, o amans hominum Domine! tibique clamamus: Memento et nostri Salvator in Regno tuo. 
Thou, O Christ, didst, on thy Cross, tear the hand-writing that was against us. Thou wast numbered among the dead, and there didst bind down the tyrant, and, by thy Resurrection, didst set us all free from the chains of death. It is thy Resurrection that has given us light, O God, thou lover of mankind! To thee do we sing: Remember us, also, O Savior, in thy Kingdom!

Tuam, Christe, Matrem, quæ te in carne sine virili semine peperit, et vere virgo etiam post partum incorrupta permansit; hanc tibi adducimus ad intercessionem, Domine multum misericors: ut offensarum condonationem jugiter largiaris iis qui clamant: Memento et nostri Domine in Regno tuo. 
To thee, most merciful Lord, we bring thy Mother, that she may intercede for us—she that conceived thee and was a Virgin, she that gave thee birth, and was a spotless Virgin. May her prayers obtain from thee the unceasing pardon of sin to all that cry out to thee: Remember us, also, O Lord, in thy Kingdom!
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
Wednesday in Holy Week
Taken from The Liturgical Year by Dom Prosper Gueranger (1841-1875)

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The Chief Priests and the Ancients of the people are met today, in one of the rooms adjoining the Temple, for the purpose of deliberating on the best means of putting Jesus to death. Several plans are discussed. Would it be prudent to lay hands upon him at this season of the Feast of the Pasch, when the City is filled with strangers who have received a favorable impression of Jesus from the solemn ovation given to him three days back? Then, too, are there not a great number of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who took part in that triumph, and whose enthusiastic admiration of Jesus might excite them to rise up in his defense? These consideration persuade them not to have recourse to any violent measure, at least for the present, as a sedition among the people might be the consequence, and its promoters, even were they to escape being ill-treated by the people, would be brought before the tribunal of the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate. They therefore come to the resolution of letting the Feast pass quietly over, before apprehending Jesus.

But these blood-thirsty men are making all these calculations as though they were the masters. They are, if they will, shrewd assassins, who put off their murder to a more convenient day, but the Divine decrees, which from all eternity, have prepared a Sacrifice for the world’s salvation, — have fixed this very year’s Pasch as the day of the Sacrifice, and, tomorrow evening, the holy City will re-echo with the trumpets, which proclaim the opening of the Feast. The figurative Lamb is now to make way for the true one; the Pasch of this year will substitute the reality for the type; and Jesus’ Blood, shed by the hands of wicked priests, is soon to flow simultaneously with that of victims, which have only been hitherto acceptable to God, because they prefigured the Sacrifice of Calvary. The Jewish priesthood is about to be its own executioner, by immolating Him, whose Blood is to abrogate the Ancient Alliance, and perpetuate the New one.

But how are Jesus’ enemies to get possession of their divine Victim, so as to avoid a disturbance in the City? There is only one plan that could succeed, and they have not thought of it: it is treachery. Just at the close of their deliberations, they are told that one of Jesus’ Disciples seeks admission. They admit him, and he says to them: What will you give me, and I will deliver him unto you? They are delighted at this proposition: and yet, how is it that they, doctors of the law, forget that this infamous bargain between themselves and Judas has all been foretold by David in the 108th Psalm? They know the Scriptures from beginning to end—how comes it that they forget the words of the Prophet, who even mentions the sum of thirty pieces of silver. Judas asks them what they will give him; and they give him thirty pieces of silver! All is arranged: tomorrow, Jesus will be in Jerusalem, eating the Pasch with his Disciples. In the evening, he will go, as usual, to the Garden on Mount Olivet. But how shall they, who are sent to seize him, be able to distinguish him from his Disciples? Judas will lead the way; he will show them which is Jesus, by going up and kissing him!

Such is the impious scheme devised on this day, within the precincts of the Temple of Jerusalem. O testify her detestation at it, and to make atonement to the Son of God for the outrage thus offered in the Holy Church, from the earliest ages, consecrated the Wednesday of every week to penance. In our own times, the Fast of Lent begins on a Wednesday and when the Church ordained that we should commence each of the four Seasons of the year with fasting, Wednesday was chosen to be one of the three days thus consecrated to bodily mortification.

On this day, in the Roman Church, was held the sixth Scrutiny, for the admission of Catechumens to Baptism. Those upon whom there had been previous doubts were now added to the number of the chosen ones, if they were found worthy. There were two Lessons read in the Mass, as on the day of the great Scrutiny, the Wednesday of the fourth Week of Lent. As usual, the Catechumens left the Church after the Gospel; but as soon as the Holy Sacrifice was over, they were brought back by the Door-Keeper, and one of the Priests addressed them in these words: “On Saturday next, the Eve of Easter, at such an hour, you will assemble in the Lateran Basilica, for the seventh Scrutiny; you will then recite the Symbol, which you must have learned and lastly, you will receive, by God’s help, the sacred laver of regeneration. Prepare yourselves zealously and humbly, by persevering fasts and prayers, in order that, having been buried, by this holy Baptism, together with Jesus Christ, you may rise again with him, unto life everlasting. Amen.”

At Rome, the Station for today is in the Basilica of Saint Mary Major. Let us compassionate with our Holy Mother, whose Heart is filled with poignant grief at the foresight of the Sacrifice, which is preparing.


The Church commences her chants with one to the glory of the Holy Name of Jesus, outraged as it is, on this day, by them that plot his Death. This Name, which was given him by heaven, and signifies that he is our Savior, is now being blasphemed by his enemies: in a few hours, their crime will bring its full meaning before us, for his Death will have worked the Salvation of the world.

In nomine Jesu omne genu flectatur, cœlestium, terrestrium, et infernorum: quia Dominus factus est obediens usque ad mortem, mortam autem crucis: ideo Dominus Jesus Christus in gloria est Dei Patris. 
At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth; because the Lord became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross: therefore the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.

Ps. Domine, exaude orationem meam: et clamor meus ad te veniat. 
Ps. O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come unto thee.

In nomine. At the name, &c.

In the first Collect, the Church acknowledges to God that her children have sinned against him: but she reminds him of the Passion, endured for their sakes, by his Only Begotten Son, and this revives her hope.

Let us pray

℣. Flectamus genua. 
℣. Let us kneel down.

℟. Levate
℟. Stand up again.

Præsta, quæsumus, omnipotens Deus: ut qui nostris excessibus incessanter affligimur, per unigeniti Filii tui Passionem liberemur. Qui tecum. 
Grant, we beseech thee, O Almighty God, that we, who continually are punished for our excesses, may be delivered byt he Passion of thy Only Begotten Son. Who liveth, &c.

Lesson from Isaias the Prophet Cap. LXII. and LXIII.

Thus saith the Lord God: Tell the daughter of Sion: Behold thy Savior cometh. Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bosra, this beautiful one in his robe, walking in the greatness of his strength? I, that speak justice, and am a defender to save. Why then is thy apparel red, and thy garments like them that tread in the wine-press? I have trodden the wine-press alone, and of the Gentiles there is not a man with me; I have trampled on them in my indignation, and have trodden them down in my wrath, and their blood is sprinkled upon my garments, and I have stained all my apparel. For the day of vengeance is in my heart, the year of my redemption is come. I looked about, and there was none to help; I sought, and there was none to give aid; and my own arm hath saved me, and my indignation itself hath helped me. And I have trodden down the people in my wrath, and made them drunk in my indignation, and have brought down their strength to the earth. I will remember the tender mercies of the Lord, the praise of the Lord, for all the things that the Lord hath bestowed on me.

Quote:How terrible is this our Defender, who tramples his enemies beneath his feet, as they that tread in the wine-press; so that their blood is sprinkled upon his garments! But is not this the fittest time for us to proclaim his power, now that he is being treated with ignominy, and sold to his enemies by one of his Disciples? These humiliations will soon pass away; he will rise in glory, and his might will be shown by the chastisements, wherewith he will crush them that now persecute him. Jerusalem will stone them that shall preach in his name; she will be a cruel step-mother to those true Israelites who, docile to the teaching of the Prophets, have recognized Jesus as the promised Messias. The Synagogue will seek to stifle the Church in her infancy; but no sooner shall the Church, shaking the dust from her feet, turn from Jerusalem to the Gentiles, than the vengeance of Christ will fall on the City, which bought, betrayed, and crucified him. Her citizens will have to pay dearly for these crimes. We learn from the Jewish historian Josephus (who was an eyewitness to the siege) that the fire which was raging in one of the streets, was quenched by the torrents of their blood. Thus were fulfilled the threats pronounced by our Lord against this faithless City, as he sat on Mount Olivet, the day after his triumphant Entry.

And yet the destruction of Jerusalem was but a faint image of the terrible destruction which is to befall the world at the last day. Jesus, who is now despised and insulted by sinners, will then appear on the clouds of heaven, and reparation will be made for all these outrages. Now he suffers himself to be betrayed, scoffed at, and spit upon; but when the day of vengeance is come, happy they that have served him and have compassionated with him in his humiliations and sufferings! Woe to them that have treated him with contempt! Woe to them who, not content with their own refusing to bear his yoke, have led others to rebel against him! For he is King; he came into this world that he might reign over it; and they that despise his Mercy, shall not escape his Justice.

The Gradual, which immediately follows upon this sublime passage from Isaias, is a prayer addressed by Jesus to his Eternal Father: the words are taken from one of the Psalms.

Ne avertas faciem tuam a puero tuo, quoniam tribulor: velociter exaudi me. 
Turn not away thy face from thy servant, for I am in trouble: hear me speedily.

℣. Salvum me fac, Deus, quoniam intraverunt aquæ usque ad animam meam: infixus sum in limo profundi, et non est substantia. 
℣. Save me, O God, for the waters are come in even unto my soul; I stick fast in the mire of the deep, and there is no sure standing.

In the second Collect, the Church again reminds our Heavenly Father of the Death which his Divine Son deigned to suffer, in order to set us free from the yoke of Satan; she prays that we may have a share in the glorious Resurrection of this our Redeemer.

Deus, qui pro nobis Filium tuum Crucis patibulum subire voluisti, ut inimici a nobis expellere potestatem: concede nobis famulis tuis, ut resurrectionis gratiam consequamur. Per eumdem. O God, who wouldst have thy Son suffer on the Cross, to deliver us from the power of the enemy; grant that we thy servants, may obtain the grace of his resurrection. Through the same, &c.

For the other Collects, see the Mass for Monday in Holy Week.

Lesson from Isaias the Prophet. Ch. LIII.

In those days: Isaias said: Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? And he shall grow up as a tender plant before him, and as a root out of a thirsty ground. There is no beauty in him, nor comeliness. And we have seen him, and there was no sightliness that we should be desirous of him; despised, and the most abject of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with infirmity. And his look was as it were hidden and despised; whereupon we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our infirmities, and carried our sorrows. And we have thought him as it were a leper, and as one struck by God and afflicted. But he was wounded for our iniquities, he was bruised for our sins; the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his bruises we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray, every one hath turned aside into his own way; and the Lord hath laid upon him the iniquity of us all. He was offered because it was his own will, and he opened not his mouth. He shall be led as a sheep to the slaughter, and shall be dumb as a lamb before his shearer; and he shall not open his mouth. He was taken away from distress, and from judgment. Who shall declare his generation? because he is cut off out of the land of the living. For the wickedness of my people have I struck him. And he shall give the ungodly for his burial, and the rich for his death; because he hath done no iniquity, neither was there deceit in his mouth. And the Lord was pleased to bruise him in infirmity. If he shall lay down his life for sin, he shall see a longlived seed, and the will of the lord shall be prosperous in his hand. Because his soul hath labored, he shall see and be filled; by his knowledge shall this my just servant justify many, and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I distribute to him very many, and he shall divide the spoils of the strong, because he hath delivered his soul unto death, and was reputed with the wicked; and he hath borne the sins of many, and hath prayed for the transgressors.

Quote:Again it is Isaias that instructs us, not indeed upon the triumph which our Emmanuel is to win over his enemies, but upon the sufferings of the Man of Sorrows. So explicit is his description of our Lord’s Passion that the holy Fathers have called him the fifth Evangelist. What could be more sublimely plaintive than the language here used by the son of Amos? And we, after hearing both the Old and New Testament upon the sufferings which Jesus went through for our sins—how shall we sufficiently love this dear Redeemer, who bore our infirmities and carried our Sorrows, so as to look as a leper, and as one struck by God, and afflicted?

We are healed by his bruises! O heavenly Physician, that takes upon himself the sufferings of them he comes to cure! But not only was he bruised for our sins; he was also slaughtered as a lamb: and this not merely as a Victim submitting to the inflexible justice of his Father who hath laid upon him the iniquity of us all, but (as the Prophet here assures us) because it was his own will. His love for us, as well as his submission to his Father, led him to the great Sacrifice. Observe too how he refuses to defend himself before Pilate, who could so easily deliver him from his enemies: He shall be dumb as a lamb before his shearers, and he shall not open his mouth. Let us love and adore this divine Silence, which works our Salvation. Let us not pass over an iota of the devotedness which Jesus shows us—a devotedness which never could have existed, save in the Heart of a God. Oh! how much he has loved us—his children, the purchase of his Blood, his Seed, as the Prophet here calls us. O Holy Church! thou long-lived Seed of Jesus, that laid down his life!—thou art dear to him, for he bought thee at a great price. Faithful Souls! give him love for love! sinners! be converted to this your Savior; his Blood will restore you to life, for if we have all gone astray like sheep, remember what is added: The Lord hath laid upon him the iniquity of us all. There is no sinner, however great may be his crimes; there is no heretic, or infidel, who has not his share in this precious Blood, whose infinite merit is such that it could redeem a million worlds, more guilty even than our own.

The Tract, which follows this Lesson, is taken from the 101st Psalm, in which the Royal Prophet expresses the sufferings of body and mind endured by Jesus, in his human Nature.

Domine, exaudi orationem meam, et clamor meus ad te veniat. 
Hear, O Lord, my prayer, and let my cry come unto thee.

℣. Ne avertas faciem tuam a me, in quacumque die tribulor, inclina ad me aurem tuam. 
℣. Turn not away thy face from me, in the day when I am in trouble, incline thine ear to me.

℣. In quacumque die invocavero, velociter exaudi me. 
℣. In what day soever I shall call upon thee, hear me speedily.

℣. Quia defecerunt sicut fumus dies mei: et ossa mea sicut in frixorio confrixa sunt. 
℣. For my days are vanished like smoke: and my bones are as if they were fried in a frying-pan.

℣. Percussus sum sicut fœnum, et aruit cor meum, quia oblitus sum manducare panem meum. 
℣. I am smitten as grass, and my heart is withered, because I forgot to eat my bread.

℣. Tu exsurgens, Domine, misereberis Sion, quia venit tempus miserendi ejus. 
℣. Thou, O Lord, arising, wilt have mercy on Sion, for the time to have mercy on her is come.

The Church then gives us the history of the Passion according to St. Luke. This Evangelist mentions several details not given by Saints Matthew and Mark, which will assist us to a fuller understanding of the divine mystery of the Sufferings and Sacrifice of the Man-God.

The Passion and Gospel
The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke. Ch. XXII. and XXIII.

At that time: The feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Pasch, was at hand. And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might put Jesus to death; but they feared the people. and Satan entered into Judas, who was surnamed Iscariot, one of the twelve; and he went, and discoursed with the chief priests and the magistrates, how he might betray him to them. And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money. And he promised; and he sought opportunity to betray him in the absence of the multitude.

And the day of the unleavened bread came, on which it was necessary that the Pasch should be killed. And he sent Peter and John, saying: Go and prepare us the Pasch, that we may eat. But they said: Where wilt thou that we prepare? And he said to them: Behold, as you go into the city, there shall meet you a man carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in, and you shall say to the good man of the house: The Master saith to thee: Where is the guest-chamber, where I may eat the Pasch with my disciples? and he will show you a large dining-room furnished; and there prepare.

And they going, found as he had said to them, and they made ready the Pasch; and when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. And he said to them: With desire I have desired to eat this Pasch with you before I suffer. For I say to you that from this time I will not eat it, till it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. And having taken the chalice he gave thanks, and said: Take and divide it among you. For I say to you, that I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, till the kingdom of God come. And taking bread, he gave thanks, and brake, and gave to them, saying: This is my Body, which is given to you: do this for a commemoration of me. In like manner the chalice also, after he had supped, saying: This is the chalice, the new testament of my Blood, which shall be shed for you. But yet behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table. And the Son of Man indeed goeth according to that which is determined; but yet wo to that man by whom he shall be betrayed. And they began to enquire among themselves which of them it was that should do this thing.

And there was also a strife amongst them, which of them should seem to be the greater. And he said to them: The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and they that have power over them, are called beneficent. But you not so; but he that is the greater among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is the leader, as he that serveth. For which is greater, he that sitteth at the table, or he that serveth? Is not he that sitteth at table? But I am in the midst of you, as he that serveth; and you are they who have continued with me in my temptations. And I dispose to you, as my Father hath disposed to me, a kingdom: that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom; and may sit upon thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And the Lord said: Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren. Who said to him: Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. And he said: I say to thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, till thou thrice deniest that knowest me. And he said to them: When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, did you want any thing? But they said: Nothing. Then he said to them: But now he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise a scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his coat, and buy one. For I say to you, that this that is written must yet be fulfilled in me, “And he was reckoned among the wicked:” for the things concerning me have an end. But they said: Lord, here are two swords. And he said to them: It is enough.

And going out, he went according to his custom to the mount of Olives. And his disciples also followed him. And when he was come to the place, he said to them: Pray, lest you enter into temptation. And he was withdrawn away from them a stone’s cast; and kneeling down he prayed, saying: Father, if thou wilt, remove this chalice from me: but yet not my will, but thine be done. And there appeared to him an Angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in agony, he prayed the longer. And his sweat became as drops of blood trickling down upon the ground. And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow. And he said to them: Why sleep you? Arise, pray, lest you enter into temptation.

As he was yet speaking, behold a multitude; and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near to Jesus to kiss him. And Jesus said to him: Judas, dost thou betray the Son of Man with a kiss? And they that were about him, seeing what would follow, said to him: Lord, shall we strike with the sword? And one of them struck the servant of the High Priest, and cut off his right ear. But Jesus answering, said: Suffer ye thus far. And when he had touched his ear, he healed him. And Jesus said to the chief priests and magistrates of the temple, and the ancients that were come to him: Are you come out, as it were against a thief, with swords and clubs? When I was daily with you in the temple, you did not stretch forth your hands against me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.

And apprehending him, they led him to the High Priest’s house: but Peter followed afar off. And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were sitting about it, Peter was in the midst of them. Whom when a certain servant maid had been sitting at the light, and had earnestly beheld him, she said: This man also was with him. But he denied, saying: Woman, I know him not. And after a little while, another seeing him, said: Thou also art one of them. But Peter said: O man, I am not. And after the space as it were of one hour, another certain man affirmed, saying: Of a truth this man was also with him: for he is also a Galilean. And Peter said: Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately as he was yet speaking, the cock crew. And the Lord turning looked on Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, as he had said: Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And Peter going out wept bitterly.

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And the men that held him, mocked him, and struck him. And they blindfolded him, and smote him on the face. And they asked him, saying: Prophesy, who is it that struck thee? And blaspheming, many other things they said against him. And as soon as it was day, the ancients of the people, and the chief priests, and scribes came together, and they brought him into their council, saying: If thou be the Christ, tell us. And he said to them: If I shall tell you, you will not believe me; and if I shall also ask you, you will not answer me, nor let me go. But hereafter the Son of man shall be sitting on the right hand of the power of God. Then said they all: Art thou the Son of God? And he said: You say that I am. And they said: What need we any further testimony? For ourselves have heard it from his own mouth.

And the whole multitude of them rose up, and led him away to Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying: We have found this man perverting our nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Cæsar, and saying that he is Christ the King. And Pilate asked him, saying: Art thou the King of the Jews? But he answering, said: Thou sayest it. But Pilate said to the chief priests and to the multitude: I find no cause in this man. But they were more earnest, saying: He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee to this place. But Pilate hearing Galilee, asked if the man were of Galilee? And when he understood that he was of Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him away to Herod, who himself was also at Jerusalem in those days. And Herod seeing Jesus was very glad, for he was desirous of a long time to see him, because he had heard many things of him: and he hoped to see some sign wrought by him. And he questioned him with many words. But he answered him nothing. And the chief priests and the scribes stood by, earnestly accusing him. And Herod with his army set him at naught, and mocked him, putting on him a white garment, and sent him back to Pilate. And Herod and Pilate were made friends that same day; for before they were enemies to one another. Then Pilate calling together the chief priests, and the magistrates, and the people, said to them: You have brought this man to me as one that perverteth the people: and, behold I, having examined him before you, find no cause in this man touching those things wherein you accuse him. No, nor Herod neither. For I sent you to him, and behold, nothing worthy of death is done to him. I will chastise him therefore and release him.

Now of necessity he was to release unto them one upon the feast day. But the whole multitude together cried out at once, saying: Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas. Who, for a certain sedition made in the city, and for a murder, was cast into prison. And Pilate again spoke to them, desiring to release Jesus. But they cried out again, saying: Crucify him, crucify him. And he said to them the third time: Why, what evil hath this man done? I find no cause of death in him. I will chastise him therefore, and let him go. But they were instant with loud voices requiring that he might be crucified; and their voices prevailed. And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required. And he released unto them him who for murder and sedition had been cast into prison, whom they had desired: but Jesus he delivered up to their will.

And as they led him away, they laid hold on one Simon of Cyrene, coming from the country: and they laid the cross on him to carry after Jesus. And there followed him a great multitude of people, and of women, who bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus turning to them, said: Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not over me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. for behold the days shall come, wherein they will say, Blessed are the children, and the wombs that have not born, and the paps that have not given suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains: Fall upon us; and to the hills: Cover us. For if in the green wood they do these things, what shall be done in the dry? And there were also two other malefactors led with him, to be put to death.

And when they sere come to the place which is called Calvary, they crucified him there; and the robbers, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. And Jesus said: Father forgive them, for they know not what they do. But they dividing his garments, cast lots. And the people stood beholding, and the rulers with them derided him, saying: He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the elect of God. And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar, and saying: If thou be the King of the Jews, save thyself. And there was also a superscription written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew: This is the King of the Jews.

And one of the robbers who were hanged, blasphemed him, saying: If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering, rebuked him, saying: Neither dost thou fear God, seeing thou art under the same condemnation. And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this man hath done no evil. And he said to Jesus: Lord, remember me when thou shalt come into thy kingdom. And Jesus said to him: Amen I say to thee, this day thou shalt be with me in paradise.

And it was almost the sixth hour; and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened; and the veil of the Temple was rent in the midst. And Jesus crying with a loud voice, said: Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit. And saying this, he gave up the ghost.

Here, a pause is made, as on Palm Sunday. All kneel down, and if such be the custom of the place, they prostrate and kiss the ground.
Now the centurion seeing what was done, glorified God, saying: Indeed this was a just man. And all the multitude of them that were come together to that sight, and saw the things that were done, returned striking their breast. And all his acquaintance, and the women that had followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things.

Here, the Deacon offers the Incense to the Priest, that he may bless it; and, having himself received a blessing,
he concludes the history of the Passion, observing the ceremonies used for singing the Gospel at High Mass.

And behold there was a man named Joseph, who was a counsellor, a good and just man (the same had not consented to their counsel and doing), of Arimathea, a city of Judea, who also himself looked for the kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate and begged the body of Jesus. And taking him down he wrapped him in fine linen, and laid him in a sepulcher that was hewed in stone, wherein never yet any man had been laid.

The words of the Offertory are those of Jesus, suppliantly beseeching his Eternal Father not to turn his face from his own Son, who is a prey to every suffering, both of body and mind.

Domine, exaudi orationem meam: et clamor meus ad te perveniat: ne avertas faciem tuam a me. 
Hear, O Lord, my prayer; and let my cry come to thee: turn not away thy face from me.

In the Secret, the Church prays that we may have a tender devotion for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, in which the Passion of our Savior is daily commemorated.

Suscipe, quæsumus, Domine, munus oblatum, et dignanter operare: ut quod Passionis Filii tui Domini nostri mysterio gerimus, piis affectibus consequamur. Per eumdem. 
Accept, O Lord, we beseech thee, the offerings we have made; and mercifully grant that we may receive, with pious sentiments, what we celebrate in the mystery of the Passion of our Lord. Through the same, &c.

For the other Secrets, see the Mass for Monday in Holy Week.

The Church takes her Communion-Anthem from the same Psalm, which supplied her with the Tract and Offertory, namely the 101st.

Potum meum cum fletu temperabam: quia elevans allisisti me: et ego sicut fœnum arui: tu autem, Domine, in æternum permanes: tu exsurgens misereberis Sion, quia venit tempus miserendi ejus.
 I mingled my drink with weeping; for having lifted me up, thou hast thrown me down, and I am withered like grass; but thou, O Lord, endurest for ever: thou shalt arise, and have mercy on Sion; because the time to have mercy on her is come.

The Death of Jesus should be to us an unceasing motive for confidence in the divine mercy. This confidence is one of the first conditions of our salvation. The Church asks it for us in the Postcommunion.

Largire sensibus nostris, omnipotens Deus: ut, per temporalem Filii tui mortem, quam mysteria veneranda testantur, vitam te nobis dedisse perpetuam confidamus. Per eumdem. 
Grant, O Almighty God, that we may have a lively hope, that thou hast given us eternal life by the temporal death of thy Son, represented in these adorable mysteries. Through the same, &c.

For the other Postcommunions, see the Mass for Monday in Holy Week.

Let us pray

Humiliate capita vestra Deo. 
Bow down your heads to God.

Respice, quæsumus, Domine, super hanc familiam tuam: pro qua Dominus noster Jesus Christus non dubitavit manibus tradi nocentium, et crucis subire tormentum. Qui tecum. 
Look down, O Lord, we beseech thee, on this thy family, for which our Lord Jesus Christ hesitated not to be delivered into the hands of wicked men, and undergo the punishment of the Cross. Who liveth, &c.

As an appropriate exercise for the close of this day, we offer our readers the following stanzas from a Hymn of the Greek Liturgy: they allude to the mysteries we have been explaining.
(In Parasceve)

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Hodie Judas Magistrum derelinquit, et diabolum assumit: obcæcatur passione amoris pecuniæ; decidit a lumine, obscuratus est ille. Quomodo namque videre poterat ille qui Luminare vendidit triginta argenteis? Sed nobis exortus est ille, qui passus est pro mundo. Ad quem clamemus: Qui passus, et compassus es hominibus, gloria tibi. 
On this day, Judas leaves his Master, and takes the devil for his guide. The love of money blinds him. He fell from the light, he became darkened; for how could he be said to see, who sold the Light for thirty pieces of silver? But to us he has risen, that he suffered for the world: let us thus cry out unto him: Glory be to thee, that didst endure thy Passion, and hadst compassion, for mankind!

Quænam te ratio, Juda, Salvatoris proditorem effecit? Numquid ille ab Apostolorum te choro segregavit? Numquid sanitatum te gratia privavit? Numquid cum cœnaret una cum illis, a mensa te expulit? Numquid aliorum cum lavisset, pedes tuos neglexit? O quantorum factus es immemor beneficiorum! et tuum sane consilium ingratum infamia notatur: illius autem prædicatur incomparabilis patientia et misericordia magna. 
What was it, O Judas! that led thee to betray Jesus? Had he cut thee off from the number of his Apostles? Had he deprived thee of the gift of healing the sick? When he supped with his Apostles, did he drive thee from table? When he washed their feet, did he pass thee by? And yet, thou wast unmindful of these great favors! Thy ungrateful plot has branded thee with infamy: but his incomparable patience and great mercy are worthy of praise.

Dicite iniqui quidnam a Salvatore nostro audistis? Nonne Legem ac documenta Prophetarum exposuit? Quomodo ergo Verbum quod ex Deo est, et nostras animas redimit, Pilato tradere cogitastis? 
Say, O ye unjust ones! what is it ye have heard from our Savior? Did he not expound unto you the Law and the Prophets? Why, therefore, have ye plotted how to deliver up to Pilate the Word that is from God, and that came to redeem our souls?

Crucifigatur, clamabant ii qui tuis semper muneribus fuerant delectati; petebantque ut malefactorem acciperent pro benefactore interfectores illi justorum. Sed tacebas, Christe, eorum proterviam sustinens: volens pati, nosque salvare, ut hominum amans. 
They that had enjoyed thy unceasing gifts cried out: Let him be crucified! These murderers of such as were innocent, sought thee, that they might treat thee, their benefactor, as an evil-doer. But thou, O Christ! didst bear their wickedness with silence, for thou being the lover of mankind, didst desire to suffer for and save us.

Loquendi libertatem non habemus propter multa peccata nostra; tu ex te genitum exora, Virgo Deipara: multum enim valet deprecatio Matris apud clementiam Domini. Ne despicias peccatorum supplicationes, o castissima; quia misericors est et potens ad salvandum, is qui pro nobis etiam pati sustinuit. 
We are prevented from speaking byt he multitude of our sins: do thou, O Virgin-Mother of God! pray for us to Him that was born of thee, for the Mother’s prayer avails much with the mercy of our Lord. Despise not, O most pure Virgin! the prayers of sinners, for he that refused not even to suffer for us, is merciful, and is able to save us.

We subjoin the following beautiful Preface from the Ambrosian Missal: it expresses, in a most touching manner,
the sentiments which a Christian should have within him on this vigil of our Lord’s Supper.
Dignum et justum est, æquum et salutare, nos tibi semper hic et ubique gratias agere, Domine sancte, Pater omnipotens, æterne Deus, per Christum Dominum nostrum, qui innocens pro impiis voluit pati, et pro sceleratis indebite condemnari. Cujus mors delicta nostra detersit, et resurrectio Paradisi fores nobis reseravit. Per quem tuam pietatem supliciter exoramus; ut nos hodie a peccatis emacules; cras vero venerabilis Cœnæ dapibus saties; hodie acceptes nostrorum confessionem delictorum: cras vero tribuas spiritualium incrementa donorum; hodie jejuniorum nostrorum vota suscipias; cras vero nos ad sanctissimæ Cœæ convivium introducas. Per eumdem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

 It is meet and just, right and available to salvation, that we should ever, here and in all places, give thanks to thee, O Holy Lord, Almighty Father, Eternal God, through Christ our Lord: who, being innocent, willed to suffer for sinners, and be unjustly condemned for the guilty. His Death wiped away our crimes, and his Resurrection opened for us the gates of heaven. Through him we beseech thy clemency, that, today, thou cleanse us from our sins, and, tomorrow, feed us on the banquet of the venerable Supper; that, today, thou receive the confession of our faults, and tomorrow, grant us the increase of spiritual gifts; that, today, thou receive the offering of our fasts, but, tomorrow, introduce us to the feast of the most holy Supper. Through the same Christ our Lord.
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
A reminder ...

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