N018 – Palm Sunday (6th of Lent), Holy Week, & Easter

Read

We are about to enter into the celebration of the most important week of the Christian year. From the very beginning of the Church, the Christians in Palestine commemorated the events of Christ’s Passion, Death and Resurrection by visiting the places where these events occurred. As the liturgical services of the Church developed over time, these visits were marked with special services which illuminated and interpreted the events which had occurred at these locations. As time when on and the Church expanded geographically, Christians outside of the Holy Land (some from as far away as England) actually made pilgrimages to the Holy Land where they visited the actual places of these saving events and participated in the services which the Church celebrated at these places. Returning pilgrims brought back accounts of these services and local churches started celebrating them as part of their Lent and Easter liturgy. Liturgical scholars point out that some of the services of Holy Week are the oldest ones we have record of.
Christian liturgical services include the recalling and recounting of historical events as well as reenacting them with a greater or less degree of solemnity, however, we are not merely “reenactors.” In liturgical services we here and now sacramentally and mystically participate in the actual events commemorated. Because we have been incorporated into Christ’s Body by our Baptism and Chrismation, He in us and we in Him join in the very saving actions of His Passion, Death and Resurrection. This is far, far more than a mere “reenacting” of a historical event; we are part of the event itself, even though as composite creatures of body and soul it we seem to experience the events as recalling of the past. We participate in Christ’s Passion in a real, profound and sacramental way at every liturgical service. However, since we are composite creatures of body and soul united in our human person, we exist in time and space. Thus our participation must occur over time and is repeated so that as we grow and develop year by year, our participation is commensurate with our spiritual growth. To put it simply, a child and an adult both worship God, but each in a way that is compatible with their theosis at that point in their lives. This is why we repeat these services day by day and year by year. It is this sacramental and mystical participation in Christ’s Passion, Death and Resurrection which is brought about by the Church’s celebration of the liturgy. This is what we do in Holy Week.

N018 – Palm Sunday (6th of Lent), Holy Week, & Easter

Read

Palm Sunday and Holy Week
6th Sunday in Lent

THE COLLECT: Almighty and everlasting God, who, of thy tender mercy towards mankind, hast sent thy Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, to take upon him our flesh, and to suffer death upon the Cross, that all mankind should follow the example of his great humility: mercifully grant; that we may both follow the example of his patience, and also be made partakers of his Resurrection. Through the same Jesus Christ, thy Son, etc.

THE INTROIT. Psalm 22: Be not thou far from me, O Lord, thou art my succour, hast thee to help me: Save me from the lion’s mouth, thou hast heard me also from among the horns of the unicorns. Ps. 22:1 My God, my God, look upon me, why hast thou forsaken me; and art so far from my health and from the words of my complaint?
¶ The Gloria Patri is not said, but the Antiphon of the Introit is repeated immediately. This practice continues through all of Holy Week.

THE EPISTLE: Philippians 2:5-11 We are to follow the great humility of our Lord who was indeed equal to the Father but He nevertheless became man. Even more, in obedience He accepted even death. For this He is highly exalted by the Father and we must bow our knees before Him.

GRADUAL Ps. 73. Thou hast holden me by my right hand: thou shalt guide me with thy counsel: and after that receive me with glory. Truly God is loving unto Israel, even unto such as are of a clean heart: nevertheless my feet were almost gone, my treadings had well-nigh slipt. And why? I was grieved at the wicked: I do also see the ungodly in such prosperity.

TRACT. PS. 22. My God, my God, look upon me: why hast thou forsaken me: and art so far from my health: and from the words of my complaint? O my God, I cry in the daytime but thou hearest not: and in the night season also I take my rest. But thou continuest holy, O thou Worship of Isra-el. Our fathers hoped in thee: they trusted in thee and thou didst deliver them. They called upon thee and were holpen: they put their trust in thee and were not confounded. But as for me I am a worm and no man: a very scorn of men and the outcast of the people. All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out their lips and shake their heads, saying: He trust in God that he would deliver him: let him deliver him if he will have him. They stand staring and looking upon me: they part my garments among them and cast lots upon my vesture. Save me from the lion’s mouth: thou hast heard me also from among the horns of the uni-corns. O praise the Lord, ye that fear him: magnify him, all ye seed of Jacob. They shall be counted unto the Lord for a generation: they shall come and the heavens shall declare his righteousness. Unto a people that shall be born, whom the Lord hath made.

The Passion Gospel: St Matthew 27. Jesus is betrayed by Judas, tortured and beaten by Jews then Romans. Before Pilate, the Jews chose Barabbas a thief and murderer rather than the innocent Jesus to be released as ac-corded with the custom at the Passover. Jesus is forced along the Way of Sorrow, carrying His Cross. At Gogotha He is crucified between two thieves. At the precise instant that all is fulfill, He gives up His life and dies. He is removed from the tomb and laid in a sepulchre.

OFFERTORY. Ps. 69 Thy rebuke hath broken my heart, I am full of heaviness: I looked for some to have pity on me, but there was no man. Neither found I any to comfort me: they gave me gall to eat and when I was thirsty they gave me vinegar to drink.
COMMUNION. St. Matthew 26. O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it: thy will be done.

BENEDICTUS AND MAGNIFICAT ANTIPHONS

AT 1ST VESPERS: Righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, because thou hast sent me.

AT MATINS: The multitudes which came together for the feast day cried unto the Lord: Blessed is he that cometh in the Name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

AT 2ND VESPERS: For it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered. But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee: there shall ye see me, saith the Lord.

 

N017 – 5th Sunday in Lent (Passion Sunday)

Read

5th Sunday in Lent
Passion Sunday

THE COLLECT: We beseech thee, Almighty God, mercifully to look upon thy people: that by thy great gooness they may be governed and preserved evermore, both in body and soul. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son, etc.

THE INTROIT. Psalm 43:1-2 (Judica me) Give sentence with me, O God, and defend my cause against the un-godly people: O deliver me from the deceitful and wicked man: for thou art the God of my strength. Ps. 43:3. O send out thy light and thy truth, that they may lead me: and bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy dwelling.

THE EPISTLE: Hebrews 9:11-15 Christ is the new and permanent High Priest made so by His blood offered for our eternal redemption. Therefore, He is the Mediator of the new testament so that by His death we may all receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

GRADUAL Ps. 143:9,10. Deliver me, O Lord, from mine enemies: teach me to do the thing that pleaseth thee. Ps 18:49 It is the Lord that delivereth me from my cruel enemies, and setteth me up above mine adversaries: thou shalt rid me from the wicked man

TRACT. Ps. 129:1-4.

  1. Many a time have they fought against me from my youth up * may Israel now say.
  2. Yea, many a time have they vexed me from my youth up * but they have not prevailed against me.
  3. The plowers plowed upon my back * and made long furrows.
  4. But the righteous Lord * hath hewn the snares of the ungodly in pieces.

THE GOSPEL. St. John 8:46-59 Jesus answers the charge that He is a Samaritan and hath a devil by reference to His miracles. The Jews claim that He cannot have seen Abraham because He is not yet even 50 years old. Then Jesus proclaims to them: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was I am”thereby stating that He is Very God.

OFFERTORY. Ps. 119 I will give thanks unto thee, O Lord, with my whole heart: O do well unto thy servant that I may live and keep thy word: quicken thou me, O Lord, according to thy word.

COMMUNION. I Cor. 11:24-25. This is my Body, which is given for you: this cup is the new testament in my Blood, saith the Lord: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

AT THE DIVINE OFFICE
BENEDICTUS AND MAGNIFICAT ANTIPHONS

AT 1ST VESPERS: I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.
AT MATINS: Jesus said unto the multitude of the Jews, and to the chief priests: He that is of God heareth God’s words; ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of not, because ye are not of God.
AT 2ND VESPERS: Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it and was glad.