Universalis
Friday 18 April 2014    (other days)
Good Friday

Office of Readings

If this is the first Hour that you are reciting today, you should precede it with the Invitatory Psalm.


INTRODUCTION
O God, come to our aid.
  O Lord, make haste to help us.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.

Hymn
Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle,
sing the last, the dread affray;
o’er the cross, the victor’s trophy,
sound the high triumphal lay,
how, the pains of death enduring,
earth’s Redeemer won the day.
When at length the appointed fulness
of the sacred time was come,
he was sent, the world’s Creator,
from the Father’s heavenly home,
and was found in human fashion,
offspring of the virgin’s womb.
Now the thirty years are ended
which on earth he willed to see.
Willingly he meets his passion,
born to set his people free:
on the cross the Lamb is lifted,
there the sacrifice to be.
There the nails and spear he suffers,
vinegar and gall and reed.
From his sacred body piercèd
blood and water both proceed:
precious flood, which all creation
from the stain of sin hath freed.
Faithful Cross, above all other,
one and only noble Tree.
none in foliage, none in blossom,
none in fruit thy peer may be.
Sweet the wood and sweet the iron,
and thy load, most sweet is he.
Bend, O lofty Tree, thy branches,
thy too rigid sinews bend;
and awhile the stubborn harshness,
which thy birth bestowed, suspend;
and the limbs of heaven’s high Monarch
gently on thine arms extend.
Thou alone wast counted worthy
this world’s ransom to sustain,
that a shipwrecked race for ever
might a port of refuge gain,
with the sacred Blood anointed
of the Lamb for sinners slain.
Praise and honour to the Father,
praise and honour to the Son,
praise and honour to the Spirit,
ever Three and ever One:
One in might and One in glory,
while eternal ages run.

Psalm 2
The Messiah, king and victor
They arise, the kings of the earth; princes plot against the Lord and his anointed.
Why are the nations in a ferment?
  Why do the people make their vain plans?
The kings of the earth have risen up;
  the leaders have united against the Lord,
  against his anointed.
“Let us break their chains, that bind us;
  let us throw off their yoke from our shoulders!”
The Lord laughs at them,
  he who lives in the heavens derides them.
Then he speaks to them in his anger;
  in his fury he throws them into confusion:
“But I – I have set up my king on Zion,
my holy mountain.”
I will proclaim the Lord’s decrees.
The Lord has said to me: “You are my son: today I have begotten you.
  Ask me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance,
  the ends of the earth for you to possess.
You will rule them with a rod of iron,
  break them in pieces like an earthen pot.”
So now, kings, listen: understand, you who rule the land.
  Serve the Lord in fear, tremble even as you praise him.
Learn his teaching, lest he take anger,
  lest you perish when his anger bursts into flame.
Blessed are all who put their trust in the Lord.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
They arise, the kings of the earth; princes plot against the Lord and his anointed.

Psalm 21 (22)
The just man suffers; the Lord hears him
They divided my clothing among them. They cast lots for my robe.
God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
  The words that I groan do not reach my saviour.
My God, I call by day and you do not listen.
  I call to you by night, but no rest comes.
But still you are holy,
  the one whom Israel praises.
Our fathers put their hope in you;
  they gave you their trust and you freed them.
They called on you and they were saved,
  they trusted and were not disappointed.
But I am a worm and no man,
  despised by mankind and rejected by the people.
All who see me deride me,
  they make faces and toss their heads:
“He trusted in the Lord, so let the Lord rescue him:
  let him save him, if he truly delights in him!”
Indeed, you drew me from my mother’s womb,
  you set me to suck at her breasts.
I have depended on you since before I was born,
  from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
Do not be far from me now,
  for my tribulation is close at hand,
  for there is no-one who will help.
I am surrounded by many cattle,
  the bulls of Bashan hem me in.
Their mouths open wide before me,
  like a fierce and roaring lion.
I have flowed away like water,
  and all my bones come apart.
My heart has turned to wax,
  it melts away within me.
My mouth is dry as burnt clay,
  my tongue sticks in my throat:
  you have laid me in the dust of death.
I am surrounded by many dogs,
  my enemies unite and hem me in.
They have pierced my hands and my feet:
  I can count all my bones.
They gaze on me, they inspect me.
They have divided my clothing between them,
  they have cast lots for my garment.
So you, Lord, do not stay away:
  Lord, my strength, hurry to my help.
Rescue my soul from the sword,
  my only child from the teeth of the dogs.
Save me from the lion’s mouth,
  from the wild oxen’s horns that brought me low.
I will tell of your glory to my brethren;
  I will praise you in the midst of the assembly.
Praise the Lord, you who fear him!
  Give him glory, all the seed of Jacob.
Let Israel tremble before him,
  for he does not spurn the poor or ignore their plight.
He does not turn his face away –
  whoever calls on him, he listens.
I shall cry out your praise in the great assembly,
  I shall fulfil my vows before all those who fear you.
The poor will eat and be filled,
  those who seek the Lord will praise him.
  “Let their hearts live for ever!”
All the ends of the earth will remember the Lord:
  they will turn to him.
All the families of nations will worship before him.
For the Lord’s is the kingdom,
  it is he who will rule all the nations.
Him alone will they praise, those who sleep in the earth;
  they will worship before him, who go down into the dust.
But my soul will be alive to him,
  and my seed shall serve him.
They shall tell of the Lord to the next generation,
  they shall proclaim his righteousness to a people yet to be born.
  “Hear what the Lord has done!”
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
They divided my clothing among them. They cast lots for my robe.

Psalm 37 (38)
The plea of a sinner in great peril
Those who sought my life used violence against me.
Lord, do not rebuke me in your wrath,
  do not ruin me in your anger:
for I am pierced by your arrows
  and crushed beneath your hand.
In the face of your anger
  there is no health in my body.
There is no peace for my bones,
  no rest from my sins.
My transgressions rise higher than my head:
  a heavy burden, they weigh me down.
My wounds are corruption and decay
  because of my foolishness.
I am bowed down and bent,
  bent under grief all day long.
For a fire burns up my loins,
  and there is no health in my body.
I am afflicted, utterly cast down,
  I cry out from the sadness of my heart.
Lord, all that I desire is known to you;
  my sighs are not hidden from you.
My heart grows weak, my strength leaves me,
  and the light of my eyes – even that has gone.
My friends and my neighbours
  keep far from my wounds.
Those closest to me keep far away,
  while those who would kill me set traps,
  those who would harm me make their plots:
  they plan mischief all through the day.
But I, like a deaf man, do not hear;
  like one who is dumb, I do not open my mouth.
I am like someone who cannot hear,
  in whose mouth there is no reply.
For in you, Lord, I put my trust:
  you will listen to me, Lord, my God.
For I have said, “Let them never triumph over me:
  if my feet stumble, they will gloat.”
For I am ready to fall:
  my suffering is before me always.
For I shall proclaim my wrongdoing:
  I am anxious because of my sins.
All the time my enemies live and grow stronger;
  they are so many, those who hate me without cause.
Returning evil for good they dragged me down,
  because I followed the way of goodness.
Do not abandon me, Lord:
  my God, do not leave me.
Hurry to my aid,
  O Lord, my saviour.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
Those who sought my life used violence against me.

False witnesses have risen up against me.
Falsehood has lied to itself.

First ReadingHebrews 9:11-28 ©
Now Christ has come, as the high priest of all the blessings which were to come. He has passed through the greater, the more perfect tent, which is better than the one made by men’s hands because it is not of this created order; and he has entered the sanctuary once and for all, taking with him not the blood of goats and bull calves, but his own blood, having won an eternal redemption for us. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer are sprinkled on those who have incurred defilement and they restore the holiness of their outward lives; how much more effectively the blood of Christ, who offered himself as the perfect sacrifice to God through the eternal Spirit, can purify our inner self from dead actions so that we do our service to the living God.
  He brings a new covenant, as the mediator, only so that the people who were called to an eternal inheritance may actually receive what was promised: his death took place to cancel the sins that infringed the earlier covenant. Now wherever a will is in question, the death of the testator must be established; indeed, it only becomes valid with that death, since it is not meant to have any effect while the testator is still alive. That explains why even the earlier covenant needed something to be killed in order to take effect, and why, after Moses had announced all the commandments of the Law to the people, he took the calves’ blood, the goats’ blood and some water, and with these he sprinkled the book itself and all the people, using scarlet wool and hyssop; saying as he did so: This is the blood of the covenant that God has laid down for you. After that, he sprinkled the tent and all the liturgical vessels with blood in the same way. In fact, according to the Law almost everything has to be purified with blood; and if there is no shedding of blood, there is no remission. Obviously, only the copies of heavenly things can be purified in this way, and the heavenly things themselves have to be purified by a higher sort of sacrifice than this. It is not as though Christ had entered a man-made sanctuary which was only modelled on the real one; but it was heaven itself, so that he could appear in the actual presence of God on our behalf. And he does not have to offer himself again and again, like the high priest going into the sanctuary year after year with the blood that is not his own, or else he would have had to suffer over and over again since the world began. Instead of that, he has made his appearance once and for all, now at the end of the last age, to do away with sin by sacrificing himself. Since men only die once, and after that comes judgement, so Christ, too, offers himself only once to take the faults of many on himself, and when he appears a second time, it will not be to deal with sin but to reward with salvation those who are waiting for him.
Responsory
He was led out as a lamb that is led to the slaughterhouse; harshly dealt with, he never opened his mouth; he was given over to death, so as to give life to his people.
He surrendered himself to death and was ranked with sinners, so as to give life to his people.

Second Reading
From the Catecheses by Saint John Chrysostom, bishop
The power of Christ's blood
If we wish to understand the power of Christ’s blood, we should go back to the ancient account of its prefiguration in Egypt. “Sacrifice a lamb without blemish,” commanded Moses, “and sprinkle its blood on your doors.” If we were to ask him what he meant, and how the blood of an irrational beast could possibly save men endowed with reason, his answer would be that the saving power lies not in the blood itself, but in the fact that it is a sign of the Lord’s blood. In those days, when the destroying angel saw the blood on the doors he did not dare to enter, so how much less will the devil approach now when he sees, not that figurative blood on the doors, but the true blood on the lips of believers, the doors of the temple of Christ.
  If you desire further proof of the power of this blood, remember where it came from, how it ran down from the cross, flowing from the Master’s side. The gospel records that when Christ was dead, but still hung on the cross, a soldier came and pierced his side with a lance and immediately there poured out water and blood. Now the water was a symbol of baptism and the blood, of the holy Eucharist. The soldier pierced the Lord’s side, he breached the wall of the sacred temple, and I have found the treasure and made it my own. So also with the lamb: the Jews sacrificed the victim and I have been saved by it.
  “There flowed from his side water and blood.” Beloved, do not pass over this mystery without thought; it has yet another hidden meaning, which I will explain to you. I said that water and blood symbolised baptism and the holy Eucharist. From these two sacraments the Church is born: from baptism, “the cleansing water that gives rebirth and renewal through the Holy Spirit,” and from the holy Eucharist. Since the symbols of baptism and the Eucharist flowed from his side, it was from his side that Christ fashioned the Church, as he had fashioned Eve from the side of Adam. Moses gives a hint of this when he tells the story of the first man and makes him exclaim: “Bone from my bones and flesh from my flesh!” As God then took a rib from Adam’s side to fashion a woman, so Christ has given us blood and water from his side to fashion the Church. God took the rib when Adam was in a deep sleep, and in the same way Christ gave us the blood and the water after his own death.
  Do you understand, then, how Christ has united his bride to himself and what food he gives us all to eat? By one and the same food we are both brought into being and nourished. As a woman nourishes her child with her own blood and milk, so does Christ unceasingly nourish with his own blood those to whom he himself has given life.
Responsory
Your ransom was not paid in anything corruptible, neither in silver nor gold, but in the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish. Through him we all have access to the Father in the one Spirit.
The blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, purifies us from all sin. Through him we all have access to the Father in the one Spirit.

Let us pray.
Be mindful, Lord, of this your family,
  for whose sake our Lord Jesus Christ, when betrayed,
did not hesitate to yield himself into his enemies’ hands
  and undergo the agony of the cross.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
  God for ever and ever.
Amen.

Let us praise the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.

The psalms and canticles here are our own translation. The Grail translation of the psalms, which is used liturgically in most of the English-speaking world, cannot be displayed on the Web for copyright reasons. The Universalis downloads do contain the Grail translation of the psalms.

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