2 Fri Apr 2010
Here is recording of the passion narrative, chanted by the brothers in the province of St. Albert the Great circa 1960:
See, my servant shall prosper; he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high. Just as there were many who were astonished at himâ€”so marred was his appearance, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of mortalsâ€” so he shall startle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which had not been told them they shall see, and that which they had not heard they shall contemplate.
Who has believed what we have heard? 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, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity; and as one from whom others hide their faces he was despised, and we held him of no account.
Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By a perversion of justice he was taken away. Who could have imagined his future? For he was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people. They made his grave with the wicked and his tomb with the rich, 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 with pain. When you make his life an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days; through him the will of the Lord shall prosper. Out of his anguish he shall see light; he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge. The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Now the slaves and the police had made a charcoal fire because it was cold, and they were standing around it and warming themselves. Peter also was standing with them and warming himself. Then the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching. Jesus answered, â€œI have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. Why do you ask me? Ask those who heard what I said to them; they know what I said.â€ When he had said this, one of the police standing nearby struck Jesus on the face, saying, â€œIs that how you answer the high priest?â€ Jesus answered, â€œIf I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong. But if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?â€ Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest. Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They asked him, â€œYou are not also one of his disciples, are you?â€ He denied it and said, â€œI am not.â€ One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, â€œDid I not see you in the garden with him?â€ Again Peter denied it, and at that moment the cock crowed.
Then they took Jesus from Caiaphas to Pilateâ€™s headquarters. It was early in the morning. They themselves did not enter the headquarters, so as to avoid ritual defilement and to be able to eat the Passover. So Pilate went out to them and said, â€œWhat accusation do you bring against this man?â€ They answered, â€œIf this man were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.â€ Pilate said to them, â€œTake him yourselves and judge him according to your law.â€ The Jews replied, â€œWe are not permitted to put anyone to death.â€ (This was to fulfill what Jesus had said when he indicated the kind of death he was to die.) Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, â€œAre you the King of the Jews?â€ Jesus answered, â€œDo you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?â€ Pilate replied, â€œI am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?â€ Jesus answered, â€œMy kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.â€ Pilate asked him, â€œSo you are a king?â€ Jesus answered, â€œYou say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.â€ Pilate asked him, â€œWhat is truth?â€ After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, â€œI find no case against him. But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover. Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?â€ They shouted in reply, â€œNot this man, but Barabbas!â€ Now Barabbas was a bandit.
Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. And the soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they dressed him in a purple robe. They kept coming up to him, saying, â€œHail, King of the Jews!â€ and striking him on the face. Pilate went out again and said to them, â€œLook, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no case against him.â€ So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, â€œHere is the man!â€ When the chief priests and the police saw him, they shouted, â€œCrucify him! Crucify him!â€ Pilate said to them, â€œTake him yourselves and crucify him; I find no case against him.â€ The Jews answered him, â€œWe have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has claimed to be the Son of God.â€ Now when Pilate heard this, he was more afraid than ever. He entered his headquarters again and asked Jesus, â€œWhere are you from?â€ But Jesus gave him no answer. Pilate therefore said to him, â€œDo you refuse to speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?â€ Jesus answered him, â€œYou would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above; therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.â€ From then on Pilate tried to release him, but the Jews cried out, â€œIf you release this man, you are no friend of the emperor. Everyone who claims to be a king sets himself against the emperor.â€ When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus outside and sat on the judgeâ€™s bench at a place called The Stone Pavement, or in Hebrew Gabbatha. Now it was the day of Preparation for the Passover; and it was about noon. He said to the Jews, â€œHere is your King!â€ They cried out, â€œAway with him! Away with him! Crucify him!â€ Pilate asked them, â€œShall I crucify your King?â€ The chief priests answered, â€œWe have no king but the emperor.â€
Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus; and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them.
Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, â€œJesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.â€ Many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek. Then the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, â€œDo not write, â€˜The King of the Jews,â€™ but, â€˜This man said, I am King of the Jews.â€™â€ Pilate answered, â€œWhat I have written I have written.â€ When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one for each soldier. They also took his tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top. So they said to one another, â€œLet us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it.â€ This was to fulfill what the scripture says, â€œThey divided my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots.â€ And that is what the soldiers did. Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his motherâ€™s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, â€œWoman, here is your son.â€ Then he said to the disciple, â€œHere is your mother.â€ And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home. After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), â€œI am thirsty.â€ A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the wine, he said, â€œIt is finished.â€ Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Since it was the day of Preparation, the Jews did not want the bodies left on the cross during the sabbath, especially because that sabbath was a day of great solemnity. So they asked Pilate to have the legs of the crucified men broken and the bodies removed. Then 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. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out. (He who saw this has testified so that you also may believe. His testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth.) These things occurred so that the scripture might be fulfilled, â€œNone of his bones shall be broken.â€ And again another passage of scripture says, â€œThey will look on the one whom they have pierced.â€
After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body. Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
Scripture passage from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright 1989, 1993, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.