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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Good Friday

The Afternoon Liturgy of Good Friday
was celebrated on Golgotha.
The strong wind continued
and combined with the Church in mourning:
The stripped altar; gaping tabernacle -
general disarray.
Even the hard baked clay of the sanctuary floor
brought to mind an image of the parched desert of the world
before Good Friday's Redemption;
when heaven had been sealed up.
With desolation is all the world made desolate.
The Great Litany is chanted
The Great Litany goes back to before the time of Pope St Leo the Great (440-461 AD). Its origin is probably Apostolic. It was used both in Mass and outside Mass. We still see its trace in the Mass where, when after the Credo, the priest sings a simple Oremus followed now, not by a prayer but by the Offertory verse. It was after that simple Oremus that the Great Litany was sung in the time before Pope St Gregory the Great (590-604 AD).
The Exposition of the Cross and the Crucified
Ecce lignum Crucis,
in quo salus mundi pependit.
Venite adoremus.
Behold the wood of the Cross
on which hung the salvation of the world.
Come let us adore.
[Holy Liturgy of Good Friday]
Animam meam dilectam...
My soul that I loved
I delivered into the hands of the wicked,
and My heritage has turned on me
like a lion in the jungle.
My enemy roared against Me, saying,
"Gather together, and hurry to devour Him."
They put Me in a desert waste,
and the whole earth mourned over Me,
Because no one is found to acknowledge Me
and do good to Me.
Men without mercy have risen up against Me,
and they have not spared My life.
Because no one is found to acknowledge Me
and do good for Me.
[Good Friday Matins, Lesson vi, Response]

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