March 25, 2016 </br>Great and Holy Friday and Annunciation of the Mother of God

March 25, 2016
Great and Holy Friday and Annunciation of the Mother of God

Great Vespers and the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
with the Procession and Laying Out of the Holy Shroud

At Psalm 140

In Tone 1

  1. Lead my soul forth from prison* that I may give thanks to Your name.

The whole creation was changed by fear,
when it saw You, O Christ, hanging on the Cross.
The sun was darkened,
and the foundations of the earth were shaken.
All things suffered with the Creator of all.
Of Your will You have endured this for our sakes.
O Lord, glory to You.

  1. The just shall gather around me* when You have been good to me.

The whole creation was changed by fear,
when it saw You, O Christ, hanging on the Cross.
The sun was darkened,
and the foundations of the earth were shaken.
All things suffered with the Creator of all.
Of Your will You have endured this for our sakes.
O Lord, glory to You.

In Tone 2

  1. Out of the depths I cry to You, O Lord;* O Lord, hear my voice!

Why do the impious and transgressing people imagine vain things?
Why have they condemned to death the Life of all?
O mighty wonder! The Creator of the world is delivered into the hands of lawless men,
and He who loves mankind is raised upon the Cross,
that He may free the prisoners in hell who cry:
O long-suffering Lord, glory to You!

  1. Let Yours ears be attentive* to the voice of my prayer.

Today the most pure Virgin
saw You hanging on the Cross, O Word,
and with a mother’s love, she wept,
and bitterly her heart was wounded.
She groaned in anguish from the depth of her soul.
And in her grief she struck her face
and tore her hair,
and beating her breast, she cried, lamenting:
Woe is me, my Divine Child!
Woe is me, O Light of the world!
Why do You vanish from my sight, O Lamb of God?
Then the hosts of angels were seized with trembling,
and they said:
O Lord beyond our understanding, glory to You!

  1. If You mark iniquities, Lord, who can stand?* But with You forgiveness is that You may be revered.

Seeing You hanging on the Cross,
O Christ and Creator and God of all,
bitterly Your Virgin Mother cried:
O my Son, where is the beauty of Your form?
I cannot bear to look upon You crucified unjustly.
Make haste, then, to arise,
that I, too, may see
Your Resurrection on the third day from the dead.

In Tone 6

  1. I have waited for You as You have commanded; my soul patiently relies on Your promise,* for it has trusted in the Lord.

Today the Master stands before Pilate,
today the Maker of all things is given up to the Cross,
and of His own will is led as a lamb to the slaughter.
He who sent manna in the wilderness is transfixed with nails.
His side is pierced,
and sponge with vinegar touches His lips.
The Deliverer of the world is struck on the face
and the Creator of all is mocked by His own servants.
How great is the Master’s love for mankind!
For those who crucified Him,
He prayed to His Father, saying:
Forgive them this sin,
for in their wickedness, they know not what they do.

In Tone 4 

  1. From the morning watch until night* let Israel trust in the Lord.

In the sixth month, the archangel was sent to the pure Virgin.
Telling her to rejoice, he announced the good tidings
that the Saviour would be born of her.
Having accepted his greeting, she conceived the eternal God
who ineffably deigned to become incarnate
for the salvation of our souls.

  1. For with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him there is plentiful redemption;* and He shall redeem Israel from all its iniquities.

The Mother of God, upon hearing, did not understand
the message of the archangel
because he was speaking the words of glad tidings to her.
She accepted his greeting with faith
and conceived You, the eternal God.
Therefore, we joyfully sing to You:
O God, You became incarnate, without change, from her;
and You grant peace and great mercy to the world.

  1. Praise the Lord, all the nations;* proclaim His glory, all you people.

Behold, the promised One now manifests himself to us.
It is beyond comprehension that God unites himself to the human race.
At the word of the archangel, deceit is cast out
because the Virgin receives the Joy.
The things of the earth become like heaven;
the world is freed of the original curse.
Let creation rejoice,
and may voices cry out:
O our Creator and Deliverer,
O Lord, glory to You!

In Tone 1 

  1. Strong is the love of the Lord for us;* eternally will His truth endure.

The archangel Gabriel, the spirit who sees God face to face,
gazes upon the brilliant, saving, and gleaming Light.
He sings heavenly and awesome hymns with the ranks on high.
He implores God to grant peace and great mercy to our souls.

In Tone 6, Glory…

See how the lawless synagogue has condemned to death the King of the Creation!
They were not ashamed when he recalled His blessings, saying:
O My people, what have I done to you?
Have I not filled Judea with miracles?
Have I not raised the dead by My word alone?
Have I not healed every sickness and disease?
How then, have you repaid me?
Why have you forgotten Me?
In return for healing, you have given Me blows;
in return for life, you are putting Me to death.
You hang upon the Cross your benefactor as an evildoer,
your Lawgiver as a transgressor of the Law,
the King of all as one condemned.
O long-suffering Lord, glory to You!


The archangel Gabriel was sent from heaven
to bring to the Virgin glad tidings of her conception.
When he came to Nazareth,
he marvelled at the miracle and thought to himself:
How is it that He whom the heavens cannot comprehend
is now being born of a virgin?
The One who has heaven for a throne and earth for a footstool
is being enclosed within a virgin’s womb.
He, upon whom the six-winged Seraphim and the many-eyed Cherubim cannot gaze,
wills to become incarnate of her by a single word.
The Word of God is at hand.
Then why do I stand by and not say to the Virgin:
Rejoice, O Full of Grace; the Lord is with you!
Rejoice, O pure Virgin and maiden bride!
Rejoice, O Mother of the Life!
Blessed is the fruit of your womb.

Entrance with the Gospel

Prokeimenon, Tone 4
They parted my garments among them,* and cast lots upon my vesture.
verse: O God, my God, look upon me; why have you forsaken me?

Reading I
Exodus 33:11-23
The Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses turned again into the camp, his assistant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent. Moses said to the Lord, “See, you say to me, ‘Bring up this people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favour in my sight.’ Now therefore, if I have found favour in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favour in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.” And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” And he said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favour in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?” And the Lord said to Moses, “This very thing that you have spoken I will do, for you have found favour in my sight, and I know you by name.” Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” And the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock, and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen.”

Prokeimenon, Tone 4
Judge them, O Lord, that wrong me,* fight against them that fight against me.
verse: They rewarded me evil for good.

Reading II
Job 42:12-17
The Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning. And he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. He had also seven sons and three daughters. And he called the name of the first daughter Jemimah, and the name of the second Keziah, and the name of the third Keren-happuch. And in all the land there were no women so beautiful as Job’s daughters. And their father gave them an inheritance among their brothers. And after this Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, four generations. And Job died, an old man, and full of days.

Reading III
Isaiah 52:13-54:1
Thus says the Lord, Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted. As many were astonished at you— his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind— so shall he sprinkle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand. Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore, I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors. Sing, O barren one, who did not bear; break forth into singing and cry aloud, you who have not been in labour! For the children of the desolate one will be more than the children of her who is married, says the Lord.

Reading IV
Exodus 3:1-8 (if feast falls on Saturday or Sunday)
Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Mid′ian; and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and lo, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, “I will turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.” When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here am I.” Then he said, “Do not come near; put off your shoes from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. Then the Lord said, “I have seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters; I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Per′izzites, the Hivites, and the Jeb′usites.

Reading V
Proverbs 8:22-30 (if feast falls on Saturday or Sunday)
The Lord created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old. Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth. When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water. Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth; before he had made the earth with its fields, or the first of the dust of the world. When he established the heavens, I was there, when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep, when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside him, like a master workman; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always.

Small Ektenia and Trisagion Hymn

Prokeimenon, Tone 4
Proclaim from day to day the good tidings of our God’s salvation.
verse: Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.

Prokeimenon, Tone 6
They laid me in the lowest pit, in dark places,* and in the shadow of death.
verse: O Lord, God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before You.

Hebrews 2:11-18
Brethren, he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers, saying, “I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.” And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again, “Behold, I and the children God has given me.” Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

1 Corinthians 1:18-2:2
Brethren, the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

Alleluia, Tone 1
verse: He will descend like rain on a fleece, and like drops dripping on the earth.
verse: Let His name blessed through the ages; His name exists before the sun.
verse: Save me, O God, for the waters are come in, even unto my soul.
verse: They gave me gall to eat, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
verse: Let their eyes be darkened that they may not see.

Luke 1:24-38
After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying, “Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.” In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favoured one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

Matthew 27:1-38; Luke 23:39-43; Matthew 27:39-54; John 19:31-37; Matthew 27:5-61
hen morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death. And they bound him and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate the governor. Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself. But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since it is blood money.” So they took counsel and bought with them the potter’s field as a burial place for strangers. Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken by the prophet Jeremiah, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him on whom a price had been set by some of the sons of Israel, and they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord directed me.”

Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You have said so.” But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?” But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.

Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the crowd any one prisoner whom they wanted. And they had then a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” For he knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up. Besides, while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much because of him today in a dream.” Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!” And he said, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!”

So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified.

Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole battalion before him. And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him.

As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross. And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots. Then they sat down and kept watch over him there. And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left.

* * * * *

One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

* * * * *

And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.

And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

* * * * *

Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe. For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.” And again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they have pierced.”

* * * * *

There were also many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him, among whom were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.

Hymn to the Mother of God
O earth, announce good news of great joy; praise God’s glory, O heavens.
Irmos, Tone 4: Let no hand of the profane touch God’s living ark, but instead let the lips of those who are believers sing out ceaselessly in the words of the angel, crying out with great joy to the Mother of God: Hail, O Full of Grace! The Lord is with you.

Communion Hymn
For the Lord has chosen Sion;* He has chosen if for His dwelling.* Alleluia, alleluia,* alleluia.

Ambon Prayer
O Lord our God and Ruler of all, You were pleased that Your only Son took flesh from a Virgin, and became a human being for our salvation. You sent Your archangel Gabriel to the holy Virgin Mary, to announce the good news of this conception without seed. Before all ages You predetermined that she would be the vessel of so awesome a mystery foreknown to You and to Your co-eternal Word. Through her prayers, and the prayers of all the saints, now announce to us the good news of the forgiveness of sins through Your grace, and the news of the joy which has appeared today. Speak peace to Your people and make known to us the way to travel that we might be accepted into Your heavenly Kingdom. Grant this through the mercies of Your Christ, with whom You are blessed, together with Your all-holy, good and life-giving Spirit, now and for ever and ever.


In Tone 2

Down from the Tree Joseph of Arimathea
took You dead who are the Life of all,
and he wrapped You, O Christ, in a linen cloth with spices.
Moved in his heart by love,
he kissed Your most pure body with his lips;
yet drawing back in fear, he cried to You, rejoicing:
Glory to Your self-abasement, O Lover of mankind!

The Lord reigns,* he is clothed in majesty.

When you, the Redeemer of all
were laid for the sake of all in a new tomb,
hell was brought to scorn,
and seeing You, drew back in fear.
The bars were broken and the gates were shattered,
the tombs were opened and the dead arose.
Then Adam in thanksgiving and rejoicing cried to You:
Glory to Your self-abasement, O Lover of mankind.

For He has made the word firm,* which shall not be moved.

In the flesh You were of Your own will
enclosed within the tomb,
yet in Your divine nature Your remain uncircumscribed and limitless.
You have shut up the treasury of hell, O Christ,
and emptied all his palaces.
You honoured this Sabbath with Your divine blessing,
with Your glory and Your radiance.

Holiness befits Your house, O Lord,* for length of days.

The powers of heaven beheld You, O Christ,
falsely accused by lawless men as a deceiver,
and they saw the stone before the tomb
sealed by the hands which pierced Your most pure side,
and they were filled with fear at Your ineffable forbearance.

In Tone 5, Glory… Now…

You were naked and cold in death,
O You who wear light as a robe,
and the noble Joseph and Nicodemus
removed You from the Cross,
with grief and tears so tender.
And Joseph mourned and prayed:
O what has happened, O gentle Jesus?
The sun saw You suspended on the Cross
and shrouded itself in darkness.
The earth quaked with fear
and the temple veil was rent asunder!
For my sake, O Saviour, You willingly endured the Passion.
How then shall I array Your Body, O my God?
How then shall I wrap You in this shroud?
How then shall I hymn Your burial?
O my Lord most merciful,
Your death and rising shall I praise
as I sing: O Lord, glory be to You!


The noble Joseph took Your most pure Body down from the Cross.* He wrapped it in a clean linen with aromatic spices* and sadly laid it in a new tomb. (3)


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