Friday, April 02, 2010

Improperia

I hope that you get to hear the Reproaches in your church today. They are proper to the Latin rite liturgy for today. Somehow, they have disappeared from most observances of Good Friday. This is tragic because of the power of these words, God enumerating the ways we have failed His love. We will be chanting these in simple plainchant during the Adoration of the Cross.

Antiphon 1 and 2: We worship you, Lord, we venerate your cross, we praise your resurrection. Through the cross you brought joy to the world.

(Psalm 66:2) May God be gracious and bless us; and let his face shed its light upon us.

Repeat Antiphon by 1 and 2:

The Reproaches:

My people, what have I done to you How have I offended you? Answer me!

I led you out of Egypt, from slavery to freedom, but you led your Savior to the cross.

My people, what have I done to you? How have I offended you? Answer me!

Holy is God! 2: Holy and strong! 1: Holy immortal One, have mercy on us!

For forty years I led you safely through the desert. I fed you with manna from heaven,รน and brought you to a land of plenty; but you led your Savior to the cross.

Holy is God...

What more could I have done for you. I planted you as my fairest vine, but you yielded only bitterness: when I was thirsty you gave me vinegar to drink, and you pierced your Savior with a lance.

Holy is God...

For your sake I scourged your captors and their firstborn sons, but you brought your scourges down on me.

My people, what have I done to you? How have I offended you? Answer me!

I led you from slavery to freedom and drowned your captors in the sea, but you handed me over to your high priests.

My people....

I opened the sea before you, but you opened my side with a spear. 2

My people....

I led you on your way in a pillar of cloud, but you led me to Pilate's court.

My people....

I bore you up with manna in the desert, but you struck me down and scourged me.

My people....

I gave you saving water from the rock, but you gave me gall and vinegar to drink.
My people....

For you I struck down the kings of Canaan. but you struck my head with a reed.

My people....

I gave you a royal scepter, but you gave me a crown of thorns.

My people....

I raised you to the height of majesty, but you have raised me high on a cross.

My people....

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