O God of the cross, where your Son hung in abjection, icon of the suffering that we ceaselessly inflict on others: fill our emptiness with the Holy Spirit of love, that we, seeing the crucified Jesus, might at long last learn to stop crucifying our sisters and brothers in creation, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
For music, Kenneth Leighton’s setting of Peter Abelard’s “Solus ad victimam”:
Alone to sacrifice thou goest, Lord,
giving thyself to Death whom thou hast slain.
For us thy wretched folk is any word?
Who know that for our sins this is thy pain?
For they are ours, O Lord, our deeds, our deeds.
Why must thou suffer torture for our sin?
Let our hearts suffer in thy Passion, Lord,
that very suffering may thy mercy win.
This is the night of tears, the three days’ space,
sorrow abiding of the eventide,
Until the day break with the risen Christ,
and hearts that sorrowed shall be satisfied.
So may our hearts share in thine anguish, Lord,
that they may sharers of thy glory be;
Heavy with weeping may the three days pass,
to win the laughter of thine Easter Day.
(trans. Helen Waddell)
Solus ad victimam procedis, Domine,
Morti ter offerens quam venis tollere;
Quid nos miserrimi possumus dicere
Qui quae commisimus scimus te luere?
Nostra sunt, Domine, nostra sunt crimina:
Quid tua criminum facis supplicia?
Quibus sic compati fac nostra pectora
Ut vel compassio digna sit venia.
Nox ista flebilis praesensque triduum
Quod demorabitur fletus sit vesperum,
Donec laetitiae mane gratissimum
Surgente, Domine, sit maestis redditum.
Tu tibi compati sic fac nos, Domine,
Tuae participes ut simus gloriae;
Sic praesens triduum in luctu ducere,
Ut visum tribuas paschalis gratiae.