Friday, September 14, 2012

The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Benediction with the Relic of the True Cross, Rome.

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:
Tell how Christ, the world’s Redeemer,
As a victim won the day.

God, His Maker, sorely grieving
That the first-made Adam fell,
When he ate the fruit of sorrow,
Whose reward was death and hell,
Noted then this Wood, the ruin
Of the ancient wood to quell.

For the work of our salvation
Needs would have his order so,
And the multiform deceiver’s
Art by art would overthrow,
And from thence would bring the med’cine
Whence the insult of the foe.
St. Peter's.

Wherefore, when the sacred fullness
Of the appointed time was come,
This world’s Maker left His Father,
Sent the heav’nly mansion from,
And proceeded, God Incarnate,
Of the Virgin’s holy womb.

Weeps the Infant in the manger
That in Bethlehem’s stable stands;
And His limbs the Virgin Mother
Doth compose is swaddling bands,
Meetly thus in linen folding
Of her God the feet and hands.

To the Trinity be glory
Everlasting, as is meet;
Equal to the Father, equal
To the Son, and Paraclete:
Trinal Unity, whose praises
All created things repeat.

Pange, lingua, gloriosi 
(Sing My Tongue the Glorious Battle)
Hymn of Vigils

Vatican Obelisk, containing relics of the True Cross.
Thirty years among us dwelling,
His appointed time fulfilled,
Born for this, he meets his passion,
For that this he freely willed:
On the Cross the Lamb is lifted,
Where his life-blood shall be spilled.

He endured the nails, the spitting,
Vinegar and spear and reed;
From that holy body pierced
Blood and water forth proceed;
Earth and stars and sky and ocean
By that flood from stain are freed.

Faithful Cross! above all other,
One and only noble tree!
None in foliage, none in blossom,
None in fruit thy peers may be;
Sweetest wood and sweetest Iron!
Sweetest weight is hung on thee.

Bend thy boughs, O tree of glory!
Thy too rigid sinews bend;
Apse mosaic, San Clemente, Rome.
For awhile the ancient rigor
That thy birth bestowed, suspend;
And the King of heavenly beauty
On thy bosom gently tend!

Thou alone wast counted worthy
This world’s ransom to uphold;
For a shipwrecked race preparing
Harbor, like the ark of old;
With the sacred blood anointed
From the smitten Lamb that rolled.

To the Trinity be glory
Everlasting, as is meet:
Equal to the Father, equal
To the Son and Paraclete:
Trinal Unity, whose praises
All created things repeat.

Santa Croce in Gerusalemme
Lustris sex qui jam peractis 
(Thirty Years Among Us Dwelling)
Hymn of Lauds

The royal banners forward go,
The cross shines forth in mystic glow;
Where he in flesh, our flesh who made, *
Our sentence bore, our ransom paid.

Where deep for us the spear was dyed,
Life’s torrent rushing from his side,
To wash us in that precious flood,
Where mingled water flowed, and blood.

Fulfilled is all that David told
In true prophetic song of old,
Amidst the nations, God, saith he,
Hath reigned and triumphed from the tree.

O tree of beauty, tree of light!
O tree with royal purple dight!
Elect on whose triumphal breast
Lateran Obelisk, Rome.
Those holy limbs should find their rest.

Blest tree, whose chosen branches bore
The wealth that did the world restore,
The price of humankind to pay,
And spoil the spoiler of his prey.

O cross, our one reliance, hail!
Still may thy power with us avail
To give new virtue to the saint,
And pardon to the penitent.

To thee, eternal Three in One,
Let homage meet by all be done:
Whom by the cross thou dost restore,
Preserve and govern evermore. Amen.

Vexilla regis prodeunt 
(The Royal Banners Forward Go)
Hymn of Vespers

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:4-11
Epistle for Holy Cross Day

V. Christ, for our sake, became obedient unto death.
R. Even the death of the cross.
V. We adore thee, O Christ, and we bless thee.
R. Because by thy Cross thou hast redeemed the world.
V. This Sign of the Cross shall be in heaven.
R. When the Lord shall come to judgment.
V. Save us, O Christ our Saviour, by the virtue of the Cross.
R. Thou who savedst Peter in the sea, have mercy upon us.

O GOD, who in the finding of the Cross of our salvation didst renew the wonders of thy passion: vouchsafe to grant that through the ransom once paid upon that Tree of life, we may attain unto life eternal. Who livest and reignest ... world without end. Amen.