On Good Friday, you might like to join in the Psalm Francis composed for his Office of the Passion to mark the hour of Jesus’s death. It is a collage of Biblical passages, mainly from the Psalms, phrases from the liturgy, and his own reflections.
We pray today especially in union with all the members of Christ’s Body who suffer in his name, particularly those who are innocent victims of war and violence or cannot see a way out of their suffering:
O you who pass along this way
look and see if there is a sorrow like mine.
For a pack of dogs has surrounded me
a gang of evildoers has closed in on me.
Yes, they have stared at me and gloated;
they have divided my clothes among them
and have cast lots for my tunic.
They have pierced my hands and my feet
they have counted all my bones.
They have opened their mouth against me
like a ravening and roaring lion.
I have been poured out like water
and all of my bones have been pulled apart.
My heart has become like melting wax
within my being.
My strength has been dried up liked baked clay
and my tongue has stuck to my palate.
They have given me poison for my food
and vinegar to slake my thirst.
They have led me into the dust of death;
they have added to the pain of my wounds.
I have slept and I have risen,
and my most holy Father has received me with glory.
Holy Father, you have held my right hand
you have drawn me by your will
and have lifted me up with glory.
For what else is in heaven for me
and besides you, what have I wanted on earth?
Behold, and see that I am God, says the Lord
supreme among the nations,
supreme on the earth.
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
who has redeemed the souls of his servants
with his own most holy Blood
and who will not abandon those who hope in the Lord.
And we know that the Lord is coming,
and will come to judge justice.
Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be forever. Amen.
Translation, The Geste of the Great King: The Office of the Passion of Francis of Assisi, Laurent Gallant, OFM, and Andre Cirino, OFM (The Franciscan Institute: St Bonaventure University, 2001).
Main image: Fresco by Pietro Lorenzetti, “The Deposition of Christ from the Cross,” in the same series of frescoes as the others posted this week, in the lower basilica of San Francesco in Assisi, c. 1320
Dominic V. Monti, OFM, is a Franciscan Friar of Holy Name Province (USA) and currently professor of Franciscan Research in the Franciscan Institute of St. Bonaventure University. He devoted the greater part of his ministry to teaching the History of Christianity, in particular the history of the Franciscan movement. He has contributed two volumes to the Works of St. Bonaventure series and is author of Francis & His Brothers, a popular history of the Friars Minor.