Thursday, 21 April 2016

Imperial Sunday - "Honour Caesar, the Emperor" says St Peter, the first Pope [1 Pet 2:17]



Imperial Sunday
the 3rd Sunday after Easter

St Peter commands us:

"Honour Caesar, the Roman Emperor..."
(1 Pet 2:17)
 
The double-headed Eagle
was the emblem and Arms of the Holy Roman Empire
signifying the Eagle of Rome looking both East and West across the whole world


  
The Epistle for the 3rd Sunday after Easter renders it fitting to call it "Imperial Sunday" in memory of the teaching of the first Pope, St Peter, in his first Encyclical Letter to the Faithful commanding us to honour the Roman Caesar.

Here it is:


[13] Subjecti igitur estote omni humanae creaturae propter Deum: sive regi quasi praecellenti: [14] sive ducibus tamquam ab eo missis ad vindictam malefactorum, laudem vero bonorum: [15] quia sic est voluntas Dei, ut benefacientes obmutescere faciatis imprudentium hominum ignorantiam: [16] quasi liberi, et non quasi velamen habentes malitiae libertatem, sed sicut servi Dei. [17] Omnes honorate: fraternitatem diligite: Deum timete: regem honorificate. [18] Servi, subditi estote in omni timore dominis, non tantum bonis et modestis, sed etiam dyscolis. [19] Haec est enim gratia, si propter Dei conscientiam sustinet qui tristitias, patiens injuste.

[13] Be ye subject therefore to every human creature for God' s sake: whether it be to the king [i.e. the Roman Emperor or, in Greek, Basileus] as excelling; [14] Or to dukes as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of the good: [15] For so is the will of God, that by doing well you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: [16] As free, and not as making liberty a cloak for malice, but as the servants of God. [17] Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king [i.e. Caesar, the Emperor]. [18] Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. [19] For this is thankworthy, if for conscience towards God, a man endure sorrows, suffering wrongfully.


At that time, the Roman Emperor was still pagan but, nonetheless, St Peter commanded us to honour and obey him, in all things but sin, as the lay vicegerent of God.

So much the more, then, should we honour and obey the Roman Emperor when he became Christian, as the Emperor Theodosius did, following the conversion of the Emperor Constantine.


in hoc signo vinces
The Roman Caesar Augustus and Emperor Constantine the Great
sees a vision of the Holy Cross in the sky with the words "in this conquer"
before his victory in the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, Rome


The Roman Emperor and Caesar Augustus Constantine I the Great saw a vision of the Chi-Rho symbol of Christ and the words, in Greek, Εν τουτο νικα (pronounced: "en touto nika") - usually rendered in Latin since then as IN HOC SIGNO VINCES ("in this sign conquer"), before his great victory at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge just outside Rome.

Not long after he liberated Christianity throughout the Empire, later himself becoming a Christian.

Although Christianity was not made the religion of the Roman Empire until the next emperor, Theodosius, nevertheless winning this battle, seemingly by divine inspiration, caused Constantine to defend, and later to convert to, Christianity.

So this victory is said to mark the beginning of the nearly two thousand years of the Christian and Catholic Roman Empire.



The Roman Emperor Charlemagne
who restored the Christian Roman Empire to the West in 800AD


The tail end of the Romand Catholic Empire came, first, at the disaster of the French Revolution, with the threats of the Arch-heretical Anti-Emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, and then, later, with the Protestant Anti-Emperor of Germany, and, finally, at the fall of the Austrian Empire in 1918, in World War I, when the last successor of Caesar Augustus, the Blessed Emperor Charles of Austria, was forced off his throne despite trying throughout his reign to stop the bloody and futile First World War.


The Blessed Emperor Charles of Austria
was the last ruler of the successor to the Holy Roman Empire, spent his short reign dedicated to peace and stopping the First World War and suffered so much for this that he died at the early age of only 34 in exile in Madeira


Since the earliest of times, until the impious destruction of the liturgy by the offensively impious Monsignor (later Archbishop) Annibale Bugnini, the Christian Faithful have prayed, in the public liturgy of the Church, for the Catholic Roman Emperor.

Here are the sublime prayers for the Emperor that were a familiar feature (until removed in 1955 by Mgr Bugnini) of the Easter Triduum, the oldest known liturgy in the entire Christian Church.

On Good Friday, during the Great Intercessions:

Oremus et pro Christianissimo imperatore nostro [Nomen] ut Deus et Dominus noster subditas illi faciat omnes barbaras nationes ad nostram perpetuam pacem…. 

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, in cujus manu sunt omnium potestates, et omnium jura regnorum: respice ad Romanum benignus imperium; ut gentes, quae in sua feritate confidunt, potentiae tuae dexterae comprimantur. Per Dominum. 

“Let us pray also for the most Christian Emperor [Name] that the Lord God may reduce to his obedience all barbarous nations for our perpetual peace…. 

O almighty and eternal God, in whose hands are all the power and right of kingdoms, graciously look down on the Roman Empire that those nations who confide in their own haughtiness and strength, may be reduced by the power of Thy right hand. Through the same Lord…”

 
At the Easter Vigil, in the Exsultet, directly after the prayers for the Pope (the lamps are lit from the Paschal fire halfway through the Exsultet to signify the Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ):
 
Respice etiam ad devotissimum imperatorem nostrum (Nomen) cujus tu, Deus, desiderii vota praenoscens, ineffabili pietatis et misericordiae tuae munere, tranquillum perpetuae pacis accommoda, et coelestem victoriam cum omni populo suo.
 
"Regard also our most devout Emperor [Name] and since Thou knowest, O God, the desires of his heart, grant by the ineffable grace of Thy goodness and mercy, that he may enjoy with all his people the tranquillity of perpetual peace and heavenly victory."

In the Roman missal there was also always a Mass Pro Imperatore for the Roman Emperor with the following prayers:

"O God, who prepared the Roman Empire for the preaching of the Gospel of the eternal King, extend to Thy servant, our Emperor, the armoury of heaven, so that the peace of the churches may remain undisturbed by the storms of war. Through Christ our Lord. Amen."

This was used also at the Coronation of an emperor, when the Emperor-elect was anointed by the Cardinal-bishop of Ostia, given the sword and orb by the Pope, ordained by him a Sub-deacon (from the time of Emperor Charles V, a Deacon) and then crowned Caesar semper Augustus, Romanorum Imperator with the sacred crown of Charlemagne, after which, as Deacon, he served the papal mass.



Emperor St Henry II
Holy Roman Emperor (1014-1024)
was born in 973 and died in 1024. He was the last member of the Ottonian dynasty of emperors as he had no children. Duke of Bavaria from 995, King of Germany and of the Romans (Rex Romanorum or Emperor-elect) from 1002, crowned King of Italy in 1004, he was crowned by the Pope as Caesar Semper Augustus and Imperator Romanorum or Holy Roman Emperor on 14 February 1014 in old St Peter's Basilica. He married Princess Cunigunde of Luxemburg and, after his death, the Prince-electors of the Empire elected Conrad II to succeed him, as the first of the Salic dynasty of emperors.

 
 

 All ye holy Roman and Catholic Emperors and Empresses,
pray for us!
 
 
 
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Good Shepherd Sunday - Ego sum Pastor Bonus...


Ego sum Pastor bonus, allelúja: et cognósco oves Meas, et cognóscunt Me Meæ. Allelúja, allelúja.

I am the good Shepherd, alleluia: and I know My sheep, and Mine know Me, alleluia, alleluia.

The Gospel is from John 10: 11-16:

In illo témpore: Dixit Jesus Pharisæis: "Ego sum Pastor bonus. Bonus pastor ánimam suam dat pro óvibus. Mercenárius autem et qui non est pastor, cujus non sunt oves própriæ, videt lupum veniéntem, et dimíttit oves, et fugit: et lupus rapit et dispérgit oves: mercenárius autem fugit, quia mercenárius est, et non pértinet ad eum de óvibus. Ego sum Pastor bonus: et cognósco oves meas, et cognóscunt me meæ. Sicut novit me Pater, et ego agnósco Patrem: et ánimam meam pono pro óvibus meis. Et alias oves hábeo, qum non sunt ex hoc ovíli: et illas opórtet me addúcere, et vocem meam áudient, et fiat unum ovíile, et unus pastor."

At that time Jesus said to the Pharisees: "I am the good Shepherd. The good Shepherd giveth his life for his sheep. But the hireling, and he that is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming and leaveth the sheep and flieth: and the wolf catcheth and scattereth the sheep: and the hireling flieth, because he is a hireling, and he hath no care for the sheep. I am the good Shepherd: and I know Mine, and Mine know Me, as the Father knoweth Me, and I know the Father: and I lay down My life for My sheep. And other sheep I have that are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd."


Take note all pastors and bishops and be not hirelings but true shepherds.

We should also note that our Lord says He has sheep that are "not of this fold" who shall hear His voice - perhaps better than those who are currently of His Flock - and they shall become part of the Flock, too.

This should teach us to be humble and not to presume or become complacent. Some who are not currently of the Flock may be judged better than us to sit amongst the saints in Heaven.

Let us pray for them, also, and remember that the Catholic Church is for all, including those who are not yet members. It is not a convenient little club only for cradle Catholics.

God chose the Israelites but all but a few later rejected Him and he transferred His favour to the Gentiles who converted to Him and loved Him better than many of His own chosen people.



 
Lord Jesus, Good Shepherd of us, your flock, have mercy on us and protect us!


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Monday, 4 April 2016

Quasimodo Sunday - (Feast of Divine Mercy on Low Sunday) - "As newborn babes desire the rational milk without guile..."


Dominica in Albis Deponendis

(Sunday when the newly baptised finally put off their white garments of Easter)

also called

Quasimodo Sunday

or

Low Sunday
 
or

Close-Pasch

and

the Feast of Divine Mercy





"Quasimodo geniti infantes, alleluia, rationabile sine dolo lac concupiscite.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia."

"As newborn babes, alleluia, desire the rational milk without guile. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia" 
[1 Peter 2:2; Introit for the Mass of Low Sunday]

"Deinde dicit Thomae: infer digitum tuum huc et vide manus meas, et affer manum tuam et mitte in latus meum et noli esse incredulus sed fidelis.
Respondit Thomas et dixit ei: Dominus meus et Deus meus!"
 
"Then He said to Thomas 'Put in thy fingers hither and see my hands and bring hither thy hand and put it into my side and be not faithless but believing'. Thomas answered and said to him 'My Lord and my God!' " 
[John 20:27-28; Gospel of Low Sunday]
 

Caravaggio. Doubting Thomas. 1602-1603.

"Dearly beloved, laying away all malice and all guile and dissimulations and envies and all detractions as new-born babes desire the rational milk without guile, that thereby you may grow unto salvation, if so be you have tasted that the Lord is sweet...for you are a chosen race, a kingly priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people that you may declare His virtues who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light."
[1 Peter 2:2-3, 9]

"Now when it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them: Peace be to you. And when he had said this, he shewed them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord. He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. Now Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him: We have seen the Lord. But he said to them: Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus cometh, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said: Peace be to you. Then he saith to Thomas: Put in thy finger hither, and see my hands; and bring hither thy hand, and put it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing. Thomas answered, and said to him: My Lord, and my God. Jesus saith to him: Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed."
[John 20:19-29]

"In the Old Covenant I sent prophets wielding thunderbolts to My people. Today I am sending you with My mercy to the people of the whole world. I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to My Merciful Heart. (1588)

It's a sign for the end times; after it will come the day of justice. While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fount of My mercy; let them profit from the Blood and Water which gushed forth for them. (848)

Before I come as a just Judge, I first open wide the doors of My mercy. He who refuses to pass through the doors of My mercy must pass through the doors of My justice... (1146)"

[Diary of Divine Mercy, Revelation of our Lord to St Maria Faustina (Kowalska) of the Blessed Sacrament]


St Faustina Kowalska, messenger of Divine Mercy
  
"Sanctus Deus, Sanctus Fortis, Sanctus Immortalis, miserere nobis" [Latin]
"Hagios Theos, hagios ischyros, hagios athanatos, eleison imas" [Greek]
"Elohim hakadosh, Elohim hakol yakhol, rakhem aleinu, veal kol haolam" [Hebrew]

"Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us"

[The ancient prayer of the Trisagion from the Improperia or "Reproaches" of the Good Friday liturgy in Latin, Greek, Aramaic and English, dating back to at least the 5th century. They form part of the Divine Mercy prayers requested of St Faustina by our Lord.]


"Feed my sheep".
Rafaello Sanzio. The gift of the keys to Peter.

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Sunday, 27 March 2016

EASTER SUNDAY - "I have seen the Lord!


Happy Easter to all!

Christus surrexit,
sicut dixit,
alleluia!

Christ is risen
as he said!
Alleluia!



Correggio. Noli me tangere. 1525

 
"When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome, bought spices so that they might come and anoint Jesus...and on a sabbath morning they came to the sepulchre after sunrise...and looking up they saw that the stone was rolled back. Alleluia!"
[Taverner, Dum transisset sabbatum from Mark 16, sung at the Easter Vigil mass of Holy Saturday night]

"The Angels said to her 'Woman, why are you weeping?'. She said to them 'Because they have taken away my Lord and I do not know where they have laid Him'. Saying this she turned round and saw Jesus standing but she did not know that it was Jesus. Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him 'Sir, if you have carried Him away tell me where you have laid Him and I will take Him away'. And Jesus said to her 'Mary'. She turned and said to Him in Hebrew 'Rabboni!'".
[John 20]
 
"She went and said to the Disciples 'I have seen the Lord!' "[John 20.18]


 
John Taverner (1490-1545). Dum Transisset Sabbatum. Sung by the Tallis Scholars.

 
Dum transisset Sabbatum,
Maria Magdalene et Maria Jacobi et Salome
emerunt aromata ut venientes ungerent Jesum.
Alleluia.
Et valde mane una sabbatorum veniunt ad monumentum orto iam sole ut venientes ungerent Jesum.
Alleluia.
Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto.
Alleluia.

And when the Sabbath was past,
Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome
had brought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
Alleluia.
And very early in the morning, the first day of the week,
they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun that they might come and anoint him.
Alleluia.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
Alleluia.
 
[Dum Transisset Sabbatum - taken from the Gospel of St Mark, Ch16]



Carl Heinrich Bloch. The Resurrection. 1881.

Victimae paschali laudes
immolent Christiani
Agnus redemit oves:
Christus innocens Patri
Reconciliavit peccatores.
Mors et vita duello conflixere mirando,
Dux vitae mortuus, regnat vivus.
Dic nobis Maria, quid vidisti in via?
Sepulcrum Christi viventis,
Et gloriam vidi resurgentis:
Angelicos testes, sudarium et vestes.
Surrexit Christus spes mea:
Praecedet vos in Galilaeam.
Credendum est magis soli
Mariae veraci
Quam Judaeorum
Turbae fallaci.
Scimus Christum surrexisse
a mortuis vere:
Tu nobis, victor Rex, miserere.
Amen. Alleluia.

 
[Wipo of Burgundy, Victimi Paschali Laudes. 1040. Sung on Easter Sunday]
 

Surrexit Christus hodie! Alleluia!

Christ is risen today! Alleluia!
 
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Saturday, 26 March 2016

HOLY SATURDAY - "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, be converted unto the Lord thy God!"


When the Lord was buried...
 



"Remember, Lord, what is come upon us: consider and behold our reproach. Our inheritance is turned unto aliens, our houses to strangers. We are become orphans without a father, our mothers are as widows...our fathers have sinned and are no more and we have borne their iniquities.
[Tenebrae (Matins) of Holy Saturday, prayer of the prophet Jeremiah]

"I am counted among them that go down to the pit. I am become like a man without help free among the dead."
[Responsory, Tenebrae (Matins) of Holy Saturday]

"For when every commandment of the Law had been read by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of goats and calves and of goats with water and scarlet wool and hyssop and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people saying, this is the blood of the Testament which God hath enjoined upon you. The tabernacle also and all the vessels of the ministry in like manner he sprinkled with blood. And almost all things according to the Law are cleansed with blood and without shedding of blood there is no remission."
[Heb. ix.]

"When the Lord was buried they sealed the sepulchre rolling a stone before the mouth of the sepulchre and placed soldiers to guard Him."
[Responsory, Tenebrae (Matins) of Holy Saturday]

"O death I will be thy death! O hell, I will be thy bite!"
[Antiphon of the Miserere, Tenebrae (Lauds) of Holy Saturday]





Jerusalem, Jerusalem, convertere ad Deum tuum

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, be converted unto the Lord thy God!

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...

GOOD FRIDAY - "O my people! What have I done to thee? Wherein have I offended thee? Answer me!"



Good Friday


Quid ultra debui facere tibi, et non feci? Ego quidem plantavi te vineam meam speciosissimam: et tu facta es mihi nimis amara: aceto namque sitim meam potasti: et lancea perforasti latus Salvatori tuo.

Ego dedi tibi sceptrum regale: et tu dedisti capiti meo spineam coronam.

Popule meus, quid feci tibi? Aut in quo contristavi te? Responde mihi!



"What more ought I to have done for thee, that I have not done? I planted thee, indeed, My most beautiful vineyard and thou hast become exceeding bitter to Me, for in My thirst thou gavest Me vinegar to drink and with a lance thou pierced the side of thy Saviour!

I gave thee a royal sceptre and thou didst give My head a crown of thorns…

O my people! What have I done to thee? Wherein have I offended thee? Answer me!"


Titian. Christ Crowned with Thorns. 1540.

"For he hath taken us and he will heal us: he will strike and he will cure us. He will revive after two days: 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 know the Lord...for I desired mercy and not animal sacrifice and the knowledge of God more than holocausts."
[Hosea 6, First lesson sung at the Good Friday Service of the Mass of the Pre-sanctified]

"He had no form or comeliness that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the whole chastisement that made us whole and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter and like a sheep that is dumb before its shearers, he opened not his mouth."
[Isaiah 53, Epistle for Wednesday in Holy Week]


Titian. Ecce Homo. 1560.

"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 ‘Art Thou a King then?’ Jesus answered ‘Thou sayest that 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. Everyone that is of the truth heareth My voice…

…Then therefore Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him and the soldiers plaiting a Crown of Thorns, put it upon His head and they put upon Him a purple mantle and they came to Him and said ‘Hail King of the Jews!’ and they gave Him blows."
[John 18]

Regnavit a ligno Deus.
"God hath reigned from a tree."
[From Vexilla Regis, St Venantius Fortunatus, sung during the Good Friday Service of the Passion]

"What more ought I to have done for thee, that I have not done? I planted thee, indeed, My most beautiful vineyard and thou hast become exceeding bitter to Me, for in My thirst thou gavest Me vinegar to drink and with a lance thou pierced the side of thy Saviour!
… For thy sake I scourged Egypt with its first-born and thou didst deliver Me up to be scourged…
… I gave thee a royal sceptre and thou didst give My head a crown of thorns…
… I exalted thee with great strength and thou didst hang Me on the gibbet of the Cross…
O my people! What have I done to thee? Wherein have I offended thee? Answer me!"
[Improperia or Reproaches of Christ to His people and to us all, from the Good Friday Service of the Passion]

O vos omnes, qui transitis per viam, attendite et videte si est dolor sicut dolor meus.
"O all ye that pass by the way, attend and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow."
[Lamentations of Jeremiah, sung at Tenebrae (Matins and Lauds) on Maundy Thursday]
 

Diego Velázquez. Christ Crucified. c. 1632.
 
"And they took Jesus and led Him forth. And bearing His cross, He went forth to that place that is called Calvary but in Hebrew Golgotha, where they crucified Him and with Him two others, one on each side and Jesus in the midst. And Pilate wrote a title also and he put it upon the Cross and the writing was ‘Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews’… and it was written in Hebrew, in Greek, and in Latin."
[John 18]
 
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...

MAUNDY THURSDAY - the Feast of Divine Charity...


Maundy Thursday

Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos, dicit Dominus.

"A new commandment I give you that you love one another as I have loved you, saith the Lord."

Pascal Dagnan-Bouveret. The Last Supper. 1896.
 
"And 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...on the tenth day of this month let every man take a lamb by their families and houses... and it shall be a lamb WITHOUT BLEMISH, a male, of one year...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 wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh that night roasted at the fire and unleavened bread with wild lettuce... neither shall there remain any thing of it until morning. If there be anything left you shall burn it with fire. And thus shall you 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 Phase (that is the Passage) of the Lord... And I shall see the blood and shall pass over you...and this day shall be for a memorial to you and you shall keep it a feast to the Lord in your generations with an everlasting observance'... And Moses said... 'Thou shalt keep this thing as a law for thee and thy children forever...and when your children shall say to you "What is the meaning of this service" you shall say to them "It is the victim of the passage of the Lord when He passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, striking the Egyptians and saving our houses..."
[Exod 12]


The Paschal lamb without blemish is tied and led to slaughter
Scripture fittingly depicts the Christ as an innocent lamb led to the slaughter - the innocent "Lamb of God" sacrificed for the wicked sins of ungrateful and rebellious men, going dumb, innocent and in silence to torture and death at the hands of sinful men
.


"Now the feast of the unleavened bread which is called the Pasch was at hand...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 taking bread He gave thanks, and brake and gave them saying 'This is my body which is given up for 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 in my blood, which shall be shed for you'.
[Luke 22]

"On the night of that last supper,
Seated with His chosen band,
He the paschal victim eating,
First fulfils the Law's command.
Then as food to all His brethren
Gives Himself with His own hand"
[Pange lingua gloriosi, sung at the Maundy Mass]

"Before the festival day of the Pasch, Jesus knowing that His hour was come...having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them unto the end. And when supper was ended... He riseth from supper and..having taken a towel, girded Himself. After that, He putteth water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded...Then after He had washed their feet and taken His garments, being set down again, He said to them 'Know you what I have done to you? You call me Master and Lord. And you say well; for so I am. If then I being your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet."
[John 13]
 
Dirk van Baburen. Christ washing the Disciples' feet. 1616.


Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos, dicit Dominus.

"A new commandment I give you that you love one another as I have loved you, saith the Lord."

[John 13:34, sung at the Maundy Mass]

Ubi caritas et amor ubi Deus est. Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor. Exultemus et in ipso jucundemur. Timeamus et amemus Deum vivum. Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero.

"Where charity and love are there is God. The love of Christ has gathered us together. Let us rejoice in Him and be glad. Let us fear and love the living God and let us love one another with a sincere heart."
[John 2:3-4, sung at the Maundy Mass]

"And going out He went, according to His custom, to the Mount of Olives and His disciples also followed Him... and kneeling down He prayed saying 'Father, if Thou wilt, remove this chalice from me but not yet my will but Thine be done'...And He being in agony, He prayed the longer and His sweat became as drops of blood trickling down upon the ground."
[Luke 22:39-44]

ALEPH: Quomodo sedet sola civitas, plena populo, facta es quasi vidua; domina gentium, princeps provinicarum, facta est sub tributo.

ALEPH: How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! How is she become as a widow! She that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary!

[Lamentations of Jeremiah 1:1, the beginning of Tenebrae (Matins & Lau) for Maundy Thursday]


"How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! How is she become as a widow!"Gustave Doré. Lamentations.1866.
 

Una hora non potuistis vigilare mecum, qui exhortabamini mori pro me?
Vel Judam non videtis quomodo non dormit, sed festinat tradere me Judaeis?
Quid dormitis? Surgite et orate, ne intretis in tentationem.
Vel Judam non videtis quomodo non dormit, sed festinat tradere me Judaeis

"Could you not watch one hour with me,
After exhorting one another to die for Me?
Or do you not see Judas?
He is not sleeping,
but is hurrying to betray me.
Why do you sleep?
Rise and pray,
that you may not enter into temptation!"

[Maundy Thursday Matins (Tenebrae), Lesson viii Response]





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Bartolome Esteban Murillo (1617-82). Christ in the Garden of Olives.

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