Holy Week

HOLY THURSDAY — MORNING PRAYER

LEADER: O Lord open our lips.

ANY OTHERS PRESENT: And we shall praise your name.

INVITATORY PSALM PSALM 94 (95)

Antiphon (LEADER): Christ the Lord was tempted and suffered for us: come,
let us adore him.

ANY OTHERS PRESENT: Christ the Lord was tempted and suffered for us:
come, let us adore him.

LEADER: Come, ring out our joy to the Lord;
hail the God who saves us.
Let us come before him, giving thanks,
with songs let us hail the Lord.
(ANY OTHERS PRESENT repeat antiphon)

LEADER: A mighty God is the Lord,
a great king above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his.
To him belongs the sea, for he made it
and the dry land shaped by his hands.
(ANY OTHERS PRESENT repeat antiphon)

LEADER: Come in; let us bow and bend low;
let us kneel before the God who made us:
for he is our God and we
the people who belong to his pasture,
the flock that is led by his hand.
(ANY OTHERS PRESENT repeat antiphon)

LEADER: O that today you would listen to his voice!
‘Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
as on that day at Massah in the desert
when your fathers put me to the test;
when they tried me, though they saw my work.
(ANY OTHERS PRESENT repeat antiphon)

LEADER: For forty years I was wearied of these people
and I said: “Their hearts are astray,
these people do not know my ways.”
Then I took an oath in my anger:
“Never shall they enter my rest.”’
(ANY OTHERS PRESENT repeat antiphon)

LEADER: 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.
(ANY OTHERS PRESENT repeat antiphon)


Hymn (ALL)
Suggested Tune: PRAISE MY SOUL (“Praise, my soul, the King of heaven”)

1 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.

2 When at length th’appointed fullness
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.

3 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.

4 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.

PSALM 68 (69)


Antiphon (LEADER): I am wearied with all my crying as I await my God.

LEADER Save me, O God,
for the waters have risen to my neck.

OTHERS I have sunk into the mud of the deep
and there is no foothold.
I have entered the waters of the deep
and the waves overwhelm me.

LEADER I am wearied with all my crying,
my throat is parched.
My eyes are wasted away
from looking for my God.

OTHERS More numerous than the hairs on my head
are those who hate me without cause.
Those who attack me with lies
are too much for my strength.

LEADER How can I restore
what I have never stolen?
O God, you know my sinful folly;
my sins you can see.

OTHERS Let not those who hope in you be put to shame
through me, Lord of hosts:
let not those who seek you be dismayed
through me, God of Israel.

LEADER It is for you that I suffer taunts,
that shame covers my face,
that I have become a stranger to my brothers,
an alien to my own mother’s sons.
I burn with zeal for your house
and taunts against you fall on me.

OTHERS When I afflict my soul with fasting
they make it a taunt against me.
When I put on sackcloth in mourning
then they make me a byword,
the gossip of men at the gates,
the subject of drunkards’ songs.

LEADER Glory be to the Father
and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

OTHERS As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.

Ant. (ALL): I am wearied with all my crying as I await my God.

PSALM 68 (69)

Antiphon (LEADER): For food they gave me poison, and in my thirst they
gave me vinegar to drink.

LEADER This is my prayer to you,
my prayer for your favour.
In your great love, answer me, O God,
with your help that never fails:
rescue me from sinking in the mud;
save me from my foes.

OTHERS Save me from the waters of the deep
lest the waves overwhelm me.
Do not let the deep engulf me
nor death close its mouth on me.

LEADER Lord, answer, for your love is kind;
in your compassion, turn towards me.
Do not hide your face from your servant;
answer quickly for I am in distress.
Come close to my soul and redeem me;
ransom me pressed by my foes.

OTHERS Save me from the waters of the deep
lest the waves overwhelm me.
Do not let the deep engulf me
nor death close its mouth on me.

LEADER Lord, answer, for your love is kind;
in your compassion, turn towards me.
Do not hide your face from your servant;
answer quickly for I am in distress.
Come close to my soul and redeem me;
ransom me pressed by my foes.

OTHERS You know how they taunt and deride me;
my oppressors are all before you.
Taunts have broken my heart;
I have reached the end of my strength.
I looked in vain for compassion,
for consolers; not one could I find.

LEADER For food they gave me poison;
in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

OTHERS Glory be to the Father
and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

LEADER As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.

ALL: For food they gave me poison, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to
drink.

Versicle
LEADER: When I am lifted up from the earth.
OTHERS: I shall draw all things to myself.


First Reading (LEADER) Hebrews 4:14-5:10

A Reading from the Letter to the Hebrews
Since in Jesus, the Son of God, we have the supreme High Priest who has gone
through to the highest heaven, we must never let go of the faith that we have
professed. For it is not as if we had a high priest who was incapable of feeling our
weaknesses with us; but we have one who has been tempted in every way that we
are, though he is without sin. Let us be confident, then, in approaching the
throne of grace, that we shall have mercy from him and find grace when we are in
need of help.
Every high priest has been taken out of mankind and is appointed to act for men
in their relations with God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins; and so he can
sympathise with those who are ignorant or uncertain because he too lives in the
limitations of weakness. That is why he has to make sin offerings for himself as
well as for the people. No one takes this honour on himself, but each one is called
by God, as Aaron was. Nor did Christ give himself the glory of becoming high
priest, but he had it from the one who said to him: You are my son, today I have
become your father,
and in another text: You are a priest of the order of
Melchisedek, and for ever.
During his life on earth, he offered up prayer and
entreaty, aloud and in silent tears, to the one who had the power to save him out
of death, and he submitted so humbly that his prayer was heard. Although he
was Son, he learnt to obey through suffering; but having been made perfect, he
became for all who obey him the source of eternal salvation and was acclaimed by God with the title of high priest of the order of Melchisedek.

[A PERIOD OF SILENCE MAY BE OBSERVED]

Responsory
LEADER Although he was the son of God, Christ learnt to obey through
suffering, * and he became for all who obey him the source of eternal salvation.
During his life on earth, he offered up prayer aloud, and he submitted so humbly
that his prayer was heard, *
OTHERS and he became for all who obey him the source of eternal salvation.


Second Reading (LEADER)
From an Easter homily by Saint Melito of Sardis, Bishop

There was much proclaimed by the prophets about the mystery of the Passover:
that mystery is Christ, and to him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
For the sake of suffering humanity he came down from heaven to earth, clothed
himself in that humanity in the Virgin’s womb, and was born a man. Having then
a body capable of suffering, he took the pain of fallen man upon himself; he
triumphed over the diseases of soul and body that were its cause, and by his
Spirit, which was incapable of dying, he dealt man’s destroyer, death, a fatal
blow.

He was led forth like a lamb; he was slaughtered like a sheep. He ransomed us
from our servitude to the world, as he had ransomed Israel from the hand of
Egypt; he freed us from our slavery to the devil, as he had freed Israel from the
hand of Pharaoh. He sealed our souls with his own Spirit, and the members of
our body with his own blood.

He is the One who covered death with shame and cast the devil into mourning,
as Moses cast Pharaoh into mourning. He is the One who smote sin and robbed
iniquity of offspring, as Moses robbed the Egyptians of their offspring. He is the
One who brought us out of slavery into freedom, out of darkness into light, out
of death into life, out of tyranny into an eternal kingdom; who made us a new
priesthood, a people chosen to be his own for ever. He is the Passover that is our
salvation.

It is he who endured every kind of suffering in all those who foreshadowed him.
In Abel he was slain, in Isaac bound, in Jacob exiled, in Joseph sold, in Moses
exposed to die. He was sacrificed in the Passover lamb, persecuted in David,
dishonoured in the prophets.

It is he who was made man of the Virgin, he who was hung on the tree; it is he
who was buried in the earth, raised from the dead, and taken up to the heights of
heaven. He is the mute lamb, the slain lamb, the lamb born of Mary, the fair ewe.
He was seized from the flock, dragged off to be slaughtered, sacrificed in the
evening, and buried at night. On the tree no bone of his was broken; in the earth
his body knew no decay. He is the One who rose from the dead, and who raised
man from the depths of the tomb.

[A PERIOD OF SILENCE MAY BE OBSERVED]

Responsory
LEADER All men have sinned and are far away from God’s saving presence, but
by the free gift of God’s grace they are all redeemed through Christ Jesus, who
sets them free. * God offered him so that by his death he should become the
means by which men’s sins are forgiven, through their faith in him. Look, there is
the Lamb of God: it is he who takes away the sin of the world. *
OTHERS God offered him so that by his death he should become the means by
which men’s sins are forgiven, through their faith in him.

THE BENEDICTUS

Antiphon (LEADER): I have longed to eat the Passover with you before I
suffer.

(All STAND and make the Sign of the Cross)

LEADER Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel!
He has visited his people and redeemed them.

OTHERS He has raised up for us a mighty saviour
in the house of David his servant,
as he promised by the lips of holy men,
those who were his prophets from of old.

LEADER A saviour who would free us from our foes,
from the hands of all who hate us.
So his love for our fathers is fulfilled
and his holy covenant remembered.

OTHERS He swore to Abraham our father to grant us,
that free from fear, and saved from the hands of our foes,
we might serve him in holiness and justice
all the days of our life in his presence.

LEADER As for you little child,
you shall be called a prophet of God, the Most High.
you shall go ahead of the Lord
to prepare his ways before him.

OTHERS To make known to his people their salvation
through forgiveness of all their sins,
the loving-kindness of the heart of our God
who visits us like the dawn from on high.

LEADER He will give light to those in darkness,
those who dwell in the shadow of death,
and guide us into the way of peace.

OTHERS Glory be to the Father
and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

LEADER As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.

ALL I have longed to eat the Passover with you before I suffer.

Intercessions

LEADER Let us humbly pray to Christ, the eternal priest, whom the Father
anointed with the Holy Spirit to proclaim release for captives.
R Lord, have mercy on us.

You went up to Jerusalem to endure the Passion and enter into glory; – lead your
Church into the Paschal feast of eternal life. R

Your heart was pierced with a lance; – heal the wounds of our human weakness.

You made your cross the tree of life; – share your victory with all the baptised. R

You gave salvation to the repentant thief; – pardon all our sins. R

LEADER Our Father…
ALL …who art in heaven…

Concluding Prayer and Blessing

LEADER
Love of you with our whole heart, Lord God, is holiness.
Increase then your gifts of divine grace in us,
so that, as in your Son’s Death,
you made us hope for what we believe,
you may likewise, in his Resurrection,
make us come to you, our final end.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God forever and ever.

OTHERS Amen.

LEADER The Lord bless us, and keep us from all evil, and bring us to
everlasting life.

OTHERS Amen.