Posted in HOLY WEEK, MORNING Prayers, Uncategorized

Good Friday – 14 April 2017 – A Day of Deep Mourning and Fasting and Abstinence

Good Friday – 14 April 2017 – A Day of Deep Mourning and Fasting and Abstinence

Today the whole Church deeply mourns the death of our Saviour.   This is traditionally a day of sadness, spent in fasting and prayer.   The title for this day varies in different parts of the world: “Holy Friday” for Latin nations, Slavs and Hungarians call it “Great Friday,” in Germany it is “Friday of Mourning” and in Norway, it is “Long Friday.”   Some view the term “Good Friday” (used in English and Dutch) as a corruption of the term “God’s Friday.” This is another obligatory day of fasting and abstinence.   In Ireland, they practice the “black fast,” which is to consume nothing but black tea and water.

GOOD FRIDAY

Liturgy
According to the Church’s ancient tradition, the sacraments are not celebrated on Good Friday nor Holy Saturday. “Celebration of the Lord’s Passion,” traditionally known as the “Mass of the Presanctified,” (although it is not a mass) is usually celebrated around three o’clock in the afternoon, or later, depending on the needs of the parish.

The altar is completely bare, with no cloths, candles nor cross.   The service is divided into three parts: Liturgy of the Word, Veneration of the Cross and Holy Communion. The priest and deacons wear red or black vestments.   The liturgy starts with the priests and deacons going to the altar in silence and prostrating themselves for a few moments in silent prayer, then an introductory prayer is prayed.

In part one, the Liturgy of the Word, we hear the most famous of the Suffering Servant passages from Isaiah (52:13-53:12), a pre-figurement of Christ on Good Friday. Psalm 30 is the Responsorial Psalm “Father, I put my life in your hands.” The Second Reading, or Epistle, is from the letter to the Hebrews, 4:14-16; 5:7-9. The Gospel Reading is the Passion of St. John.

The General Intercessions conclude the Liturgy of the Word.   The ten intercessions cover these areas:

For the Church
For the Pope
For the clergy and laity of the Church
For those preparing for baptism
For the unity of Christians
For the Jewish people
For those who do not believe in Christ
For those who do not believe in God
For all in public office
For those in special need

Part two is the Veneration of the Cross.   A cross, either veiled or unveiled, is processed through the Church and then venerated by the congregation.   We joyfully venerate and kiss the wooden cross “on which hung the Saviour of the world.”   During this time the “Reproaches” are usually sung or recited.

Part three, Holy Communion, concludes the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion.   The altar is covered with a cloth and the ciboriums containing the Blessed Sacrament are brought to the altar from the place of reposition.    The Our Father and the Ecce Agnus Dei (“This is the Lamb of God”) are recited.    The congregation receives Holy Communion, there is a “Prayer After Communion,” and then a “Prayer Over the People,” and everyone departs in silence.

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Posted in HOLY WEEK, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, Uncategorized

Good Friday – April 14 2017 – Pope Francis’ Via Crucis Prayer: ‘O Cross of Christ’

Good Friday – April 14 2017 – Pope Francis’ Via Crucis Prayer: ‘O Cross of Christ’ – Vatican translation of the prayer composed and recited by Pope Francis at the Via Crucis at the Colosseum, 2014

O CROSS OF CHRIST

O Cross of Christ!

O Cross of Christ, symbol of divine love and of human injustice, icon of the supreme sacrifice for love and of boundless selfishness even unto madness, instrument of death and the way of resurrection, sign of obedience and emblem of betrayal, the gallows of persecution and the banner of victory.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you raised up in our sisters and brothers killed, burned alive, throats slit and decapitated by barbarous blades amid cowardly silence.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in the faces of children, of women and people, worn out and fearful, who flee from war and violence and who often only find death and many Pilates who wash their hands.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in those filled with knowledge and not with the spirit, scholars of death and not of life, who instead of teaching mercy and life, threaten with punishment and death, and who condemn the just.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in unfaithful ministers who, instead of stripping themselves of their own vain ambitions, divest even the innocent of their dignity.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in the hardened hearts of those who easily judge others, with hearts ready to condemn even to the point of stoning, without ever recognizing their own sins and faults.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in expressions of fundamentalism and in terrorist acts committed by followers of some religions which profane the name of God and which use the holy name to justify their unprecedented violence.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in those who wish to remove you from public places and exclude you from public life, in the name of a pagan laicism or that equality you yourself taught us.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in the powerful and in arms dealers who feed the cauldron of war with the innocent blood of our brothers and sisters.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in traitors who, for thirty pieces of silver, would consign anyone to death.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in thieves and corrupt officials who, instead of safeguarding the common good and morals, sell themselves in the despicable market-place of immorality.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in the foolish who build warehouses to store up treasures that perish, leaving Lazarus to die of hunger at their doorsteps.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in the destroyers of our “common home”, who by their selfishness ruin the future of coming generations.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in the elderly who have been abandoned by their families, in the disabled and in children starving and cast-off by our egotistical and hypocritical society.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas which have become insatiable cemeteries, reflections of our indifferent and anesthetized conscience.

O Cross of Christ, image of love without end and way of the Resurrection, today too we see you in noble and upright persons who do good without seeking praise or admiration from others.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in ministers who are faithful and humble, who illuminate the darkness of our lives like candles that burn freely in order to brighten the lives of the least among us.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in the faces of consecrated women and men – good Samaritans – who have left everything to bind up, in evangelical silence, the wounds of poverty and injustice.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in the merciful who have found in mercy the greatest expression of justice and faith.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in simple men and women who live their faith joyfully day in and day out, in filial observance of your commandments.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in the contrite, who in the depths of the misery of their sins, are able to cry out: Lord, remember me in your kingdom!

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in the blessed and the saints who know how to cross the dark night of faith without ever losing trust in you and without claiming to understand your mysterious silence.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in families that live their vocation of married life in fidelity and fruitfulness.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in volunteers who generously assist those in need and the downtrodden.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in those persecuted for their faith who, amid their suffering, continue to offer an authentic witness to Jesus and the Gospel.

O Cross of Christ, today too we see you in those who dream, those with the heart of a child, who work to make the world a better place, ever more human and just.

In you, Holy Cross, we see God who loves even to the end, and we see the hatred of those who want to dominate, that hatred which blinds the minds and hearts of those who prefer darkness to light.

O Cross of Christ, Arc of Noah that saved humanity from the flood of sin, save us from evil and from the Evil One. O Throne of David and seal of the divine and eternal Covenant, awaken us from the seduction of vanity! O cry of love, inspire in us a desire for God, for goodness and for light.

O Cross of Christ, teach us that the rising of the sun is more powerful than the darkness of night. O Cross of Christ, teach us that the apparent victory of evil vanishes before the empty tomb and before the certainty of the Resurrection and the love of God which nothing can defeat, obscure or weaken. Amen!

 

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY WEEK, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS

Quote/s of the Day – 14 April – Good Friday

Quote/s of the Day – 14 April – Good Friday

“The passion of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the hope of glory and a lesson in patience.    What may not the hearts of believers promise themselves as the gift of God’s grace, when for their sake God’s only Son, co-eternal with the Father, was not content only to be born as man from human stock but even died at the hands of the men he had created?”

– St. Augustine

THE PASSION-ST AUGUSTINE

“No one, however weak, is denied a share in the victory of the cross.    No one is beyond the help of the prayer of Christ.    His prayer brought benefit to the multitude that raged against him.   How much more does it bring to those who turn to him in repentance.”

St. Leo the Great

ST LEO THE GREA

Posted in HOLY WEEK, MORNING Prayers

One Minute Reflection – 14 April – Good Friday

One Minute Reflection – 14 April – Good Friday

Father, into your hands I commend my spirit…………….Luke 23:46

REFLECTION – A Few Drops of Blood Renew the Whole World!
Many indeed are the wondrous happenings of that time: God hanging from a cross, the sun made dark and again flaming out;  for it was fitting that creation should mourn with its creator.   The temple veil rent, blood and water flowing from His side:  the one as from a man, the other as from what was above man;  the earth shaken, the rocks shattered because of the rock;  the dead risen to bear witness to the final and universal resurrection of the dead.
The happenings at the sepulchre and after the sepulchre, who can fittingly recount them?   Yet no one of them can be compared to the miracle of my salvation.   A few drops of blood renew the whole world and do for all men what the rennet does for the milk: joining us and binding us together………..St Gregory Nazianzen – Doctor of the Church

PRAYER – O God, who by the Passion of Christ your Son, our Lord, abolished the death inherited from ancient sin by every succeeding generation, grant that just as, being conformed to him, we have borne by the law of nature the image of the man on earth, so by the sanctification of grace we may bear the image of the Man of heaven. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

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THE MIRACLE OF MY SALVAION-ST GREGORY NAZIANZEN

PIETA

Posted in HOLY WEEK, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 14 April – Good Friday

Our Morning Offering – 14 April – Good Friday

THE PRAYER
“O SACRED HEAD”
By St. Bernard Of Clairvaux

O Sacred Head surrounded
By crown of piercing thorn!
O bleeding Head, so wounded,
Reviled and put to scorn!
Death’s pallid hue comes o’er You,
The glow of life decays,
Yet angel hosts adore You
And tremble as they gaze.

I see Your strength and vigour
All fading in the strife,
And death, with cruel vigour,
Bereaving You of life;
O agony and dying!
O love to sinners free!
Jesus, all grace supplying,
O turn Your face on me!

In this Your bitter Passion,
Good Shepherd, think. of me,
With Your most sweet compassion,
Unworthy though I be;
Beneath Your Cross abiding,
‘Forever would I rest,
In Your dear love confiding,
And will Your presence blest.

O SACRED HEAD-BY ST BERNARD

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 14 April – Blessed Peter Gonzalez O.P.

Saint of the Day – 14 April – Blessed Peter Gonzalez O.P. (1190 – 1246) also known as -Pedro González Telmo, Saint Telmo, or Saint Elmo, was a Castilian Dominican friar and priest, born in 1190 in Frómista, Palencia, Kingdom of Castile and Leon.    Religious Priest, Confessor, Preacher – Patron of boatmen, mariners, sailors, watermen, fisherman, Tui, Spain, Tui-Vigo, Spain, diocese of, Attributes – Dominican holding a blue candle or a candle with a blue flame; Dominican lying on his cloak which is spread over hot coals; Dominican holding fire in his bare hands; Dominican catching fish with his bare hands; Dominican beside the ocean, often holding or otherwise protecting a ship.   Image below – 16th-century painting of the Blessed Peter González, by Alejo Fernández, in the Alcázar of Seville

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Saint Paul had a conversion experience on the road to Damascus.   Many years later, the same proved true for Peter Gonzalez, who triumphantly rode his horse into the Spanish city of Astorga in the 13thcentury to take up an important post at the cathedral.   The animal stumbled and fell, leaving Peter in the mud and onlookers amused.

Humbled, Peter re-evaluated his motivations–his bishop-uncle had secured the cathedral post for him– and started down a new path.   He became a Dominican priest and proved to be a most effective preacher.   He spent much of his time as court chaplain and attempted to exert positive influence on the behaviour of members of the court.   After King Ferdinand III and his troops defeated the Moors at Cordoba, Peter was successful in restraining the soldiers from pillaging and persuaded the king to treat the defeated Moors with compassion.

After retiring from the court, Peter devoted the remainder of his life to preaching in northwest Spain.   Having developed a special mission to Spanish and Portuguese seamen, he is considered their patron.

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Peter Gonzalez died in 1246 and was beatified in 1741.

Although his cultus was confirmed in 1741 by Pope Benedict XIV and despite his common epithet of “saint,” Peter was never formally canonized. Peter González was beatified in 1254 by Pope Innocent IV.

The diminutive “Elmo” (or “Telmo”) belongs properly to the martyr-bishop Saint Erasmus (died c. 303), one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, of whose name “Elmo” is a contraction. However, as Erasmus is the patron saint of sailors generally and Peter González of Spanish and Portuguese sailors specifically, they have both been popularly invoked as “Saint Elmo.”

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saints and Solemnities – 14 April

Good Friday (2017)

St Abundius the Sacristan
St Antony of Vilna
St Ardalion the Actor
St Benezet the Bridge Builder
St Bernhard of Tiron
St Domnina of Terni
St Eustace of Vilna
St Fronto of Nitria
Bl Hadewych
St John of Monte Marano
St John of Vilna
St Lambert of Lyon
St Lydwina of Schiedam
St Maximus of Rome
St Peter Gonzalez
St Tassach of Raholp
St Thomaides of Alexandria
St Tiburtius of Rome
St Valerian of Trastevere

Martyrs of Antioch