Good Friday

April 6, 2007 at 10:57 am 2 comments

I invite you on this Good Friday to read and meditate on this hymn written in 1153 by Bernard of Clairvaux and translated into English in 1601.  While you may have to struggle a little to read it and the words may not be words you are used to saying, it is a powerful progressive statement of what our Savior did for us on that day we now observe as Good Friday.  It helped me to read it out loud, and I encourage you to do that too.

May it cause you, as it did me, to be broken again not only by the reality of our sin but the greater reality of the One who died to lift that burden from us.

O sacred Head, now wounded.

O sacred Head, now wounded, with grief and shame weighed down,

Now scornfully surrounded with thorns, Thine only crown;

O sacred Head, what glory, what bliss till now was Thine!

Yet, though despised and gory, I joy to call Thee mine.

What Thou, my Lord, hast suffered, was all for sinners’ gain;

Mine, mine was the transgression, but Thine the deadly pain.

Lo, here I fall, my Savior! ‘Tis I deserve Thy place;

Look on me with Thy favor, vouchsafe to me Thy grace.

Men mock and taunt and jeer Thee, Thou noble countenance,

Though mighty worlds shall fear Thee and flee before Thy glance.

How art thou pale with anguish, with sore abuse and scorn!

How doth Thy visage languish that once was bright as morn!

Now from Thy cheeks has vanished their color once so fair;

From Thy red lips is banished the splendor that was there.

Grim death, with cruel rigor, hath robbed Thee of Thy life;

Thus Thou hast lost Thy vigor, Thy strength in this sad strife.

My burden in Thy Passion, Lord, Thou hast borne for me,

For it was my transgression which brought this woe on Thee.

I cast me down before Thee, wrath were my rightful lot;

Have mercy, I implore Thee; Redeemer, spurn me not!

What language shall I borrow to Thank, Thee, dearest friend,

For this Thy dying sorrow, Thy pity without end?

O make me Thine forever, and should I fainting be,

Lord, let me never, never outlive my love to Thee.

My Shepherd, now receive me; my Guardian, own me Thine.

Great blessings Thou didst give me, O source of gifts divine.

Thy lips have often fed me with words of truth and love;

Thy Spirit oft hath led me to heavenly joys above.

Here I will stand beside Thee, from Thee I will not part;

O Savior, do not chide me!  When breaks Thy loving heart,

When soul and body languish in death’s cold, cruel grasp,

Then , in Thy deepest anguish, Thee in mine arms I’ll clasp.

The joy can never be spoken, above all joys besides,

When in Thy body broken I thus with safety hide.

O Lord of Life, desiring Thy glory now to see,

Beside Thy cross expiring, I’d breathe my soul to Thee.

My Savior, be Thou near me when death is at my door;

Then let Thy presence cheer me, forsake me nevermore!

When soul and body languish, oh, leave me not alone,

But take away mine anguish by virtue of Thine own!

Be Thou my consolation, my shield when I must die;

Remind me of Thy passion when my last hour draws nigh.

Mine eyes shall then behold Thee, upon Thy cross shall dwell,

My heart by faith enfolds Thee.  Who dieth thus dies well.


Entry filed under: Christianity, Church, Culture, Faith, Jesus.

Maundy Thursday Gonna bucka bull.

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Warren Scandrett  |  April 6, 2007 at 4:25 pm

    Right on! “The Cyber Hymnal” will show you some 4,000 hymna. Some almost as good as ‘O Sacred Head Now Wounded”. The music, in my humble and accurate opinion, leaves much to be desired but one can turn the volume down and enjoy the great lyrics.

  • 2. Mike S  |  April 6, 2007 at 3:57 pm

    You are right; it is hard to read with all of these words I don’t use ever. Especially since I now read from THE MESSAGE, If I really pay attention the meaning is deep. I like particularly the phrases about standing with thee and not departing from thee.

    Thanks for your wisdom through your blog. Have a blessed Easter.

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