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From Dom Guéranger's The Liturgical Year.

JOHN the Baptist has pointed out the Lamb, Peter has firmly established his throne, Paul has prepared the bride; their joint work, admirable in its unity, at once suggests the reason for their feasts occurring almost simultaneously in the cycle. The alliance being now secured, all three fall into shade; whilst the bride herself, raised up by them to such lofty heights, appears alone before us, holding in her hands the sacred cup of the nuptial-feast.

This gives the key of to-day's solemnity, revealing how its appearance in the heavens of the holy liturgy at this particular season is replete with mystery. The Church, it is true, has already made known to the sons of the new covenant, in a much more solemn manner, the price of the Blood that redeemed them, its nutritive strength and the adoring homage which is its due. On Good Friday earth and heaven beheld all sin drowned in the saving stream, whose eternal flood-gates at last gave way beneath the combined effort of man's violence and of the love of the divine Heart. The festival of Corpus Christi witnessed our prostrate worship before the altars whereon is perpetuated the Sacrifice of Calvary, and where the outpouring of the precious Blood affords drink to the humblest little ones, as well as to the mightiest potentates of earth, lowly bowed in adoration before it. How is it, then, that holy Church is now inviting all Christians to hail, in a particular manner, the stream of life ever gushing from the sacred fount? What else can this mean, but that the preceding solemnities have by no means exhausted the mystery? The peace which this Blood has made to reign in the high places as well as in the low; the impetus of its wave bearing back the sons of Adam from the yawning gulf, purified, renewed and dazzling white in the radiance of their heavenly apparel; the sacred Table outspread before them on the waters’ brink, and the chalice brimful of inebriation—all this preparation and display would be objectless, all these splendours would be incomprehensible, if man were not brought to see therein the wooings of a love that could never endure its advances to be outdone by the pretensions of any other. Therefore, the Blood of Jesus is set before our eyes at this moment as the Blood of the Testament; the pledge of the alliance proposed to us by God;[1] the dower stipulated by eternal Wisdom for this divine union to which he is inviting all men, and its consummation in our soul which is being urged forward with such vehemence by the Holy Ghost.

‘Having therefore, brethren, a confidence in entering into the Holies by the Blood of Christ,' says the apostle, ‘ a new and living way which he hath dedicated for us through the veil—that is to say, his flesh—let us draw near with a pure heart in fullness of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with clean water, let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he is faithful that hath promised. Let us consider one another to provoke unto charity and to good works.[2] And may the God of peace who brought again from the dead the great Pastor of the sheep, our Lord Jesus Christ, in the Blood of the everlasting Testament, fit you in all goodness, that you may do his will: doing in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom is glory for ever and ever. Amen!'[3]

Nor must we omit to mention here, that this feast is a monument of one of the most brilliant victories of holy Church in our own age. Pius IX had been driven from Rome in 1848 by the triumphant revolution; but the following year, just about this season, his power was re-established. Under the aegis of the apostles on June 28 and the two following days, the eldest daughter of the Church, faithful to her past glories, swept the ramparts of the eternal city; and on July 2, Mary’s festival, the victory was completed. Not long after this, a twofold decree notified to the city and to the world the Pontiff’s gratitude and the way in which he intended to perpetuate, in the sacred liturgy, the memory of these events. On August 10, from Gaeta itself, the place of his exile in the evil day, Pius IX, before returning to reassume the government of his States, addressing himself to the invisible Head of the Church, confided her in a special manner to his divine care, by the institution of this day's festival; reminding him that it was for his Church that he had vouchsafed to shed all his precious Blood. Then, when the Pontiff re-entered his capital, turning to Mary, just as Pius V and Pius VIII had done under other circumstances, the Vicar of Christ solemnly attributed the honour of the recent victory to her who is ever the help of Christians; for on the feast of her Visitation it had been gained; and he now decreed that this said feast of July 2 should be raised from the rite of double major to that of second class throughout the whole world. This was a prelude to the definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, which the immortal Pontiff had already projected, whereby the crushing of the serpent’s head would be completed.

 

MASS

 

The Church, formed by the apostles from all the nations under heaven, advances towards the altar of the Spouse who hath redeemed her in his Blood, and in the Introit hails his merciful love. She, henceforth, is the kingdom of God, the depository of truth.

Introit

Redemisti nos, Domine, in Sanguine tuo, ex omni tribu, et lingua, et populo, et natione, et fecisti nos Deo nostro regnum.

Ps. Misericordias Domini in æternum cantabo: in generationem et generationem annuntiabo veritatem tuam in ore meo. ℣. Gloria Patri. Redemisti nos.
Thou hast redeemed us, O Lord, in thy Blood, out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and hast made us to our God a kingdom.

Ps. The mercies of the Lord I will sing for ever: I will show forth thy truth with my mouth to generation and generation. ℣. Glory, etc. Thou hast.

The Blood of the Man-God, being the pledge of peace between heaven and earth, the object of profoundest worship, the centre of the whole liturgy, and our assured protection against all the evils of this present life, deposits, even now, in the souls and bodies of those whom it has ransomed, the germ of eternal happiness. The Church, therefore, in her Collect, begs of the Father, who has given us his only-begotten Son, that this divine germ may not remain sterile within us, but may come to full development in heaven.

Collect

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui unigenitum Filium tuum mundi Redemptorem constituisti, ac ejus Sanguine piacari voluisti: concede quæsumus, salutis nostræ pretium solemni cultu ita venerari, atque a præsentis vitæ malis ejus virtute defendi in terris: ut fructu perpetuo lætemur in cœlis. Per eumdem Dominum.
Almighty and eternal God, who hast appointed thy onlybegotten Son to be the Redeemer of the world, and hast been pleased to be appeased by his Blood: grant us, we beseech thee, so to venerate with solemn worship the price of our salvation, and to be on earth so defended by its power from the evils of this present life, that we may rejoice in its perpetual fruit in heaven. Through the same Lord, etc.

Epistle

Lectio Epistolæ beati Pauli Apostoli ad Hebræos.

Capix.

Fratres, Christus assistens Pontifex futurorum bonorum, per amplius et perfectius tabemaculum non manufactum, id est, non hujus creationis: neque per sanguinem hircorum aut vitulorum, sed per proprium Sanguinem introivit semel in Sancta, æterna redemptione inventa. Si enim sanguis hircorum et taurorum, et cinis vitulæ aspersus inquinatos sanctificat ad emundationem carnis: quanto magis Sanguis Christi, qui per Spiritum sanctum semetipsum obtulit immaculatum Deo, emundabit conscientiam nostram ab operibus mortuis, ad serviendum Deo viventi? Et ideo novi Testamenti Mediator est: ut morte intercedente, in redemptionem earum prævaricationum quæ erant sub priori Testamento, repromissionem accipiant, qui vocati sunt, ætemæ hæreditatis: in Christo Jesu Domino nostro.
Lesson from the Epistle of St Paul to the Hebrews.

Ch. ix.

Brethren, Christ, being come a High Priest of the good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation, neither by the blood of goats or of calves, but by his own Blood, entered once into the Holies, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and of oxen, and the ashes of an heifer being sprinkled, sanctify such as are defiled, to the cleansing of the flesh, how much more shall the Blood of Christ, who through the Holy Ghost, offered himself without spot to God, cleanse our conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And, therefore, he is the Mediator of the New Testament; that by means of his death, for the redemption of those transgressions which were under the former Testament, those that are called may receive the promise of eternal inheritance; in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The Epistle that has just been read to us is the confirmation of what we were saying above, as regards the special character of this festival. It was by his own Blood that the Son of God entered into heaven; this divine Blood continues to be the means whereby we also may be introduced into the eternal alliance. Thus, the old Covenant, founded on the observance of the precepts of Sinai, had likewise by blood consecrated the people and the law, the tabernacle and the vessels it was to contain; but the whole was but a figure. 'Now,' says St Ambrose, 'it behoves us to tend to truth. Here below, there is the shadow; here below, there is the image; up yonder, there is the truth. In the law was but the shadow; the image is to be found in the Gospel; the truth is in heaven. Formerly a lamb was immolated; now Christ is sacrificed, but only under the signs of the mysteries, whereas in heaven it is without veil. There alone, consequently, is full perfection unto which our thoughts should cleave, because all perfection is in truth without image and without shadow.'[4] There alone is rest: thither, even in this world, do the sons of God tend; without indeed attaining fully thereunto, they reach nearer and nearer day by day; for there alone is to be found that peace which forms saints.

‘O Lord God,’ cries out in his turn another illustrious doctor, the great St Augustine, ‘give us this peace, the peace of repose, the peace of the seventh day, of that Sabbath whose sun never sets. Yea! verily the whole order of nature and grace is very beautiful unto thy servitors, and goodly are the realities they cover; but these images, these successive forms, bide only awhile, and their evolution ended they pass away. The days thou didst fill with thy creations are composed of morning and of evening, the seventh alone excepted, for it declineth not, because thou hast for ever sanctified it in thine own rest. Now what is this rest, save that which thou takest in us, when we ourselves repose in thee, in the fruitful peace which crowns the series of thy graces in us? O sacred rest, more productive than labour! the perfect alone know thee, they who suffer the divine hand to accomplish within them the work of the six days.'[5]

And the apostle goes on to say, interpreting by means of other parts of Scripture his own words, just read to us by holy Church,'And therefore to-day if ye shall hear his voice, harden not your hearts.'[6] The divine Blood has made us participators of Christ: it is our part not to squander, as though it were worthless, this immense treasure, this initial incorporation which unites us to Christ, the divine Head; but let us abandon ourselves, without reserve, to the energy of this precious leaven, whose property it is to transform our whole being into him. Let us be afraid lest we fall short of the promise referred to in to-day's Epistle, that promise of our entering into God's rest, as St Paul tells us. It regards all believers, he says, and this divine Sabbath is for the whole people of the Lord. Therefore, let us make haste to enter in; let us not be like those Jews whose incredulity excluded them for ever from the promised land.[7]

The Gradual brings us back to the great testimony of the love of the Son of God, confided to the Holy Ghost, together with the Blood and Water of the Mysteries: a testimony which is closely linked here below with that which is rendered by the Holy Trinity in heaven. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, sings the Verse. What is this but to say, once again, that we must absolutely yield to these reiterated invitations of love? None may excuse himself by pleading either ignorance or want of vocation to a higher state than that to which tepidity inclines him. Let us hearken to the apostle addressing himself to all, in this same Epistle to the Hebrews: ‘Yea, verily; great and ineffable are these things. But if you have become little able to understand them, it is your own fault; for whereas for the time you ought to be masters, you have need to be taught again what are the first elements of the words of God: and you are become such as have need of milk, though your age would require the solid meat of the perfect. Wherefore, as far as concerns us in our instructions to you, leaving the word of the elementary teaching of Christ, let us go on to things more perfect, not laying again the foundation of penance from dead works, and of faith towards God. Have you not been illuminated? have you not tasted also the heavenly gift? have you not been made partakers of the Holy Ghost? What showers of graces at every moment water the earth of your soul! It is time that it bring in a return to God who tills it. Ye have delayed long enough: be now, at last, of the number of those who by patience and faith shall inherit the promises, casting your hope like an anchor sure and firm, which entereth in even within the veil, where the forerunner Jesus has entered for us—that is, to draw us in thither after him.'[8]

Gradual

Hic est qui venit per aquam et sanguinem, Jesus Christus: non in aqua solum, sed in aqua et sanguine.
℣. Tres sunt qui testimonium dant in cœlo: Pater, Verbum, et Spiritus sanctus; et hi tres unum sunt. Et tres sunt, qui testimonium dant in terra: spiritus, aqua, et sanguis; et hi tres unum sunt.
Alleluia, alleluia.
℣. Si testimonium hominum accipimus, testimonium Dei majus est. Alleluia.
This is he that came by water and blood, Jesus Christ: not by water only, but by water and blood.
℣. There are three that give testimony in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that give testimony on earth; the spirit, the water, and the blood: and these three are one.
Alleluia, alleluia.
℣. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater.

Gospel

Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Joannem.

Cap. xix.

In illo tempore: Cum accepisset Jesus acetum, dixit: Consummatum est. Et inclinato capite, tradidit spiritum. Judæi ergo (quoniam Parasceve erat), ut non remanerent in cruce corpora Sabbato (erat enim magnus dies ille Sabbati), rogaverunt Pilatum, ut frangerentur eorum crura, et tollerentur. Venerunt ergo milites: et primi quidem fregerunt crura, et alterius qui crucifixus est cum eo. Ad Jesum autem cum venissent, ut viderunt eum jam mortuum, non fregerunt ejus crura; sed unus militum lancea latus ejus aperuit, et continuo exivit sanguis et aqua. Et qui vidit, testimonium perhibuit: et verum est testimonium ejus.
Sequel of the holy Gospel according to John.

Ch. xix.

At that time, when Jesus had taken the vinegar, he said: It is consummated. And bowing his head, he gave up the ghost. Then the Jews (because it was the Parasceve) that the bodies might not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath-day (for that was a great Sabbath-day), besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. The soldiers therefore came, and they broke the legs of the first, and of the other that was crucified with him. But after they were come to Jesus, when they saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers with a spear opened his side, and immediately there came out blood and water. And he that saw it hath given testimony, and his testimony is true.

On Good Friday we heard for the first time this passage from the beloved disciple. The Church, as she stood mourning at the foot of the cross whereon her Lord had just died, was all tears and lamentation. To-day, however, she is thrilling with other sentiments, and the very same narration that then provoked her bitter tears now makes her burst out into anthems of gladness and songs of triumph. If we would know the reason of this, let us turn to those who are authorized by her to interpret to us the burthen of her thoughts this day. They will tell us that the new Eve is celebrating her birth from the side of her sleeping Spouse;[9] that from the solemn moment when the new Adam permitted the soldier's lance to open his Heart, we became, in very deed, bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh.[10] Dc not be surprised if holy Church sees naught but love and life in the Blood which is gushing forth.

And thou, O soul, long rebellious to the secret touches of choicest graces, be not disconsolate; do not say: ‘Love is no more for me!' How far away soever the old enemy may, by wretched wiles, have dragged thee, is it not still true, that to every winding way, perhaps even to every pitfall, the streamlets of this sacred fount have followed thee? Thinkest thou, perhaps, that thy long and tortuous wanderings from the merciful course of these ever pursuant waters may have weakened their power? Do but try; do but, first of all, bathe in their cleansing wave; do but quaff long draughts from this stream of life; then, O weary soul, arming thyself with faith, be strong, and mount once more the course of the divine torrent; for, as in order to reach thee it never once was separated from its fountain-head, so likewise be certain that by so doing thou needs must reach the very source itself. Believe me, this is the whole secret of the bride—namely, that whencesoever she may come, she has no other course to pursue than this, if she would hear the answer to that yearning request expressed in the sacred Canticle: 'Show me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou restest in the midday!'[11] Indeed, by reascending the sacred stream, not only is she sure of reaching the divine Heart, but moreover she is ceaselessly renewing, in its waters, that pure beauty which makes her become in the eyes of the Spouse an object of delight and glory to him.[12] For thy part, carefully gather up to-day the testimony of the disciple of love; and congratulating Jesus with the Church, his bride and thy mother, on the brilliancy of her empurpled robe,[13] take good heed likewise to conclude with St John: ‘ Let us then love God, since he hath first loved us.'[14]

The Church, whilst presenting her gifts for the sacrifice, sings how that chalice which she is offering to the benediction of her sons, the priests, becomes by virtue of the sacred words the inexhaustible source whence the Blood of her Lord flows out upon the whole world.

Offertory

Calix benedictionis, cui benedicimus, nonne communicatio Sanguinis Christi est? Et panis quem frangimus, nonne participatio Corporis Domini est?
The chalice of benediction which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? And the bread which we break, is it not the partaking of the body of the Lord?

The Secret begs for the full effect of the divine alliance, of which the Lord's Blood is both the means and the pledge, since its effusion continually renewed in the sacred Mysteries has hushed the cry of vengeance that the blood of Abel had sent up from earth to heaven.

Secret

Per hæc divina mysteria, ad novi, quæsumus, Testamenti mediatorem Jesum accedamus; et super altana tua, Domine virtutum, aspersionemSanguinis melius loquentem quam Abel innovemus. Per eumdem.
By these divine mysteries, we beseech thee that we may approach to Jesus, the Mediator of the New Testament: and that upon thy altars, O Lord of hosts, we may renew the sprinkling of that Blood, speaking better than that of Abel. Through the same, etc.

Preface

Vere dignum et justum est, æquum et salutare, nos tibi semper et ubique gratias agere, Domine sancte, Pater omnipotens, æterne Deus, qui salutem humani generis in ligno crucis constituisti: ut unde mors oriebatur, inde vita resurgeret: et qui in Ugno vincebat, in ligno quoque vinceretur: per Christum Dominum nostrum. Per quem majestatem tuam laudani Angeli; adorant Dominationes, tremunt Potestates. Cœli, cœlorumque Virtutes, ac beata Seraphim, socia exsultatione concelebrant. Cum quibus et nostras voces, ut admitti jubeas deprecamur, supplici confessione dicentes: Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, etc.
It is truly meet and just, right and available to salvation, that we should always, and in all places, give thanks to thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, eternal God, who hast appointed that the salvation of mankind should be wrought on the wood of the cross: that whence death came, thence life might arise; and that he who overcame by the tree, might also by the tree be overcome; through Christ our Lord; by whom the Angels praise thy majesty, the Dominations adore it, the Powers tremble before it; the heavens and the heavenly Virtues, and the blessed Seraphim, with common jubilee glorify it. Together with whom we beseech thee that we may be admitted to join our humble voices, saying: Holy, Holy, Holy, etc.

The Communion antiphon hails the merciful love of which our Lord gave proof by his coming, not suffering himself to be turned aside from his divine projects by the accumulation of crimes which he must destroy in his own Blood, in order to purify the bride. Thanks to the adorable mystery of faith operating in the secret of hearts, when he shall come again visibly, nothing will remain of this sad past but a memory of victory.

Communion

Christus semel oblatus est ad multorum exhaurienda peccata; secundo sine peccato apparebit exspectantibus se, in salutem.
Christ was offered once to exhaust the sins of many; the second time he shall appear without sin to them that expect him, unto salvation.

Inebriated with gladness at the Saviour's fountains, his sacred Wounds, let us pray that the precious Blood now empurpling our lips may remain unto eternity the living source whence we may ever draw beatitude and life.

Postcommunion

Ad sacram, Domine, mensam admissi, hausimus aquas in gaudio de fontibus Salvatoris: Sanguis ejus fiat nobis, quæsumus, ions aquae in vitam ætemam salientis. Qui tecum vivit et regnat.
Having been admitted to the holy Table, O Lord, we have drawn waters in joy from the fountains of our Saviour: may his Blood, we beseech thee, become within us a fountain of water springing up to eternal life. Who liveth and reigneth, etc.

 

VESPERS

 

Yesterday, at the opening of the feast, the Church sang: 'Who is this that cometh from Bosra, in Edom, with his robe so richly dyed? Comely is he in his vesture! It is I,' replied he, ' I whose word is full of justice, I who am a defender, to save.' He that spoke thus was clad in a garment dyed with blood, and the name given unto him is the Word of God. ‘ Wherefore, then,' continued the Church, 'is thy robe all bespotted, and thy garments like to those who tread in the wine press? I have trodden the winepress alone, and among men none was there to lend aid.’

Thus did he appear, by the virtue of his divine Blood, to whom the psalmist exclaimed: ‘Arise in thy glory and beauty, march forward unto victory!'[15] After this first sublime dialogue concerning the Spouse, another, this morning, pointed out to us the bride drawing for herself from this precious Blood that superhuman loveliness which beseems the nuptial banquet of the Lamb. The Lauds antiphons brought upon the scene the members of holy Church, especially her martyrs in whom her radiant beauty glitters most of all: 'These who are clad in white robes, who are they, and whence come they? These are they who have come out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes in the Blood of the Lamb. This is why they stand before the throne of God, ministering to him day and night. They have conquered the dragon by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of the Testament. Blessed are they who have washed their robes in the Blood of the Lamb!’

This evening the Church returns to her Lord, repeating at her Second Vespers the same antiphons as at her First.

Ant. Quis est iste, qui venit de Edom, tinctis vestibus de Bosra? Iste formosus in stola sua.
Ant. Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bosra, this beautiful one in his robe?

Ps. Dixit Dominus, p. 35.


Ant. Ego qui loquor justitiam, et propugnator sum ad salvandum.
Ant. I that speak justice, and am a defender to save.

Ps. Confitebor tibi Domine, p. 37.


Ant. Vestitus erat veste aspersa sanguine, et vocatur nomen ejus Verbum Dei.
Ant. He was clothed in a robe sprinkled with blood, and his name is called the Word of God.

Ps. Beatus vir, p. 38.


Ant. Quare ergo rubrum est indumentum tuum, et vestimenta tua sicut calcantium in torculari?
Ant. Why then is thy apparel red, and thy garments like to them that tread the wine-press?

Ps. Laudate pueri, p. 39.


Ant. Torcular calcavi solus, et de gentibus non est vir mecum.
Ant. I have trodden the wine-press alone, and of the Gentiles there is not a man with me.

Psalm 147

Lauda, Jerusalem, Dominum: lauda Deum tuum, Sion.
Quoniam confortavit seras portarum tuarum: benedixit filiis tuis in te.
Qui posuit fines tuos pacem: et adipe frumenti satiat te.
Qui emittit eloquium suum terræ: velociter currit senno ejus.
Qui dat nivem sicut lanam: nebulam sicut cinerem spargit.
Mittit crystallum suam sicut bucellas: ante faciem frigoris ejus quis sustinebit?
Emittet verbum suum, et liquefaciet ea: flabit spiritus ejus, et fluent aquæ.
Qui annuntiat verbum suum Jacob: justitias et judicia sua Israel.
Non fecit taliter omni nationi: et judicia sua non manifesta vit eis.
ANT. Torcular calcavi solus, et de gentibus non est vir mecum.
Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem! praise thy God, O Sion!
Because he hath strengthened the bolts of thy gates: he hath blessed thy children within thee.
Who hath placed peace in thy borders: and filleth thee with the fat of corn.
Who sendeth forth his speech to the earth; his word runneth swiftly.
Who giveth snow like wool: scattereth mists like ashes.
He sendeth his crystal like morsels: who shall stand before the face of his cold?
He shall send out his word, and shall melt them: his wind shall blow, and the waters shall run.
Who declareth his word to Jacob: his justices and his judgements to Israel.
He hath not done in like manner to every nation: and his judgements he hath not made manifest to them.
ANT. I have trodden the wine-press alone, and of the Gentiles there is not a man with me.

Capitulum
(Heb. ix.)

Fratres, Christus assistens Pontifex futurorum bonorum, per amplius et perfectius tabernaculum non manufactum, id est, non hujus creationis; neque per sanguinem hircorum aut vitulorum, sed per proprium Sanguinem introivit semel in Sancta, aeterna redemptione inventa.
Brethren, Christ, being come a High Priest of the good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation, neither by the blood of goats nor of calves, but by his own Blood, entered once into the Holies, having obtained eternal redemption.

Hymn

Festivis resonent compita vocibus,
Cives lætitiam frontibus explicent:
Tædis flammiferis ordine prodeant
Instructi pueri et senes.

Quem dura moriens Christus in arbore
Fudit multiplici vulnere Sanguinem,
Nos facti memores dum colimus, decet
Saltem fundere lacrymas.

Humano generi pernicies gravis
Adami veteris crimine contigit:
Adami integritas et pietas novi
Vitam reddidit omnibus.

Clamorem validum summus ab æthere
Languentis Geniti si Pater audiit,
Placare potius Sanguine debuit,
Et nobis veniam dare.

Hoc quicumque stolam Sanguine proluit,
Abstergit macuias; et roseum decus.
Quo fiat similis protinus angelis,
Et Regi placeat, capit.

A recto instabilis tramite postmodum
Se nullus retrahat; meta sed ultima
Tangatur: tribuet nobile præmium,
Qui cursum Deus adjuvat.

Nobis propitius sis, Genitor potens.
Ut quos unigenæ Sanguine Filii
Emisti, et placido Flamine recreas,
Cœli ad culmina transferas.

Amen.
Let the streets re-echo with festive song,
let the brow of every citizen beam gladsomeness;
let young and old file along,
in order due, bearing lighted torches.

Being mindful of that Blood which Christ,
upon the cruel tree, did dying shed
for many a thousand wounds, let us at least,
the while, pour forth our mingling tears.

Grave loss befell the human race,
by the old Adam's sin.
The new Adam's sinlessness
and tender love have life restored to all.

If the eternal Father heard on high
the strong cry of his expiring Son,
far more is he appeased by this dear Blood,
and is thereby enforced to grant us pardon.

Whosoever in this Blood his robe doth wash,
is wholly freed from stain, and roseate beauty gains,
whereby he is made like unto angels
and well-pleasing to the King.

Henceforth, let none inconstant from the straight path withdraw;
but let the furthest goal be fairly touched.
May God, who aideth them that run the race,
bestow the noble prize.

Be thou propitious to us, O almighty Father, that those
whom thou didst purchase by the Blood of thine only-begotten Son,
and whom thou dost re-create in the Paraclete Spirit,
thou mayst one day transfer unto the heavenly heights.

Amen.

℣. Te ergo quæsumus, fuis famulis subveni.
℟. Quos pretioso Sanguine redemisti.
℣. We beseech thee, therefore, help thy servants.
℟. Whom thou hast redeemed with thy precious Blood.

Though this feast passes away like all else here below, the object it celebrates remains, and is the treasure of the world. Let, then, this feast be for each one of us, as it indeed is for the Church herself, a monument of heaven's sublimest favours. Each year, as it recurs in the cycle, may our hearts be found bearing new fruits of love, that have budded forth, watered by the fructifying dew of the precious Blood.

Antiphon of the Magnificat

Habebitis autem hunc diem in monumentum, et celebrabitis eum solemnem Domino in generationibus vestris cultu sempiterno.
Ye shall observe this day for a memorial, and ye shall keep it holy unto the Lord, in your generations, with an everlasting worship.

Collect

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui unigenitum Filium tuum mundi Redemptorem constituisti, ac ejus Sanguine piacari voluisti: concede quæsumus, salutis nostræ premium solemni cultu ita venerari, atque a præsentis vitæ malis ejus virtute defendi in terris; ut fructu perpetuo lætemur in cœlis. Per eumdem Dominum.
Almighty and eternal God, who hast appointed thy onlybegotten Son to be the Redeemer of the world, and hast been pleased to be appeased by his Blood: grant us, we beseech thee, so to venerate with solemn worship the price of our salvation, and to be on earth so defended by its power from the evils of this present life, that we may rejoice in its perpetual fruit in heaven. Through the same Lord, etc.

We here add the Matins hymn of the feast, which is redolent of grace and tenderness.

Hymn

Ira justa Conditoris,
Imbre aquarum vindice,
Criminosum mersit orbem,
Noe in arca sospite;
Mira tandem vis amoris
Lavit orbem Sanguine.

Tam salubri terra felix
Irrigata pluvia,
Ante spinis quæ scatebat,
Germinavit flosculos:
Inque nectaris saporem
Transiere absynthia.

Triste protinus venenum
Dirus anguis posuit,
Et cruenta belluarum
Desiit ferocia:
Mitis Agni vulnerati
Hæc fuit victoria.

O scientiæ supernæ
Altitudo impervia!
O suavitas benigni
Prædicanda pectoris!
Servus erat morte dignus,
Rex luit pœnam optimus.

Quando culpis provocamus
Ultionem Judicis,
Tunc loquentis protegamur
Sanguinis præsentia:
Ingruentium malorum
Tunc recedant agmina.

Te redemptus laudet orbis
Grata servans munera,
O salutis sempiternæ
Dux et auctor inclyte,
Qui tenes beata regna
Cum Parente et Spiritu.

Amen.
The just ire of the Creator
did erst the guilty world submerge
beneath the vengeful rain of waters,
Noe, in the Ark sequestered safe the while.
But yet more wondrous still the violence of love
that hath the world in Blood now laved.

The happy world,
watered by such salubrious rain,
now buds forth fair flowers,
where erst sprang naught but thorns:
yea, now hath wormwood nectar's
savoury sweetness e'en assumed.

The cruel serpent hath suddenly
laid aside his poison dire,
and vanished is
the wild ferocity of beasts:
such the victory
of the wounded Lamb all meek!

O depth inscrutable
of heavenly wisdom!
O benignant tenderness of love!
Thus every heart aloud proclaims:
The slave was worthy of death, and the King,
in goodness infinite, did undergo the punishment.

When by sin we provoke
the wrath of the judge divine,
then by the pleading of this
eloquent Blood may we be protected.
Then may the throng of threatened
evils pass from us away!

Let the ransomed world praise thee,
bringing her grateful gifts,
O thou, the leader
and loving author of eternal salvation,
who, together with the Father and the Holy Ghost,
dost possess the blessed kingdom.

Amen.

[1] Exod. xxiv 8; Heb. ix 20.
[2] Heb. x 19-24.
[3] Ibid. xiii 20, 21.
[4] Ambr. De Offic. I 48.
[5] Aug. Confess. xiii 35-37; de Genesi ad litt. iv 13-17; ct alibi passim.
[6] Heb. iii 7, 8, ex Ps. xciv.
[7] Heb. iii, iv.
[8] Heb. V, vi passim.
[9] Aug. Hom, diei, ex tract, cxx in Joan.
[10] Sermo II Nocturni.
[11] Cant. i 6.
[12] Eph. v 27.
[13] Prima ant. in Vesp.
[14] 1 St John iv 19.
[15] Ps. xliv.