Holy Week


LEADER O Lord open our lips.

ANY OTHERS PRESENT And we shall praise your name.


Antiphon (LEADER) Christ, the Son of God, redeemed us with his blood.
Come, let us adore him.

ANY OTHERS PRESENT: Christ, the Son of God, redeemed us with his blood. 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”)

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.

2 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.

3 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.

4 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.


Antiphon (LEADER) They arise, the kings of the earth; princes plot against the
Lord and his anointed.

LEADER Why this tumult among nations,
among peoples this useless murmuring?
They arise, the kings of the earth,
princes plot against the Lord and his Anointed.
‘Come, let us break their fetters,
come, let us cast off their yoke.’

OTHERS He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord is laughing them to scorn.
Then he will speak in his anger,
his rage will strike them with terror.
‘It is I who have set up my king
on Sion, my holy mountain.’

LEADER I will announce the decree of the Lord:
The Lord said to me: ‘You are my Son.
It is I who have begotten you this day.
Ask and I shall bequeath you the nations,
put the ends of the earth in your possession.
With a rod of iron you will break them,
shatter them like a potter’s jar.’

OTHERS Now, O kings, understand,
take warning, rulers of the earth;
Serve the Lord with awe
and trembling, pay him your homage
lest he be angry and you perish;
for suddenly his anger will blaze.

LEADER Blessed are they who put their trust in God.

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 They arise, the kings of the earth; princes plot against the Lord and his

PSALM 21 (22)

Antiphon (LEADER): They divided my clothing among them.
They cast lots for my robe.

LEADER My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
You are far from my plea and the cry of my distress.
O my God, I call by day and you give no reply;
I call by night and I find no peace.

OTHERS Yet you, O God, are holy,
enthroned on the praises of Israel.
In you our fathers put their trust;
they trusted and you set them free.
When they cried to you, they escaped.
In you they trusted and never in vain.

LEADER But I am a worm and no man,
scorned by men, despised by the people.
All who see me deride me.
They curl their lips, they toss their heads.
‘He trusted in the Lord, let him save him;
let him release him if this is his friend.’

OTHERS Yes, it was you who took me from the womb,
entrusted me to my mother’s breast.
To you I was committed from my birth,
from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
Do not leave me alone in my distress;
come close, there is none else to help.

LEADER Many bulls have surrounded me,
fierce bulls of Bashan close me in.
Against me they open wide their jaws,
like lions, rending and roaring.

OTHERS Like water I am poured out,
disjointed are all my bones.
My heart has become like wax,
it is melted within my breast.

LEADER Parched as burnt clay is my throat,
my tongue cleaves to my jaws.
Many dogs have surrounded me,
a band of the wicked beset me.
They tear holes in my hands and my feet
and lay me in the dust of death.

OTHERS I can count every one of my bones.
These people stare at me and gloat;
they divide my clothing among them.
They cast lots for my robe.

LEADER O Lord, do not leave me alone,
my strength, make haste to help me!
Rescue my soul from the sword,
my life from the grip of these dogs.
Save my life from the jaws of these lions,
my poor soul from the horns of these oxen.

OTHERS I will tell of your name to my brethren
and praise you where they are assembled.
‘You who fear the Lord give him praise;
all sons of Jacob, give him glory.
Revere him, Israel’s sons.’

LEADER ‘For he has never despised
nor scorned the poverty of the poor.
From him he has not hidden his face,
but he heard the poor man when he cried.’

OTHERS You are my praise in the great assembly.
My vows I will pay before those who fear him.
The poor shall eat and shall have their fill.
They shall praise the Lord, those who seek him.
May their hearts live for ever and ever!

LEADER All the earth shall remember and return to the Lord,
all families of the nations worship before him;
for the kingdom is the Lord’s, he is ruler of the nations.
They shall worship him, all the mighty of the earth;
before him shall bow all who go down to the dust.

OTHERS And my soul shall live for him, my children serve him.
They shall tell of the Lord to generations yet to come,
declare his faithfulness to peoples yet unborn:
‘These things the Lord has done.’

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.

ALL They divided my clothing among them. They cast lots for my robe.


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

First Reading (LEADER) Hebrews 9:11-28

A Reading from the Letter to the Hebrews
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



LEADER 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,*

OTHERS so as to give life to his people.

Second Reading (LEADER)
From the Catecheses by Saint John Chrysostom, Bishop

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.



LEADER 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. *

OTHERS Through him we all have access to the Father in the one Spirit.


Antiphon (LEADER): Over his head was placed the charge against him:
“This is Jesus, the Nazarene, the King of the Jews.”

(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 Over his head was placed the charge against him: “This is Jesus, the
Nazarene, the King of the Jews.”


LEADER Let us pray to our Redeemer, who suffered for us, was buried, and rose
from the dead. R Lord, have mercy on us.

Lord and Master, for us you became obedient even to death.
Keep us faithful to God’s will in the darkness of our lives. R

Jesus, our life, by dying on the cross you destroyed hell and death.
Grant that we may die with you and rise with you in glory. R

Christ, our King, you were the scorn of the people, a worm not a man.
Teach us to tread your path of humility. R

Jesus, our Saviour, you laid down your life for your friends.
Let us love one another as you have loved us. R

Jesus, our hope, you stretched out your hands on the cross to embrace all ages of
people. Gather all God’s scattered children into the kingdom of salvation. R.

LEADER Our Father… OTHERS …who art in heaven…

Concluding Prayer and Blessing

LEADER 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,
one God, for ever and ever.


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