Thursday, 2 April 2015 : Holy Thursday, Mass of the Lord’s Supper (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 13 : 1-15

At that time, it was before the feast of the Passover. Jesus realised that His hour had come, to pass from this world to the Father; and as He had loved those who were His own in the world, He would love them with perfect love.

They were at supper, and the devil had already put into the mind of Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Him. Jesus knew that the Father had entrusted all things to Him, and as He had come from God, He was going to God. So He got up from the table, removed His garment, and taking a towel, wrapped it around His waist.

Then He poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel He was wearing. When He came to Simon Peter, Simon asked Him, “Why, Lord, do You want to wash my feet?” Jesus said, “What I am doing you cannot understand now, but afterwards you will understand it.”

Peter replied, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you can have no part with Me.” Then Simon Peter said, “Lord, wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head!”

Jesus replied, “Whoever has taken a bath does not need to wash, except the feet, for he is clean all over. You are clean, though not all of you.” Jesus knew who was to betray Him; because of this He said, “Not all of you are clean.”

When Jesus had finished washing their feet, He put on His garment again, went back to the table, and said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call Me Master and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I, then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you also must wash one another’s feet.”

“I have just given you an example, that as I have done, you also may do.”

Thursday, 2 April 2015 : Holy Thursday, Mass of the Lord’s Supper (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 Corinthians 11 : 23-26

This is the tradition of the Lord that I received and that in my turn I have handed on to you; the Lord Jesus, on the night that He was delivered up, took bread and, after giving thanks, broke it, saying, “This is My Body which is broken for you; do this in memory of Me.”

In the same manner, taking the chalice after the supper, He said, “This chalice is the new Covenant in My Blood. Whenever you drink it, do it in memory of Me.” So, then, whenever you eat of this bread and drink from this chalice, you are proclaiming the death of the Lord until He comes.

Thursday, 2 April 2015 : Holy Thursday, Mass of the Lord’s Supper (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 115 : 12-13, 15-16bc, 17-18

The Lord remembers us and will bless us; He will bless the family of Israel; He will bless the family of Aaron; He will bless those who fear the Lord, both the small and the great.

May you be blessed by the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth. Heaven belongs to the Lord, but the earth He has given to humans.

It is not the dead who praise the Lord, for they have gone down to silence; but it is we, the living, who bless the Lord, from now on and forever.

Thursday, 2 April 2015 : Holy Thursday, Mass of the Lord’s Supper (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Exodus 12 : 1-8, 11-14

YHVH spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt and said, “This month is to be the beginning of all months, the first month of your year. Speak to the community of Israel and say to them : On the tenth day of this month let each family take a lamb, a lamb for each house. If the family is too small for a lamb, they must join with a neighbour, the nearest to the house, according to the number of persons and to what each one can eat.”

“You will select a perfect lamb without blemish, a male born during the present year, taken from the sheep or goats. Then you will keep it until the fourteenth day of the month. On that evening all the people will slaughter their lambs and take some of the blood to put on the doorposts and on top of the doorframes of the houses where you eat.”

“That night you will eat the flesh roasted at the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. And this is how you will eat : with a belt round your waist, sandals on your feet and a staff in your hand. You shall eat hastily for it is a Passover in honour of YHVH.”

“On that night I shall go through Egypt and strike every firstborn in Egypt, men and animals; and I will even bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt, I, YHVH! The blood on your houses will be the sign that you are there. I will see the blood and pass over you; and you will escape the mortal plague when I strike Egypt.”

“This is a day you are to remember and celebrate in honour of YHVH. It is to be kept as a festival day for all generations forever.”

(Usus Antiquior) Palm Sunday (I Classis) – Sunday, 29 March 2015 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Preface, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Offertory

Psalm 68 : 21-22

Improperium exspectavit cor meum et miseriam : et sustinui, qui simul mecum contristaretur, et non fuit : consolantem me quaesivi, et non inveni : et dederunt in escam meam fel, et in siti mea potaverunt me aceto.


English translation

My heart had expected reproach and misery, and I looked for one who would grieve together with Me, and there was none. I sought for one to comfort Me, and I found none, and they gave Me gall for My food, and in My thirst they gave Me vinegar to drink.


Secret Prayer of the Priest

Concede, quaesumus, Domine : ut oculis Tuae majestatis munus oblatum, et gratiam nobis devotionis obtineat, et effectum beatae perennitatis acquirat. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, Qui Tecum vivis et regnas in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.


English translation

Grant, we beseech You, o Lord, that the gift presented to the eyes of Your majesty may both obtain for us the grace of devotion and acquire for us the effect of a blessed immortality. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.


Preface of the Holy Cross

Vere dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare, nos tibi semper et ubique gratias agere : Domine, Sancte Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus : Qui salutem humani generis in ligno Crucis constituisti : ut, unde mors oriebatur, inde vita resurgeret : et, qui in ligno vincebat, in ligno quoque vinceretur : per Christum, Dominum nostrum. Per quem majestatem Tuam laudant Angeli, adorant Dominationes, tremunt Potestates. Caeli caelorumque Virtutes ac beata Seraphim socia exsultatione concelebrant. Cum quibus et nostras voces ut admitti jubeas, deprecamur, supplici confessione dicentes :


English translation

It is truly meet and just, right and profitable for us, at all times, and in all places, to give thanks to You, o holy Lord, Father Almighty, eternal God, who had established the salvation of mankind in the wood of the Cross, that from where death into the world, from there a new life might spring, and that he who by a tree overcome, by a tree too might be overthrown. Through Christ our Lord, through whom the angels praise, the Dominations adore, the Powers, trembling with awe and worship Your majesty, which the heavens, and the forces of heaven, together with the blessed Seraphim joyfully magnify You. And You do command that it is to be permitted in our lowliness to join with them in confessing You and repeat unceasingly :


Communion

Matthew 26 : 42

Pater, si non potest hic calix transire, nisi bibam illum : fiat voluntas Tua.


English translation

Father, if this chalice may not pass away, but I must drink it, Your will be done.


Post-Communion Prayer

Per hujus, Domine, operationem mysterii : et vitia nostra purgentur, et justa desideria compleantur. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, Qui Tecum vivis et regnas in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.


English translation

By the operation of this mystery, o Lord, may our vices be purged away, and our righteous desires have fulfillment. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

(Usus Antiquior) Palm Sunday (I Classis) – Sunday, 29 March 2015 : Holy Gospel (Passion Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Passio Domini nostri Jesu Christi secundum Matthaeum – The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. Matthew

Matthew 26 : 36-75 and Matthew 27 : 1-60

In illo tempore : Venit Jesus cum illis in villam, quae dicitur Gethsemani, et dixit discipulis suis. Sedete hic, donec vadam illuc et orem. Et assumpto Petro, et duobus filius Zebedaei, coepit contristari et maestus esse. Tunc ait illis : Tristis est anima mea usque ad mortem : sustinete hic, et vigilante mecum.

Et progressus pusillum, procidit in faciem suam, orans, et dicens : Pater mi, si possibile est, transeat a me calix iste. Verumtamen non sicut ego volo, sed sicut tu. Et venit ad discipulos suos, et invenit eos dormientes : et dicit Petro : Sic non potuistis una hora vigilare mecum? Vigilate, et orate ut non intretis in tentationem. Spiritus quidem promptus est, caro autem infirma.

Iterum secundo abiit, et oravit, dicens : Pater mi, si non potest hic calix transire, nisi bibam illum, fiat voluntas tua. Et venit iterum, et invenit eos dormientes : erant enim oculi eorum gravati. Et relictis illis, iterum abiit, et oravit tertio, eumdem sermonem dicens. Tunc venit ad discipulos suos, et dicit illis : Dormite jam, et requiescete : ecce appropinquavit hora, et Filius Hominis tradetur in manus peccatorum. Surgite, eamus : ecce appropinquavit qui me tradet.

Adhuc eo loquente, ecce Judas unus de duodecim venit, et cum eo turba multa cum gladiis et fustibus, missi a principibus sacerdotum, et senioribus populi. Qui autem tradidit eum, dedit illis signum dicens : Quemcumque osculatus fuero, ipse est, tenete eum. Et confestim accedens ad Jesus, dixit : Ave, Rabbi. Et osculatus est eum. Dixitque illi Jesus : Amice, ad quid venisti?

Tunc accesserunt, et manus injecerunt in Jesum, et tenuerunt eum. Et ecce, unus ex his, qui erant cum Jesu, extendens manum, exemit gladium suum, et percutiens servum principis sacerdotum, amputavit auriculam ejus. Tunc ait illi Jesus : Converte gladium tuum in locum suum. Omnes enim, qui acceperint gladium, gladio peribunt. An putas quia non possum rogare Patrem meum, et exhibebit mihi modo plus quam duodecim legiones Angelorum? Quomodo ergo implemebuntur Scriptura, quia sic oportet fieri?

In illa hora dixit Jesus turbis : Tamquam ad latronem existis cum gladiis et fustibus comprehendere me : quotidie apud vos sedebam docens in templo, et non me tenuistis. Hoc autem totum factum est, ut adimplerentur Scripturae prophetarum. Tunc discipuli omnes, relicto eo, fugerunt.

At illi tenentes Jesum, duxerunt ad Caipham principem sacerdotum, ubi scribae et seniores convenerant. Petrus autem sequebatur eum a longe, usque in atrium principis sacerdotum. Et ingressus intro, sedebat cum ministris, ut videret finem. Principes autem sacerdotum, et omne concilium, quaerebant falsum testimonium contra Jesum, ut eum morti traderent.

Et non invenerunt, cum multi falsi testes accessissent. Novissime autem venerunt duo falsi testes, et dixerunt : Hic dixit : Possum destruere templum Dei, et post triduum reaedificare illud. Et surgens princeps sacerdotum, ait illi : Nihil respondes ad ea, quae isti adversum te testificantur? Jesus autem tacebat. Et princeps sacerdotum ait illi : Adjuro te per Deum vivum, ut dicas nobis, si tu es Christus Filius Dei.

Dicit illi Jesus : Tu dixisti. Verumtamen dico vobis, amodo videbitis Filium Hominis sedentem a dextris virtutis Dei, et venientem in nubibus caeli. Tunc princeps sacerdotum scidit vestimenta sua, dicens : Blasphemavit : quid adhuc egemus testibus? Ecce nunc audistis blasphemiam : quid vobis videtur? At illi respondentes dixerunt : Reus est mortis. Tunc exspuerunt in faciem ejus, et colaphis eum ceciderunt, alii autem palmas in faciem ejus dederunt, dicentes : Prophetiza nobis, Christe, quis est qui te percussit?

Petrus vero sedebat foris in atrio : et accessit ad eum una ancilla, dicens : Et tu cum Jesu Galilaeo eras. At ille negavit coram omnibus, dicens : Nescio quid dicis. Exeunte autem illo januam, vidit eum alia ancilla, et ait his qui erant ibi : Et hic erat cum Jesu Nazareno. Et iterum negavit cum juramento : Quia non novi hominem. Et post pusillum accesserunt qui stabant, et dixerunt Petro : Vere et tu ex illis es : nam et loquela tua manifestum te facit. Tunc coepit detestari, et jurare quia non novisset hominem. Et continuo gallus cantavit. Et recordatus est Petrus verbi Jesu, quod dixerat : Priusquam gallus cantet, ter me negabis. Et egressus foras, flevit amare.

Mane autem facto, consilium inierunt omnes principes sacerdotum, et seniores populi adversus Jesum, ut eum morti traderent. Et vinctum adduxerunt eum, et tradiderunt Pontio Pilato praesidi. Tunc videns Judas, qui eum tradidit, quod damnatus esset, poenitentia ductus, retulit triginta argenteos principibus sacerdotum et senioribus, dicens : Peccavi, tradens sanguinem justum.

At illi dixerunt : Quid ad nos? Tu videris. Et projectis argenteis in templo, recessit : et abiens, laqueo se suspendit. Principes autem sacerdotum, acceptis argenteis, dixerunt : Non licet eos mittere in corbonam : quia pretium sanguinis est. Consilio autem inito, emerunt ex illis agrum figuli, in sepulturam peregrinorum. Propter hoc vocatus est ager ille Haceldama, hoc est, ager sanguinis, usque in hodiernum diem. Tunc impletum est, quod dictum est per Jeremiam prophetam, dicentem : Et acceperunt triginta argenteos pretium appretiati, quem appretiaverunt a filiis Israel : et dederunt eos in agrum figuli, sicut constituit mihi Dominus.

Jesus autem stetit ante praesidem, et interrogavit eum praeses, dicens : Tu es Rex Judaeorum? Dicit illi Jesus : Tu dicis. Et cum accusaretur a principibus sacerdotum et senioribus, nihil respondit. Tunc dicit illi Pilatus : Non audis quanta adversum te dicunt testimonia? Et non respondit ei ad ullum verbum, ita ut miraretur praeses vehementer.

Per diem autem solemnem consueverat praeses populo dimittere unum vinctum, quem voluissent. Habebat autem tunc vinctum insignem, qui dicebatur Barabbas. Congregatis ergo illis, dixit Pilatus : Quem vultis dimittam vobis : Barabbam, an Jesum, qui dicitur Christus? Sciebat enim quod per invidiam tradidissent eum. Sedente autem illo pro tribunali, misit ad eum uxor ejus, dicens : Nihil tibi et justo illi : multa enim passa sum hodie per visum propter eum.

Principes autem sacerdotum et seniores persuaserunt populis ut peterent Barabbam, Jesum vero perderent. Respondens autem praeses ait illis : Quem vultis vobis de duobus dimitti? At illi dixerunt : Barabbam. Dicit illis Pilatus : Quid igitur faciam de Jesu, qui dicitur Christus? Dicunt omnes : Crucifigatur. Ait illis praeses : Quid enim mali fecit? At illi magis clamabant, dicentes : Crucifigatur.

Videns autem Pilatus quia nihil proficeret, sed magis tumultus fieret : accepta aqua, lavit manus coram populo, dicens : Innocens ego sum a sanguine justi hujus : vos videritis. Et respondens universus populus, dixit : Sanguis ejus super nos, et super filios nostros. Tunc dimisit illis Barabbam : Jesum autem flagellatum tradidit eis, ut crucifigeretur.

Tunc milites praesidis suscipientes Jesum in praetorium, congregaverunt ad eum universam cohortem : et exuentes eum, chlamydem coccineam circumdederunt ei : et plectentes coronam de spinis, posuerunt super caput ejus, et arundinem in dextera ejus. Et genu flexo ante eum, illudebant ei, dicentes : Ave, Rex Judaeorum. Et exspuentes in eum, acceperunt arundinem, et percutiebant caput ejus. Et postquam illuserunt ei, exuerunt eum chlamyde, et induerunt eum vestimentis ejus, et duxerunt eum ut crucifigerent.

Exeuntes autem, invenerunt hominem Cyrenaeum, nomine Simonem : hunc angariaverunt, ut tolleret crucem ejus. Et venerunt in locum qui dicitur Golgotha, quos est Calvariae locus. Et dederunt ei vinum bibere cum felle mixtum. Et cum gustasset, noluit bibere. Postquam autem crucifixerunt eum, diviserunt vestimenta ejus, sortem mittentes : ut impleretur quod dictum est per prophetam, dicentem : Diviserunt sibi vestamenta mea, et super vestem meam miserunt sortem.

Et sedentes, servabant eum. Et imposuerunt super caput ejus causam ipsius scriptam : Hic est Jesus Rex Judaeorum. Tunc crucifixi sunt cum eo duo latrones : unus a dextris, et unus a sinistris. Praetereuntes autem blasphemabant eum, moventes capita sua, et dicentes : Vah, qui destruis Templum Dei, et in triduo illud reaedificas : salva temetipsum. Si Filius Dei es, descende de cruce.

Similiter et principes sacerdotum illudentes cum scribis et senioribus, dicebant : Alios salvos fecit, seipsum non potest salvum facere : si Rex Israel est, descendat nunc de cruce, et credimus ei : confidit in Deo : liberet nunc, si vultum eum; dixit enim : Quia Filius Dei sum. Idipsum autem et latrones, qui crucifixi erant cum eo, improperabant ei.

A sexta autem hora tenebrae factae sunt super universam terram, usque ad horam nonam. Et circa horam nonam clamavit Jesus voce magna, dicens : Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani? Hoc est : Deus meus, Deus meus, ut quid dereliquisti me? Quidam autem illic stantes, et audientes, dicebant : Eliam vocat iste. Et continuo currens unus ex eis, acceptam spongiam implevit aceto, et imposuit arundini, et dabat ei bibere. Ceteri vero dicebant : Sine, videamus an veniat Elias liberans eum. Jesus autem iterum clamans voce magna, emisit spiritum.

(Kneel)

Et ecce velum templi scissum est in duas partes a summo usque deorsum : et terra mota est, et petrae scissae sunt, et monumenta aperta sunt : et multa corpora sanctorum, qui dormierant, surrexerunt. Et exeuntes de monumentis post resurrectionem ejus, venerunt in sanctam civitatem, et apparuerunt multis. Centurio autem et qui cum eo erant custodientes Jesum, viso terraemotu et his quae fiebant, timuerunt valde, dicentes : Vere Filius Dei erat iste. Erant autem ibi mulieres multae a longe, quae secutae erant Jesum a Galilaea, ministrantes ei : inter quas erat Maria Magdalene, et Maria Jacobi et Joseph mater, et mater filiorum Zebedaei.

Cum autem sero factum esset, venit quidam homo dives ab Arimathaea, nomine Joseph, qui et ipse discipulus erat Jesu. Hic accessit ad Pilatum et petiit corpus Jesu. Tunc Pilatus jussit reddi corpus. Et accepto corpore, Joseph involvit illud in sindone munda. Et posuit illud in monumento suo novo, quod exciderat in petra. Et advolvit saxum magnum ad ostium monumenti, et abiit.


English translation

At that time, Jesus came with them into a country place which is called Gethsemane, and He said to His disciples, “All of you sit here while I go yonder and pray.” And taking with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, He began to grow sorrowful and to be sad. Then He said to them, “My soul is sorrowful even unto death, all of you stay here and watch with Me.”

And going a little further, He fell upon His face, praying and saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this chalice pass from Me. Nevertheless, it is not as I will it, but as You will it.” And He came to His disciples and found them asleep, and He said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch one hour with Me? Watch all of you, and pray that you do not enter into temptation. The spirit is indeed willing but the flesh is weak.”

Again a second time He went and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this chalice may not pass away, but I must drink it, Your will be done.” And He came again and found them sleeping for their eyes were heavy. And leaving them, He went again and prayed the third time, saying the same words Himself. Then He came to His disciples, and said to them, “Sleep all of you now and take your rest, behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man shall be betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us go, behold, he is at hand who is to betray Me.”

As He yet spoke, behold Judas, one of the Twelve came and with him a great multitude with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. And he who betrayed Him gave them a sign, saying, “Whoever it is I shall kiss, that is He, hold Him fast.” And forthwith coming to Jesus, he said, “Hail, Rabbi!” And he kissed Him. And Jesus said to Him, “Friend, where to have you come?”

Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus, and held Him. And behold one of them who were with Jesus, stretching forth his hand, drew out his word, and striking the servant of the High Priest, cutting off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, “Put up again your sword into its place, for all who take the sword shall perish with the sword. Do you think that I cannot ask My Father, and He will give Me at present more than twelve legions of Angels? How then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that so it must be done?”

In that same hour Jesus said to the multitudes, “You have come out as it was to a robber with swords and clubs to apprehend Me. I sat daily with you, teaching in the Temple, and you did not lay hands on Me. Now all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then the disciples, all leaving Him, fled.

But they held Jesus and led Him to Caiaphas the High Priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. And Peter followed Him from afar off, even to the court of the High Priest. And going in, he sat with the servants, that he might see the end. And the chief priests and the whole council sought false witness against Jesus, that they might put Him to death.

And they found none, whereas many false witnesses had come in. And last of all there came two false witnesses, and they said, “This Man said, I am able to destroy the Temple of God, and after three days to rebuild it.” And the High Priest, rising up said to Him, “Do You have nothing to answer all these that the witnesses came up against You?” But Jesus held His peace. And the High Priest said to Him, “I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us if You are the Christ the Son of God.”

Jesus said to him, “You have said it. Nevertheless I say to you, hereafter 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 rent his garments, saying, “He has blasphemed, what further need have we of witnesses? Behold, now you have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?” But they answered, saying, “He is guilty of death. Then they spat in His face and buffeted Him, and others struck His face with the palms of their hands, saying, “Prophesy unto us, o Christ, who is he that struck You?”

But Peter sat outside in the court, and there came to him a servant maid, saying, “You also was with Jesus the Galilean.” But he denied before them all, saying, “I do not know what you said.” And as he went out of the gate, another maid saw him, and she said to those who were there, “This man was also with Jesus of Nazareth.” And again he denied with an oath, “I do not know the Man.” And after a little while, they came, those who stood by and said to Peter, “Surely you are also one of them, for even your speech had revealed you.” Then he began to curse and to swear that he does not know the Man, and immediately the cock crowed. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus which He had said, “Before the cock crowed, you would have denied Me thrice.” And going forth, he wept bitterly.

And when morning came, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus, that they might put Him to death. And they brought Him bound and delivered Him to Pontius Pilate the governor. Then Judas, who betrayed Him, seeing that He was condemned, repenting himself, brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned in betraying innocent blood.”

But they said, “What is that to us? Look yourself to it.” And casting down the pieces of silver in the Temple, he departed and went to hang himself with a halter. But the chief priests, having taken the pieces of silver, said, “It is not lawful to put them into the Temple funds, because it is the price of blood.” And after they had consulted together, they bought with them the potter’s field to be a burying place for strangers. For this cause that field was called Haceldama, that is the Field of Blood, even to this day. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying that, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of Him who was prized, whom they prized of the children of Israel, and they gave them unto the potter’s field, as the Lord appointed to me.”

And Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus said to him, “You said it.” And when He was accused by the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing. Then Pilate said to Him, “Do You not hear how great testimonies they allege against You?” And He did not answer anything to him, so that the governor wondered exceedingly.

Now upon the solemn day the governor was accustomed to release to the people one prisoner, whom they would choose. And he had then a notorious prisoner that was called Barabbas. They therefore were gathered together, and Pilate said, “Whom will you choose that I release to you, Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Christ?” For he knew that it was for envy that they had delivered Him. And as he was sitting in the place of judgment, his wife sent to him, saying, “Do not have anything to do with that just Man, for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of Him.”

But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the people that they should ask for Barabbas, and do away with Jesus. And the governor answering, said to them, “Which of these two will you want to be released unto you?” But they said, “Barabbas.” Pilate said to them, “What shall I do then with Jesus who is called the Christ?” They all said, “Let Him be crucified!” The governor said, “Why? What evil had He done?” But they cried out all the more, saying, “Let Him be crucified!”

And Pilate, seeing that he did not prevail, but rather that a tumult was made, took water, and washed his hands before the people, saying, “I am innocent of the Blood of this just Man, look yourself to it.” And the whole people, answering, said, “His Blood is upon us and upon our children.” Then he released to them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered Him unto them to be crucified.

Then the soldiers of the governor, taking Jesus into the hall, gathered together unto Him a whole band, and stripping Him, they put scarlet cloak about Him, and placing together a crown of thorns, they put it upon His head and a reed in His right hand. And bowing the knee before Him, they mocked Him saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And spitting upon Him, they took the reed and struck His head. And after they had mocked Him, they took off the cloak from Him, and put on Him His own garments, and led Him away to crucify Him.

And going out, they found a man of Cyrene, named Simon, whom they forced to take up His cross. And they came to the place that is called Golgotha, which is the place of Calvary. And they gave Him wine to drink which was mixed with gall, and when He had tasted, He would not drink. And after they had crucified Him, they divided His garments, casting lots on them, that it might be fulfilled that which was spoken by the prophets, saying, “They divided My garments among them, and upon My vesture they cast lots.”

And they sat and watched Him, and they put over His head His cause, which was written, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” There were crucified with Him two thieves, one on the right hand and one on the left. And they who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads, and saying, “Vah, You who destroy the Temple of God and in three days rebuilds it, save Your ownself. If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”

In like manner also the chief priests with the scribes and the elders, mocking Him, saying, “He saved others, but He cannot save Himself. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God, let Him now deliver Him if He will have Him, for He said, “I am the Son of God.” And the same things the thieves had also said, those who were crucified with Him, reproaching Him with the same words.

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over the whole earth, until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani?” That is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” And some who stood there and heard, said, “This Man called Elijah.” And immediately one of them running, took a sponge and filled it with vinegar and put in on a reed and gave Him to drink. And the others said, “Let it be, let us see whether Elijah will come to deliver Him.” And Jesus again crying with a loud voice, yielding up His Spirit.

(Kneel)

And behold the veil of the Temple was rent in two from the top even to the bottom, and the earth quaked and the rocks were rent and the graves were opened, and many bodies of the saints that had slept arose, and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection, came into the holy city, and appeared to many. Now the centurion and those who were with Him watching Jesus, and the things that were done, they became afraid, saying, “Indeed, He was the Son of God.” And there were there many women afar off, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto Him, among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

And when it was evening, there came a certain rich man of Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also himself a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the Body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded that the Body should be delivered. And Joseph, taking the Body, wrapped it up in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new monument, which he had hewed out in a rock. And he rolled a great stone to the door of the monument and went his way.

Thursday, 2 April 2015 : Maundy Thursday, Chrism Mass (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this occasion we are celebrating the Chrism Mass, which is always celebrated on the Thursday of Holy Week, also known as Maundy or Holy Thursday. On this special occasion, the bishops of each diocese will celebrate together with all of each diocese’s priests, where they will all reaffirm their promises and vows made at their ordination and consecration as anointed servants of God.

On this occasion of Chrism Mass as well, the oils to be used for various purposes are blessed and made holy. There are three types of oil, the oil of chrism for baptism and confirmation, the oil of the catechumens for the anointing of the candidates for baptism, and finally the oil of the sick, for the last unction, or the Sacrament for the Sick and Dying. These holy oils are blessed on this occasion, and the significance of it in relation to what I have mentioned earlier about priests are great.

This is all in accordance with all the readings of the Holy Scriptures today, that all of us who have chosen to take up the cross and follow our Lord Jesus had been chosen and taken out from the world to be made special and different. We were once sinners and estranged children of our Lord, but through this effort and by the grace of God, we have been made to share in the glory of Christ.

Since the ancient days of the Old Testament, anointing with the holy oils have been a special sign to the people, that whoever was anointed, was chosen by the Lord to be His servant. Saul, the first king of Israel was anointed, and so was David, whom God anointed through Samuel. The kings of Israel were anointed, and the priests of Israel, the descendants of Aaron were also anointed, since the days of Moses and the Exodus when the priesthood was first instituted.

All of us who have given ourselves to be baptised, or by our parents’ wish and decision, have been chosen from among all the people of the world, and in baptism and by anointing with the holy oil of chrism, we have become God’s children and in serving Him, we share together, the three aspects of Christ, namely His Kingship, His Priesthood and His service to God as a faithful servant.

And those of us who have chosen to deepen our faith and do more for the Lord, by joining the sacred order of priesthood and the ordained ministry, we have been anointed and chosen even more by our Lord to do ever more things for His glory and for the good and salvation of all mankind, our brethren. It is to remind us, with this occasion of Chrism Mass, the dedication and the commitment which all of us ought to have for the Lord and for His people.

All of us have our duties and obligations, the responsibilities which all of us should take up together as the members of God’s Church. We have many tasks to do, beginning of course from ourselves, to change our ways so that our own lives will be more attuned and in line with the ways of the Lord, and so that we may show to others how to follow the Lord and walk in His ways.

We have our responsibilities to take care of one another to grow in faith. Rather than be disgusted by one’s wickedness and condemning others because of that wickedness, it is better for us to learn to accept each other’s weakness and work together to be better and more faithful servant of the Lord. We have to be awakened to our responsibilities and learn how to take up the crosses of our life, and contribute to make a difference.

Today as we bless this oil, of catechumens, of chrism, and those of the sick, let us all renew our faith, dedication and devotion to the Lord, and renew our commitment, which we ought to show through our actions, and in how we interact with one another. Let us all remember that all of us have been called and made holy, as a priestly people, a royal people and a people dedicated to the Lord, so that we may share together the love and grace of God, for the good and salvation of all mankind. God be with us always. Amen.