On this day, the anniversary of our Saviour’s death, the Church gives her temples an appearance of desolation, and clothes her ministers in the garb of mourning.


The first part of to-day’s liturgy recalls the gatherings that took place in the synagogues on the Sabbath Day. The first Christian communities, composed as they were of convert Jews, took these assemblies as their model, at the same time subjecting them to necessary modifications, especially by early associating them with the liturgy of the Eucharistic Sacrifice. It is in the Mass of the Catechumens that these are told that the mercies of God are soon to descend on the Christian people, just as chastisement will fall on the faithless nations Ephraim and Juda; for at the very moment when the multitude of the children of Israel will be offering the Paschal Lamb (second Lesson), the Jews will be putting to death the Lamb of God on the Cross. This death is described for us in the story of our Lord’s Passion according to St. John. Continue Reading