Friday, 7 April 2023 : Good Friday of the Passion of the Lord (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today marks the occasion of Good Friday, the day when the Lord suffered and died for us all. It was on this day over two millennia ago that the Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God and Saviour of the whole world took up His Cross, embarked on the way of His suffering and eventually dying on the Cross for our sake. This is truly a ‘Good’ Friday because without everything that the Lord had done for us, we would have no hope out of the darkness of our lives, and we would not have enjoyed the assurance of God’s love and grace which He has poured down generously upon us and shown us through Christ, His Son, Whose death on the Cross is the everlasting sign of His undying and most generous love, His ever enduring love and commitment towards all that He has promised to us, to the Covenant He had made with us.

Continuing from the discourse of Holy Thursday, we must realise that the whole Easter Triduum is one great celebration that cannot be separated from each other. On Holy Thursday yesterday, as we commemorate the Lord’s Last Supper with His disciples, His institution of the Eucharist and the ministerial priesthood, we are reminded that what the Lord had said at that Last Supper, as He broke and shared His Body and Blood to His disciples, with the words, ‘Take and eat, this is My Body which has been given up for you.’ and ‘Take and drink, this is the chalice of My Blood, the Blood of the new and eternal Covenant which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.’, all of these came to completion with the Passion, the suffering and crucifixion of Our Lord Himself on this Good Friday. What began on Holy Thursday, the great Passover feast, was accomplished on the Cross, just as the Lord Himself said at the end, ‘It is accomplished!’

Like the Jewish Passover of old, when the Lord told His people, the Israelites, to take a one year old young, unblemished lamb and to sacrifice it on the fourteenth day of the first month of the Jewish calendar, the month of Nisan, therefore, the Lord Jesus, the Lamb of God, the Paschal Lamb, also took it upon Himself, to offer Himself as the Lamb to be slaughtered, on the day of preparation just before the Passover, which was on Good Friday itself. As it is noted at the end of our Gospel reading of the Passion today that the crucifixion ended when the Jewish people were on the eve of their Passover, it was truly not a coincidence that the Lord suffered, was crucified and died at the exact same time when the Passover lamb was to be slaughtered and sacrificed, for the liberation of the people of God from their enslavement and domination by the Egyptians. That is because by His offering of Himself as the Paschal Lamb of sacrifice, the perfect offering, He has become for us the same source of liberation from the tyranny, dominion and enslavement by sin and death.

The Lord willingly did all of these because of His great love for each one of us. Everything had been prepared and foretold in advance, but no one could have predicted the extent to which the Lord was willing to go in order to save us all. Instead of sending a mere prophet or messenger to complete everything that He has willed to happen, the Lord chose to embrace us Himself, by coming down upon us, to dwell in our midst and being incarnate in the flesh, walking amongst us in the form of a Man. That was what the Lord had foretold and spoken through His prophets and messengers, veiled from the fullness of truth and understanding until everything had come to pass. From our perspective, we who have received the fullness of God’s truth, we have seen the truth revealed to us in the person of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, Who has come to us, and willingly embraced and took up upon Himself the full burden of the Cross, all the sins and wickedness we have committed, and the punishments associated with them, to bear them Himself, to the hill of Calvary.

As we have heard in our first reading today, everything happened just as the Lord had revealed it to us through His prophets. The prophet Isaiah had spoken particularly a lot about the Messiah or Saviour Who was to come into the world, revealing that He would be born through the Woman, the Holy Virgin that God would appoint, and everything indeed came true with Mary and her miraculous conception and birth of Our Lord Jesus. The Lord has also come into our midst, willingly becoming the Man to be humbled, humiliated and crushed, to be burdened and pushed to endure the great sufferings and persecutions for the sake of all of us, His beloved ones. As we heard from the prophet Isaiah, the Holy One of God would be broken for us, crushed for us and be destroyed so that by His suffering and pains, His sorrows and wounds, all of us would be healed. As Isaiah said, this Man would bear upon Himself all of our punishments and sorrows, so that by His brokenness and sorrows, His wounds and hardships, all of us would be healed from our own hardships and wounds.

Then, there was also that clear allusion and reference to the lamb being slaughtered, referring to the Passover lamb, and in this case, the Lord Jesus Himself, as the Lamb of God, the Paschal Lamb Who takes away the sins of the whole world. By His wounds and the broken Body, the outpoured Blood, all of which He has done freely and most generously out of love for all of us, He has shown us the path to eternal life and true joy with Him. That is what Good Friday is all about, the love of God made Man, and His love manifested and shown to us, by His willing embrace of suffering and death, to suffer our punishments and trials for our sake, loving us most selflessly and generously despite of our constant and frequent rebelliousness and wickedness, everything that we have always done in spite of His love and compassion, His kindness and patience all these while. On this Good Friday, we remember especially Christ our Lord, our Saviour, Whose kindness and compassion towards us has opened for us the path to true happiness, and which is why this day is a truly a ‘Good’ day.

However, on this day, we have to better appreciate everything that the Lord had done for us. Too often we mankind have ignored the Lord, rejected and spurned His love, refused to listen to Him and being difficult in resisting His many efforts to reach out to us with love and kindness. Through His Son, God has reestablished with us, the connection that was once lost for us due to sin, the connection that we have to God, our loving Father and Creator. For Christ through His Cross has made a Bridge that linked us all with God, as a Bridge that crossed the uncrossable and infinite chasm existing between Him and all of us due to sin. Sin has caused us to be sundered and separated from God, and we have been cast out of Eden and God’s Presence because of our pride, greed and desires, everything that we did in rejecting His generous love. But God’s love for us endured still, and that is why He sent us His Son, and through Whom we have received the guarantee and assurance of salvation and eternal life.

He established with us a new and eternal Covenant, sealed by His own Most Precious Blood, and by the offering and sacrifice of His own Most Precious Body, as a most worthy sacrifice, allowed Himself to be betrayed and rejected by His own people, and even by one of those closest to Him, that by uniting His sufferings and hardships to ours, He might raise us all up from the depth of our downfall due to sin, and bring us back to Himself. Through His perfect obedience to the will of His heavenly Father, Christ showed us as the Son of Man, how we ourselves should be like in our way of life and in our actions. He showed us all perfect love, both for God, His Father and also for all of us, His own brothers and sisters, by the shared humanity that He has embraced us with. He Himself has told us that the most important Law and Commandments are to love God with all of our heart, with all of our strength and might, and that we should do the same to our fellow brethren as well. That was exactly what He had done for us.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we commemorate the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Our Saviour and King, let us all focus our attention on the Cross of Christ, and remember all that He had done for us, the love of God made Man, manifest and tangible for us. Let us all remember everything that God had done for us as we look upon the Cross. On that Cross hung the salvation of the whole world, our entire Hope and the Light that pierced through the darkness of sin and the wickedness of this world, leading us all towards righteousness in God. And as we look upon the Cross, let us all affix our gaze upon the Lord, Whose own gaze was affixed at all of us, and let us all remember how He prayed even for those who have persecuted and condemned Him to death. We often forget the fact that Christ died for everyone, even for all those who have hated and persecuted Him.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, it is indeed very easy for us to point our fingers to blame Judas Iscariot, those chief priests and Pharisees and everyone else who have been involved in the Passion, the suffering and death of Our Lord. However, do we all actually realise that we are all just as great sinners as they were too? Do we all realise that we ourselves have also often betrayed the Lord, rejected and abandoned Him for worldly things, matters and attachments that we had? Do we realise just how often we refused to listen to the Lord and preferred instead to listen to the lies and falsehoods of the devil, embracing all sorts of temptations and pressures from the world, doing what were wicked and evil in the presence of God? Today, as we look upon the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ, let us all spend the precious time to look deep within ourselves, and see in what way our actions and way of life had caused hurt and pain towards the Lord.

Let us all not forget that all of the wounds and pain suffered by the Lord, are all of our sins, our evils, wickedness and unworthy actions, words and deeds. Each and every one of our iniquities are what causing the Lord all the wounds and hurts He experienced. As we recall the reading of Our Lord’s Passion, everything that He had done for our sake, let us be abashed and humbled, and reminded of just how wicked and sinful we had been. Let us commit ourselves to follow the Lord faithfully once again, and reject the wickedness of the world. Let us all seek the Lord with all of our might and focus our attention on Him, remembering His Passion and His love for us, which He has given us most generously from His Cross. And as we behold the Holy Cross of Christ, let us all remember that through the Cross, all of us have been brought into triumph in the great struggle against sin, evil and death.

Now, let us all continue our faithful observance of the Easter Triduum, by keeping our focus on the Lord, our Crucified Christ, Who has died for us. Let us always remember that He did not remain in death, but rose gloriously in His Resurrection, conquering and defeating death in His wake. Through Christ, let us all therefore come ever closer to God and His salvation, and may all of us continue to grow ever stronger in faith and commitment, in our desire to love God and to follow Him wholeheartedly at all times. May all of us be exemplary Christians, as good and faithful disciples of Our Lord at all times. May God bless us always, continue to love us and grant us His grace. Amen.

(Usus Antiquior) Good Friday, Solemn Afternoon Liturgy of the Passion and Death of Our Lord (Feria I Classis) – Friday, 7 April 2023 : Passion Reading

Liturgical Colour : Black

John 18 : 1-40 and John 19 : 1-42

Passio Domini nostri Jesu Christi Secundum Joannem

In illo tempore : Egressus est Jesus cum discipulis Suis trans torrentem Cedron, ubi erat hortus, in quem introivit ipse et discipuli Ejus. Sciebat autem et Judas, quit tradebat eum, locum : quia frequenter Jesus convenerat illuc cum discipulis Suis. Judas ergo cum accepisset cohortem, et a pontificibus et pharisaeis ministros, venit illuc cum laternis et facibus et armis.

Jesus itaque sciens omnia, quae ventura erant super Eum, processit, et dixit eis : Quem quaeritis? Responderunt Ei : Jesum Nazarenum. Dicit eis Jesus : Ego Sum. Stabat autem et Judas, qui tradebat Eum, cum ipsis. Ut ergo dixit Eis : Ego Sum : abierunt retrorsum, et ceciderunt in terram. Iterum ergo interrogavit Eos : Quem quaeritis? Illi autem dixerunt : Jesum Nazarenum. Respondit Jesus : Dixi vobis, quia Ego Sum : si ergo Me quaeritis, sinite hos abire. Ut impleretur sermo, quem dixit : Quia quos dedisti mihi, non perdidi ex Eis quemquam.

Simon ergo Petrus habens gladium eduxit eum : et percussit pontificis servum : et abscidit auriculam ejus dexteram. Erat autem nomen servo Malchus. Dixit ergo Jesus Petro : Mitte gladium tuum in vaginam. Calicem, quem dedit mihi Pater, non bibam illum? Cohors ergo et tribunus et ministri Judaeorum comprehenderunt Jesum, et ligaverunt Eum : et adduxerunt Eum ad Annam primum, erat enim socer Caiphae, qui erat pontifex anni illius.

Erat autem Caiphas, qui consilium dederat Judaeis : Quia expedit, unum hominem mori pro populo. Sequebatur autem Jesum Simon Petrus et alius discipulus. Discipulus autem ille erat notus pontifici, et introivit cum Jesu in atrium pontificis. Petrus autem stabat ad ostium foris. Exivit ergo discipulus alius, qui erat notus pontifici, et dixit ostiariae : et introduxit Petrum. Dicit ergo Petro ancilla ostiaria : Numquid et tu ex discipulis es hominis istius? Dicit ille : Non sum. Stabant autem servi et ministri ad prunas, quia frigus erat, et calefaciebant se : erat autem cum eis et Petrus stans et calefaciens se.

Pontifex ergo interrogavit Jesum de discipulis Suis et de doctrina Ejus. Respondit ei Jesus : Ego palam locutus sum mundo : Ego semper docui in synagoga et in Templo, quo omnes Judaei conveniunt : et in occulto locutus sum nihil. Quid me interrogas? Interroga eos, qui audierunt, quid locutus sim ipsis : ecce, hi sciuntm quae dixerim Ego. Haec autem cum dixisset, unus assistens ministrorum dedit alapam Jesu, dicens : Sic respondens pontifici? Respondit ei Jesus : Si male locutus sum, testimonium perhibe de malo : si autem bene, quid me caedis?

Et misit eum Annas ligatum ad Caipham pontificem. Erat autem Simon Petrus stans et calefaciens se. Dixerunt ergo ei : Numquid ei tu ex discipulis Ejus es? Negavit ille et dixit : Non sum. Dicit ei unus ex servis pontificis, cognatus ejus, cujus abscidit Petrus auriculam : Nonne ego te vidi in horto cum illo? Iterum ergo negavit Petrus : et statim gallus cantavit.

Adducunt ergo Jesum a Caipha in praetorium. Erat autem mane : et ipsi non introierunt in praetorium, ut non contaminarentur, sed ut manducarent pascha. Exivit ergo Pilatus ad eos foras et dixit : Quam accusationem affertis adversus Hominem hunc? Responderunt et dixerunt ei : Si non esset hic malefactor, non tibi tradidissemus Eum. Dixit ergo eis Pilatus : Accipite eum vos, et secundum legem vestram judicate Eum. Dixerunt ergo ei Judaei : Nobis non licet interficere quemquam. Ut sermo Jesu impleretur, quem dixit, significans, qua morte esset moriturus.

Introivit ergo iterum in praetorium Pilatus, et vocavit Jesum et dixit ei : Tu es Rex Judaeorum? Respondit Jesus : A temetipso hoc dicis, an alii dixerunt tibi de Me? Respondit Pilatus : Numquid ego Judaeus sum? Gens Tua et pontifices tradiderunt Te mihi : quid fecisti? Respondit Jesus : Regnum Meum non est de hoc mundo. Si ex hoc mundo esset Regnum Meum, ministri Mei utique decertarent, ut non traderer Judaeis : nunc autem Regnum Meum non est hinc.

Dixit itaque Ei Pilatus : Ergo Rex es Tu? Respondit Jesus : Tu dicis, quia Rex sum Ego. Ego in hoc natus sum et ad hoc veni in mundum, ut testimonium perhibeam veritati : omnis, qui est ex veritate, audit vocem Meam. Dicit Ei Pilatus : Quid est veritas? Et cum hoc dixisset, iterum exivit ad Judaeos, et dicit eis : Ego nullam invenio in Eo causam. Est autem consuetudo vobis, ut unum dimittam vobis in Pascha : vultis ergo dimittam vobis Regem Judaeorum? Clamaverunt ergo rursum omnes, dicentes : Non Hunc, sed Barabbam. Erat autem Barabbas latro.

Tunc ergo apprehendit Pilatus Jesum et flagellavit. Et milites plectentes coronam de spinis, imposuerunt capiti Ejus : et veste purpurea circumdederunt Eum. Et veniebant ad Eum, et dicebant : Ave, Rex Judaeorum. Et dabant Ei alapas.

Exivit ergo iterum Pilatus foras et dicit eis : Ecce, adduco vobis eum foras, ut cognoscatis, quia nullam invenio in Eo causam. (Exivit ergo Jesus portans coronam spineam et purpureum vestimentum.) Et dicit eis : Ecce Homo. Cum ergo vidissent eum pontifices et ministri, clamabant, dicentes : Crucifige, crucifige Eum. Dicit eis Pilatus : Accipite Eum vos et crucifigite : ego enim non invenio in Eo causam. Responderunt ei Judaei : Nos legem habemus, et secundum legem debet mori, quia Filium Dei se fecit. Cum ergo audisset Pilatus hunc sermonem magis timuit.

Et ingressus est praetorium iterum : et dixit ad Jesum : Unde es Tu? Jesus autem responsum non dedit ei. Dicit ergo Ei Pilatus : Mihi non loqueris? nescis, quia potestatem habeo crucifigere Te, et potestatem habeo dimittere Te? Respondit Jesus : Non haberes potestatem adversum Me ullam, nisi tibi datum esset desuper. Propterea, qui Me tradidit tibi, majus peccatum habet. Et exinde quaerebat Pilatus dimittere Eum. Judaei autem clamabant dicentes : Si hunc dimittis, non es amicus Caesaris. Omnis enim, qui se regem facit, contradicit Caesari. Pilatus autem cum audisset hos sermones, adduxit foras Jesum, et sedit pro tribunali, in loco, qui dicitur Lithostrotos, hebraice autem Gabbatha. Erat autem Parasceve Paschae, hora quasi sexta, et dicit Judaeis : Ecce Rex vester. Illi autem clamabant : Tolle, Tolle, crucifige Eum. Dicit eis Pilatus : Regem vestrum crucifigam? Responderunt pontifices : Non habemus regem nisi Caesarem. Tunc ergo tradidit eis illum, ut crucifigeretur.

Susceperunt autem Jesum et eduxerunt. Et bajulans sibi Crucem, exivit in Eum, qui dicitur Calvariae, locum, hebraice autem Golgotha : ubi crucifixerunt Eum, et cum Eo alios duos, hinc et hinc, medium autem Jesum.

Scripsit autem et titulum Pilatus : et posuit super Crucem. Erat autem scriptum : Jesus Nazarenus, Rex Judaeorum. Hunc ergo titulum multi Judaeorum legerunt, quia prope civitatem erat locus, ubi crucifixus est Jesus. Et erat scriptum hebraice, graece et latine. Dicebant ergo Pilato pontifices Judaeorum : Noli scribere Rex Judaeorum, sed quia ipse dixit : Rex sum Judaeorum. Respondit Pilatus : Quod scripsi, scripsi.

Milites ergo cum crucifixissent Eum, acceperunt vestimenta Ejus (et fecerunt quatuor partes : unicuique militi partem), et tunicam. Erat autem tunica inconsutilis, desuper contexta per totum. Dixerunt ergo ad invicem : Non scindamus eam, sed sortiamur de illa, cujus sit. Ut Scriptura impleretur, dicens : Partiti sunt vestimenta Mea sibi : et in vestem Meam miserunt sortem. Et milites quidem haec fecerunt.

Stabant autem juxta Crucem Jesu Mater Ejus et soror Matris Ejus, Maria Cleophae, et Maria Magdalene. Cum vidisset ergo Jesus Matrem et discipulum stantem, quem diligebat, dicit Matri Suae : Mulier, ecce filius tuus. Deinde dicit discipulo : Ecce Mater tua. Et ex illa hora accepit eam discipulus in sua.

Postea sciens Jesus, quia omnia consummata sunt, ut consummaretur Scriptura, dixit : Sitio. Vas ergo erat positum aceto plenum. Illi autem spongiam plenam aceto, hyssopo circumponentes, obtulerunt ori Ejus. Cum ergo accepisset Jesus acetum, dixit : Consummatum est. Et inclinate capite tradidit Spiritum.


Judaei ergo (quoniam Parasceve erat), ut non remanerent in cruce corpora sabbato (erat enim magnus dies ille sabbati), rogaverunt Pilatum, ut frangerentur eorum crura et tollerentur. Venerunt ergo milites : et primi quidem fregerunt crura et alterius, qui crucifixus est cum Eo. Ad Jesum autem cum venissent, ut viderunt Eum jam mortuum, non fregerunt Ejus crura, sed unus militum lancea latus Ejus aperuit, et continuo exivit Sanguis et aqua.

Et qui vidit, testimonium perhibuit : et verum est testimonium ejus. Et ille scit, quia vera dicit : ut et vos credatis. Facta sunt enim haec, ut Scriptura impleretur. Os non comminuetis ex Eo. Et iterum alia Scriptura dicit : Videbunt in quem transfixerunt.

Post haec autem rogavit Pilatum Joseph ab Arimathaea (eo quod esset discipulus Jesu, occultus autem propter metum Judaeorum), ut tolleret Corpus Jesu. Et permisit Pilatus. Venit ergo et tulit Corpus Jesu. Venit autem et Nicodemus, qui venerat ad Jesum nocte primum, ferens mixturam myrrhae et aloes, quasi libras centum. Acceperunt ergo Corpus Jesu, et ligaverunt illud linteis cum aromatibus, sicut mos est Judaeis sepelire. Erat autem in loco, ubi crucifixus est, hortus : et in horto monumentum novum, in quo nondum quisquam positus erat. Ibi ergo propter Parasceven Judaeorum, quia juxta erat monumentum, posuerunt Jesum.

English translation

The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. John

At that time Jesus went forth with His disciples over the brook Cedron, where there was a garden, into which He entered with His disciples. And Judas also, who betrayed Him, knew the place, because Jesus had often resorted there together with His disciples. Judas therefore having received a band of soldiers and servants from the chief priests and the Pharisees, came there with lanterns and torches and weapons.

Jesus therefore, knowing that all things that should come upon Him, went forth and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered Him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am He.” And Judas also, who betrayed Him, stood with them. As soon therefore as He had said to them, “I am He.”, they went backward and fell to the ground. Again therefore He asked them, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus answered, “I have told you that I am He. If therefore you seek Me, let these go their way.” That the word might be fulfilled which He said, “Of those whom You have given me, I have not lost anyone.”

Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the servant of the High Priest and cut off his right ear. And the name of the servant was Malchus. Jesus therefore said to Peter, “Put up your sword in the scabbard. The chalice which My Father had given Me, shall I not drink it?” Then the band and the tribune and the servants of the Jews took Jesus, and bound Him. And they led Him away to Annas first, for he was father-in-law to Caiphas, who was the high priest that year.

Now Caiphas was he who had given the counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that One Man should die fo the people. And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. And that disciple was known to the High Priest and went in with Jesus into the court of the High Priest. But Peter stood at the door outside. The other disciple therefore, who was known to the High Priest, went out and spoke to the portress and brought in Peter. The maid therefore that was the portress said to Peter, “Are you not also one of this Man’s disciples?” He said, “I am not.” Now the servants and ministers stood at a fire of coals, because it was cold, and warmed themselves. And with them was Peter also, standing, and warming himself.

The High Priest therefore asked Jesus of His disciples and of His doctrine. Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in the synagogue and in the Temple, where all the Jews resort, and I have spoken nothing in secret. Why do you ask Me? Ask those who have heard what I have spoken unto them. Behold, they know what things I have said.” And when He had said these things, one of the servants, standing by, slapped Jesus, saying, “Is that how You answer the High Priest?” Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken evil, give testimony of the evil, but if well, why did you strike Me?”

And Annas sent Him bound to Caiphas the High Priest. And Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They said therefore to him, “Are you not also one of His disciples?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” One of the servants of the High Priest (a kinsman to the one whose ear Peter cut off) said to him, “Did I not see you in the garden with Him?” Again therefore Peter denied, and immediately, the cock crew.

They then led Jesus from Caiphas to the governor’s hall. And it was morning, and they did not go into the hall, that they might not be defiled, so that they could eat the Passover. Pilate therefore went out to them and said, “What accusation did you bring against this Man?” They answered and said to him, “If He were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered Him unto you.” Pilate therefore said to them, “Take Him yourself, and judge Him according to your law.” The Jews therefore said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put any man to death.” This is so that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled, which He said, signifying by what kind of death He should die.

Pilate therefore went into the hall again and called Jesus and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Did you say this thing of yourself, or have others told it to you of Me?” Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You up to me, what have You done?” Jesus answered, “My Kingdom is not of this world. If My Kingdom were of this world, My servants would certainly strive that I should not be delivered to the Jews, but now My Kingdom is not from hence.”

Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a King then?” Jesus answered, “You said I am a King. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, that I should give testimony of the truth. Every one that is of the truth hears My voice.” Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews and said to them, “I find no cause in Him. But you have a custom that I should release one unto you at the Passover. Will you, therefore, that I release unto you the King of the Jews?” Then they cried all again, saying, “Not this Man, but Barabbas.” Now Barabbas was a robber.

Then therefore Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him. And the soldiers put together a crown of thorns, putting it upon His head, and they put on Him a purple garment. And they came to Him and said, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and they slapped Him.

Pilate therefore went forth again and said to them, “Behold, I bring Him forth unto you, that you may know that I find no cause in Him. (Jesus therefore came forth, bearing the crown of thorns and the purple garment.) And he said to them, “Behold the Man!” When the chief priests, therefore, and the servants had seen Him, they cried out, saying, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Take Him yourself, and crucify Him, for I find no cause in Him.” The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to the law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God.” When Pilate, therefore, had heard this saying, he feared all the more.

And he entered into the hall again, and he said to Jesus, “Where did You come from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. Pilate therefore said to Him, “Do You not want to speak to Me? Do You know that I have the power to crucify You, and I have the power to release You?
” Jesus answered, “You should not have any power against Me, unless it were given to you from above. Therefore, he that had delivered Me to you had the greater sin.
” And from henceforth, Pilate sought to release Him. But the Jews cried out, saying, “If you release this Man, you are not the friend of Caesar. For whoever made Himself a King spoke against Caesar.” Now, when Pilate heard those words, he brought Jesus forth and sat down in the seat of judgment, in the place that is called Lithostrotos, and in Hebrew Gabbatha. And it was the eve of the Passover, about the sixth hour, and he said to the Jews, “Behold your King.” But they cried out, “Away with Him! Away with Him! Crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” Then therefore, he delivered Him to them to be crucified.

And they took Jesus and led Him forth. And bearing His cross, He went forth to that place which is called Calvary but in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified Him, and with Him two others, one on each side and Jesus in the middle of them.

And Pilate also wrote a title, and he put it upon the Cross. And the writing was, ‘Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.’ This title therefore was read by many of the Jews, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near to the city. And it was written in Hebrew, in Greek and in Latin. Then the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, the King of the Jews, but that He said, I am the King of the Jews.” Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.

The soldiers therefore, when they had crucified Him, took His garments (and they made four parts, to every soldier a part) and also His coat. Now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They then said to one another, “Let us not cut it, but let us cast lots for it, whose it shall be.” This is so that the Scripture may be fulfilled, which said, ‘They have parted My garments among them, and upon My vesture they have cast lots.’ And the soldiers indeed did these things.

Now there stood by the Cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore had seen His mother and the disciple standing whom He loved, He said to His mother,

“Woman, behold your son.” After that, He said to the disciple, “Behold your Mother.” And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own house.

Afterwards, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scriptures might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst.” Now there was a vessel set there, full of vinegar. And they, putting a sponge full of vinegar about a hyssop, put it to His mouth. Jesus therefore, when He had taken the vinegar, said, “It is consummated.” And bowing His head, He gave up the Spirit.


Then the Jews (because it was the eve of the Passover), that the bodies might not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath day (for that was a great Sabbath day), sought for Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. The soldiers therefore came, and they broke the legs of the first, and of the other that was crucified with Him. But after they came to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers with a spear opened His side, and immediately there came out Blood and water.

And he who saw it had given testimony, and his testimony is true. And he knew that what he said is true, that you may also believe. For these things were done that the Scripture might be fulfilled : ‘You shall not break a bone of Him.’ And again another Scripture said : ‘They shall look on Him Whom they pierced.’

And after these things, Joseph of Arimathea (because he was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews) sought for Pilate that he might take away the Body of Jesus. And Pilate gave him leave for that. He came therefore and took away the Body of Jesus. And Nicodemus also came (he who at the first came to Jesus by night), bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pound in weight. They took therefore the Body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths, with the spices, as the manner of how the Jews buried their dead. Now there was in the place where He was crucified a garden, and in the garden a new sepulchre, in which no man had yet been laid. There, therefore, because of the eve of the Jewish Passover, they laid Jesus, because the sepulchre was nigh at hand.

(Usus Antiquior) Good Friday, Solemn Afternoon Liturgy of the Passion and Death of Our Lord (Feria I Classis) – Friday, 7 April 2023 : Second Tract

Liturgical Colour : Black

Psalm 139 : 2-10, 14

Eripe me, Domine, ab homine malo : a viro iniquo libera me.

Verse : Qui cogitaverunt malitias in corde : tota die constituebant praelia.

Verse : Acuerunt linguas suas sicut serpentis : venenum aspidum sub labiis eorum.

Verse : Custodi me, Domine, de manu peccatoris : et ab hominibus iniquis libera me.

Verse : Qui cogitaverunt supplantare gressus meos : absconderunt superbi laqueum mihi.

Verse : Et funes extenderunt in laqueum pedibus meis : juxta iter scandalum posuerunt mihi.

Verse : Dixi Domino : Deus meus es tu : exaudi, Domine, vocem orationis meae.

Verse : Domine, Domine, virtus salutis meae : obumbra caput meum in die belli.

Verse : Ne tradas me a desiderio meo peccatori : cogitaverunt adversus me : ne derelinquas me, ne umquam exaltentur.

Verse : Caput circuitus eorum : labor labiorum ipsorum operiet eos.

Verse : Verumtamen justi confitebuntur Nomini Tuo : et habitabunt recti cum vultu Tuo.

English translation

Deliver me, o Lord, from the evil man, rescue me from the unjust man.

Verse : Who have devised iniquities in their heart, all the day long they designed battles.

Verse : They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent, the venom of asps is under their lips.

Verse : Keep me, o Lord, from the band of the wicked, and from unjust men deliver me.

Verse : Who have proposed to supplant my steps, the proud have hidden a net for me.

Verse : And they have stretched out cords for a snare for my feet, they have laid for me a stumbling block by the wayside.

Verse : I said to the Lord, ‘You are my God. Hear, o Lord, the voice of my supplication.’

Verse : O Lord, Lord, the strength of my salvation, overshadow my head in the day of battle.

Verse : Give me up not from my desire to the wicked, they have plotted against me. Do not forsake me, Lord, lest at any time they should triumph.

Verse : Their heads encompassing about me, the labour of their lips shall overwhelm them.

Verse : But the just shall give glory to Your Name, and the upright shall dwell with Your countenance.

(Usus Antiquior) Good Friday, Solemn Afternoon Liturgy of the Passion and Death of Our Lord (Feria I Classis) – Friday, 7 April 2023 : Second Lesson

Liturgical Colour : Black

Exodus 12 : 1-11

In diebus illis : Dixit Dominus ad Moysen et Aaron in terra Aegypti : Mensis iste vobis principium mensium primus erit in mensibus anni. Loquimini ad universum caetum filiorum Israel, et dicite eis : Decima die mensis hujus tollat unusquisque agnum per familias et domos suas. Sin autem minor est numerus, ut sufficere possit ad vescendum agnum, assumet vicinum suum, qui junctus est domui suae, juxta numerum animarum, quae sufficere possunt ad esum agni.

Erit autem agnus absque macula, masculus, anniculus : juxta quem ritum tolletis et haedum. Et servabitis eum usque ad quartam decimam diem mensis hujus : immolabitque eum universa multitudo filiorum Israel ad vesperam. Et sument de sanguine ejus, ac ponent super utrumque postem et in superliminaribus domorum, in quibus comendent illum. Et edent carnes nocte illa assas igni, et azymos panes cum lactucis agrestibus.

Non comedetis ex eo crudum quid nec coctum aqua, sed tantum assum igni : caput cum pedibus ejus et intestinis vorabitis. Nec remanebit quidquam ex eo usque mane. Si quid residuum fuerit, igne comburetis. Sic autem comedetis illum : Renes vestros accingetis, et calceamenta habebitis in pedibus, tenentes baculos in manibus, et comedetis festinanter : est enim Phase (id est transitus) Domini.

English translation

In those days, the Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be to you the beginning of months. It shall be the first in the months of the year. Speak to the whole assembly of the children of Israel, and say to them : On the tenth day of this month let every man take a lamb by their families and houses. But if the number is less than what is sufficient to eat the lamb, he shall take unto him his neighbour that is joined to his house, according to the number of souls which may be enough to eat the lamb.”

“And it shall be a lamb without blemish, a male, of one year, according to which rite you also will take a kid. And you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, and the whole multitude of the children of Israel shall sacrifice it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood thereof, and put it upon both the side posts, and on the upper door posts of the houses, in which they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh that night roasted in the fire, and unleavened bread with wild lettuce.”

“You shall not eat thereof anything raw, nor boiled in water, but only roasted at the fire. You shall eat the head with the feet and entrails thereof. Neither shall there remain anything of it until morning. If there be anything left, you shall burn it with fire. And thus you shall eat it, you shall gird your reins, and you shall have shoes on your feet, holding staves in your hands, and you shall eat in haste, for it is the Passover (that is, the Passage) of the Lord.”

(Usus Antiquior) Good Friday, Solemn Afternoon Liturgy of the Passion and Death of Our Lord (Feria I Classis) – Friday, 7 April 2023 : First Tract

Liturgical Colour : Black

Habakkuk 3

Domine, audivi auditum Tuum, et timui : consideravi opera Tua, et expavi.

Verse : In medio duorum animalium innotesceris : dum appropinquaverint anni, cognosceris : dum advenerit tempus, ostenderis.

Verse : In eo, dum conturbata fuerit anima mea : in ira, misericordiae memor eis.

Verse : Deus a Libano veniet, et Sanctus de monte umbroso et condenso.

Verse : Operuit caelos majestas Ejus : et laudis Ejus plena est terra.

English translation

O Lord, I have heard Your hearing and was afraid. I have considered Your works and trembled.

Verse : In the midst of two animals You shall be made known, when the years shall draw nigh, You shall be known. When the time shall come, You shall be manifested.

Verse : When my soul shall be in trouble, You will remember mercy, even in Your wrath.

Verse : God will come from Libanus, and the Holy One from the shady and thickly covered mountain.

Verse : His majesty covered the heavens, and the earth is full of His praise.

(Usus Antiquior) Good Friday, Solemn Afternoon Liturgy of the Passion and Death of Our Lord (Feria I Classis) – Friday, 7 April 2023 : First Lesson

Liturgical Colour : Black

Hosea 6 : 1-6

Haec dicit Dominus : In tribulatione sua mane consurgent ad me : Venite, et revertamur ad Dominum : quia ipse cepit, et sanabit nos : percutiet, et curabit nos. Vivificabit nos post duos dies : in die tertia suscitabit nos, et vivemus in conspectu Ejus. Sciemus, sequemurque, ut cognoscamus Dominum : quasi diluculum praeparatus est egressus Ejus, et veniet quasi imber nobis temporaneus, et serotinus terrae.

Quid faciam tibi Ephraim? Quid faciam tibi Juda? Misericordia vestra quasi nubes matutina, et quasi ros mane pertransiens. Propter hoc dolavi in prophetis, occidi eos in verbis oris Mei : et judicia tua quasi lux egredientur. Quia misericordiam volui, et non sacrificium, et scientiam Dei plus quam holocausta.

English translation

Thus says the Lord, “In their affliction, they will rise early to Me. Come, and let us return to the Lord, for He had taken us, and He will heal us. He will strike, and He will cure us. He will revive us after two days, and on the third day He will raise us up and we shall live in His sight. We shall know and we shall follow on, that we may know the Lord. His going forth is prepared as the morning light and He will come to us as the early and the latter rain to the earth.”

“What shall I do to you, o Ephraim? What shall I do to you, o Judah? Your mercy is as a morning cloud and as the dew that goes away in the morning. For this reason I have hewed them by the prophets, I have slain them by the words of My mouth, and your judgments shall go forth as the light. For I desired mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than holocausts.”

(Usus Antiquior) Good Friday, Solemn Afternoon Liturgy of the Passion and Death of Our Lord (Feria I Classis) – Friday, 7 April 2023 : Prayer after Prostration

Liturgical Colour : Black

Prayer after Prostration

Deus, qui peccati veteris hereditarium mortem, in qua posteritatis genus omne successerat, Christi Tui, Domini nostri, passione solvisti : da, ut, conformes eidem facti; sicut imaginem terrenae naturae necessitate portavimus, ita imaginem caelestis gratiae sanctificatione portemus. Per eumdem Christum Dominum nostrum, Filium Tuum, Qui Tecum vivis et regnas in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

O God, by the Passion of Christ Your Son, our Lord, You have banished the inheritance of death due to original sin, which had fallen on all posterity. Grant, that by being made alike to Him, as of necessity we bear the likeness of our human nature, so by being made holy, we may manifest the likeness of heavenly grace. Through the same Christ our Lord, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

Friday, 7 April 2023 : Good Friday of the Passion of the Lord (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

John 18 : 1 – John 19 : 42

At that time, when Jesus had finished speaking, He went with His disciples to the other side of the Kidron Valley. There was a garden there, which Jesus entered with His disciples. Now Judas, who betrayed Him, knew the place, since Jesus had often met there with His disciples. So Judas took soldiers and some servants from the chief priests and Pharisees, and they went to the garden with lanterns, torches and weapons.

Jesus knew all that was going to happen to Him; He stepped forward and asked, “Who are you looking for?” They answered, “Jesus the Nazarene.” Jesus said, “I am He.” Judas, who betrayed Him, stood there with them. When Jesus said, “I am He,” they moved back and fell to the ground. He then asked a second time, “Who are you looking for?” and they answered, “Jesus the Nazarene.” Jesus replied, “I told you that I am He. If you are looking for Me, let these others go.” So what Jesus had said came true : “I have not lost one of those you gave Me.”

Simon Peter had a sword; he drew it and struck Malchus, the High Priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. But Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup which the Father has given Me?”

The guards and the soldiers, with their commander, seized Jesus and bound Him; and they took Him first to Annas. Annas was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was the High Priest that year; and it was Caiaphas who had told the Jews, “It is better that one Man should die for the people.”

Simon Peter with another disciple followed Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the High Priest, they let him enter the courtyard of the High Priest along with Jesus, but Peter had to stay outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the High Priest, went out and spoke to the maidservant at the gate and brought Peter in.

Then this maidservant on duty at the door said to Peter, “So you also are one of His disciples?” But he answered, “I am not.” Now the servants and the guards had made a charcoal fire and were standing and warming themselves, because it was cold. Peter was also with them warming himself.

The High Priest questioned Jesus about His disciples and His teaching. Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in places where the Jews meet together, either at the assemblies in synagogues or in the Temple. I did not teach secretly. Why then do you question Me? Ask those who heard Me, they know what I said.”

At this reply one of the guards standing there gave Jesus a blow on the face, saying, “Is that the way to answer the High Priest?” Jesus said to him, “If I have spoken wrongly, point it out; but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike Me?” Then Annas sent Him, bound, to Caiaphas, the High Priest.

Now Simon Peter stood there warming himself. They said to him, “Surely you also are one of His disciples.” He denied it, and answered, “I am not.” One of the High Priest’s servants, a kinsman of the one whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you with Him in the garden?” Again Peter denied it, and at once the cock crowed.

Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the headquarters of the Roman governor. It was now morning. The Jews did not go inside, lest they be made unclean by entering the house of a pagan, and therefore not allowed to eat the Passover meal. So Pilate came out and asked, “What charge do you bring against this Man?”

They answered, “If He were not a criminal, we would not be handing Him over to you.” Pilate said, “Take Him yourselves and judge Him according to your own law.” But they replied, “We ourselves are not allowed to put anyone to death.” It was clear from this what kind of death Jesus was to die, according to what Jesus Himself had foretold.

Pilate then entered the court again, called Jesus and asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus replied, “Does this word come from you, or did you hear it from others?” Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed You over to me. What have You done?”

Jesus answered, “My kingship does not come from this world. If I were a King, like those of this world, My guards would have fought to save Me from being handed over to the Jews. But My Kingship is not of this world.” Pilate asked Him, “So You are a King?” And Jesus answered, “Just as you say, I am a King. For this I was born and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is on the side of truth hears My voice.” Pilate said, “What is truth?”

Pilate then went out to the Jews again and said, “I find no crime in this Man. Now, according to custom, I must release a prisoner to you at the Passover. With your agreement I will release to you the King of the Jews.” But they insisted and cried out, “Not this Man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.”

Then Pilate had Jesus taken away and scourged. The soldiers also twisted thorns into a crown and put it on His head. They threw a cloak of royal purple around His shoulders; and they began coming up to Him and saluting Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck Him on the face.

Pilate went outside yet another time and said to the Jews, “Look, I am bringing Him out, and I want you to know that I find no crime in Him.” Jesus then came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak and Pilate pointed to Him, saying, “Here is the Man!”

On seeing Him the chief priests and the guards cried out, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” Pilate replied, “Take Him yourselves and have Him crucified, for I find no case against Him.” The Jews then said, “We have a Law, and according to the Law this Man must die because He made Himself Son of God.”

When Pilate heard this he was more afraid. And coming back into the court he asked Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. Then Pilate said to Him, “You will not speak to me? Do You not know that I have power to release You, just as I have power to crucify You?”

Jesus replied, “You would have no power over Me unless it had been given you from above; therefore the one who handed Me over to you is more guilty.” From that moment Pilate tried to release Him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who makes Himself a King is defying Caesar.”

When Pilate heard this, he had Jesus brought outside to the place called the Stone Floor – in Hebrew Gabbatha – and sat down in the judgment seat. It was the day of preparation for the Passover, about noon. Pilate said to the Jews, “Here is your King!” But they cried out, “Away! Take Him away! Crucify Him!” Pilate replied, “Shall I crucify your King?” And the chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!”

Then Pilate handed Jesus over to them to be crucified. They took charge of Him. Bearing His own cross, Jesus went out of the city to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew Golgotha. There He was crucified, and with Him two others, one on either side, and Jesus in the middle.

Pilate had a notice written and fastened to the cross, which read : Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews. Many Jewish people saw this title, because the place where Jesus was crucified was very close to the city; and the title was written in Hebrew, Latin and Greek. The chief priests said to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews’; but, ‘This Man claimed to be King of the Jews.'” Pilate answered them, “What I have written, I have written.”

When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took His clothes and divided them into four parts, one part for each of them. But as the tunic was woven in one piece from top to bottom, they said, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots to decide who will get it.” This fulfilled the words of Scripture : They divided My clothing among them; they cast lots for My garment. This was what the soldiers did.

Near the cross of Jesus stood His mother, His mother’s sister Mary, who was the wife of Cleophas, and Mary of Magdala, when Jesus saw the mother, and the disciple whom He loved, He said to the mother, “Woman, this is your son.” Then He said to the disciple, “There is your mother.” And from that moment the disciple took her to his own home.

Jesus knew all was now finished and, in order to fulfil what was written in Scripture, He said, “I am thirsty.” A jar full of bitter wine stood there; so, putting a sponge soaked in the wine on a twig of hyssop, they raised it to His lips. Jesus took the wine and said, “It is accomplished.” Then He bowed His head and gave up the Spirit.

As it was Preparation Day, the Jews did not want the bodies to remain on the cross during the Sabbath, for this Sabbath was a very solemn day. They asked Pilate to have the legs of the condemned men broken, so that the bodies might be taken away. The soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man and of the other man, who had been crucified with Jesus.

When they came to Jesus, they saw that He was already dead, so they did not break His legs. One of the soldiers, however, pierced His side with a lance, and immediately there came out Blood and water. The one who saw it, has testified to it, and his testimony is true; he knows he speaks the truth, so that you also might believe. All this happened to fulfil the words of Scripture : Not one of His bones shall be broken. Another text says : They shall look on Him Whom they have pierced.

After this, Joseph of Arimathea approached Pilate, for he was a disciple of Jesus, though secretly, for fear of the Jews. And he asked Pilate to let him remove the Body of Jesus. Pilate agreed, so he came and took away the Body. Nicodemus, the man who at first had come to Jesus by night, also came and brought a jar of myrrh mixed with aloes, about a hundred pounds. They took the Body of Jesus and wrapped it in linen cloths with the spices, following the burial customs of the Jews.

There was a garden in the place where Jesus had been crucified, and, in the garden, a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. And therefore, because the sepulchre was nearby, and the Jewish day of preparation was coming to a close, they placed the Body of Jesus there.

Friday, 7 April 2023 : Good Friday of the Passion of the Lord (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Hebrews 4 : 14-16 and Hebrews 5 : 7-9

We have a great High Priest, Jesus, the Son of God, Who has entered heaven. Let us, then, hold fast to the faith we profess. Our High Priest is not indifferent to our weaknesses, for He was tempted in every way just as we are, yet without sinning. Let us, then, with confidence approach the throne of grace; we will obtain mercy and, through His favour, help in due time.

Christ, in the days of His mortal life, offered His sacrifice with tears and cries. He prayed to Him Who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His humble submission. Although He was Son, He learnt through suffering what obedience was, and once made perfect, He became the Source of eternal salvation for those who obey Him.

Friday, 7 April 2023 : Good Friday of the Passion of the Lord (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Psalm 30 : 2 and 6, 12-13, 15-16, 17 and 25

In You, o Lord, I take refuge, may I never be disgraced; deliver Me in Your justice. Into Your hands I commend My Spirit; You have redeemed Me, o Lord, faithful God.

I have become an object of reproach for My foes, a horror for My neighbours, a fear to My friends. Those who see Me in the streets flee from Me. I am like the dead, unremembered; I have become like a broken pot, thrown away, discarded.

But I put My trust in You, o Lord, I said : “You are My God;” My days are in Your hand. Deliver Me from the hand of My enemies, from those after My skin.

Make Your face shine upon Your servant; save Me in Your love. Be strong and take courage, all you who hope in the Lord.