On this Good Friday, I share with you a litany that comes to us from the Irish monks of the tenth century, but could have been used much earlier. A litany is often used during a procession, or it could be a prayer in which the participants (the monks, for example) would chant the lines back and forth.
This particular one is much longer, but I have given you enough to get the flavour of it (after “believers” on the second last line, there are thirty-two more!). These short little lines are all various ways to describe Christ, and are worth slow contemplation on this very somber day.
May God bless you as you contemplate the mystery of the crucifixion and celebrate the resurrection with joy!
Featured image is a detail from one of the surviving high crosses from the monastery at Monasterboice, likely erected sometime between 900-923 AD. Image from bluffton.edu.
Have mercy on us, O God the Almighty,
Jesus Christ Son of the Living God.
O son twice-born,
O sole-begotten of the Father.
O First-born of the Virgin Mary.
O Son of David.
O Son of Abraham.
O Beginner of all things.O Fulfilment of the world.
O Word of God.
O Path to the heavenly realms.
O Life of all things.
O eternal Truth.
O Image, O Likeness, O Model of God the Father.
O Hand of God.
O Arm of God.
O Power of God.
O Right-Hand of God.
O true Knowledge.
O true Light of love, who enlightens all darkness.
O guiding Light.
O Sun of truth.
O Morning Star.
O Brightness of the divinity.
O Radiance of eternal brightness.
O Fountain of eternal life.
O Intelligence of mystic life.
O Mediator of God and humanity.
O Promised One of the Church.
O Loyal Shepherd of the flock.
O Hope of believers…
…O eternal judge, have mercy on us.