Friday, April 10, 2009

The Solemn Commemoration of Our Lord's Passion

At Carmel the solemn liturgy of this day was enacted; all to note was that - as it is a monastery of nuns - when the St John Passion was read, the roles of the Chronicler and the Synagogue were taken by some of the nuns from within the screen, the priest of course reading the part of Christ, and all, even the laity in attendance, joining in the crowd parts.  During the Adoration of the Cross, the nuns sang some of the Reproaches and part of the appointed hymn (in English).

Fr Greg - as is his wont - preached a stark and confronting sermon on the inescapable fate of death that awaits all, no matter how we seek to avoid and deny it, or still our fear by distracting ourselves with worldly things; and how not merely through Christ's death on the Cross, but our necessary embrace of the same by dying to ourselves and living His life, suffering the burthen of our own cross, enduring the pain and sacrifice of living as becomes Christians, can we alone by "the royal road of the Holy Cross" pass from earth to heaven through death: thus fulfilling the mystery into which we were plunged at Baptism, to live no longer for ourselves, but for Him Who died and rose again for us, that it may be no longer we who live, but Christ Who lives in us.  No matter how wicked we are, we can in penitence embrace the Cross, in which alone there is grace, life and salvation.

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