"Judge me, O God, and distinguish my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the unjust and deceitful man: for Thou art my God and my strength" [Ps. 42:1-3, Introit for Passion Sunday and the opening Psalm of every mass]
by Venantius Fortunatus (530-609)
1. Vexilla Regis prodeunt: Fulget Crucis mysterium,
Qua vita mortem pertulit, Et morte vitam protulit.
2. Quae vulnerata lanceae Mucrone diro, criminum
Ut nos lavaret sordibus, Manavit und(a) et sanguine.
3. Impleta sunt quae concinit David fideli carmine,
Dicendo nationibus: Regnavit a ligno Deus.
4. Arbor decor(a) et fulgida, Ornata Regis purpura,
Electa digno stipite Tam sancta membra tangere.
5. Beata, cuius brachiis Pret(i)um pependit saeculi:
Statera facta corporis, Tulitque praedam tartari.
6. O CRUX AVE, SPES UNICA, Hoc Passionis tempore
Piis adauge gratiam, Reisque dele crimina.
7. Te, fons salutis Trinitas, Collaudet omnis spiritus:
Quibus Crucis victoriam Largiris, adde praemium. Amen.
1. Abroad the Regal Banners fly,
Now shines the Cross's mystery;
Upon it Life did death endure,
And yet by death did life procure.
2. Who, wounded with a direful spear,
Did, purposely to wash us clear
From stain of sin, pour out a flood
Of precious Water mixed with Blood.
3. That which the Prophet-King of old
Hath in mysterious verse foretold,
Is now accomplished, whilst we see
God ruling nations from a Tree.
4. O lovely and reflugent Tree,
Adorned with purpled majesty;
Culled from a worthy stock, to bear
Those Limbs which sanctified were.
5. Blest Tree, whose happy branches bore
The wealth that did the world restore;
The beam that did that Body weigh
Which raised up hell's expected prey.
6. HAIL CROSS, OF HOPES THE MOST SUBLIME!
Now in this mournful Passion time,
Improve religious souls in grace,
The sins of criminals efface.
7. Blest Trinity, salvation's spring,
May every soul Thy praises sing;
To those Thou grantest conquest by
The holy Cross, rewards apply. Amen.
In the Gospel for Passion Sunday, our Lord, for the first time, publicly confesses His Godhead by using the sacred Tetragrammaton used only by God of God Himself - the Hebrew phrase "I AM" - and He does so in relation to the Father of the Jews, Abraham, in the most sacred manner possible to describe Himself thus making clear to the Jews that He is Moshiach, the Messias, Emmanuel, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, Very God of Very God, the Incarnate Deity Himself. The Jews will either believe Him and be saved or else they will call Him a devil, a blasphemer and seek to kill Him...
"31 dicebat ergo Iesus ad eos qui crediderunt ei Iudaeos si vos manseritis in sermone meo vere discipuli mei eritis 32 et cognoscetis veritatem et veritas liberabit vos 33 responderunt ei semen Abrahae sumus et nemini servivimus umquam quomodo tu dicis liberi eritis 34 respondit eis Iesus amen amen dico vobis quia omnis qui facit peccatum servus est peccati 35 servus autem non manet in domo in aeternum filius manet in aeternum
36 si ergo Filius vos liberaverit vere liberi eritis 37 scio quia filii Abrahae estis sed quaeritis me interficere quia sermo meus non capit in vobis 38 ego quod vidi apud Patrem loquor et vos quae vidistis apud patrem vestrum facitis 39 responderunt et dixerunt ei pater noster Abraham est dicit eis Iesus si filii Abrahae estis opera Abrahae facite 40 nunc autem quaeritis me interficere hominem qui veritatem vobis locutus sum quam audivi a Deo hoc Abraham non fecit
41 vos facitis opera patris vestri dixerunt itaque ei nos ex fornicatione non sumus nati unum patrem habemus Deum 42 dixit ergo eis Iesus si Deus pater vester esset diligeretis utique me ego enim ex Deo processi et veni neque enim a me ipso veni sed ille me misit 43 quare loquellam meam non cognoscitis quia non potestis audire sermonem meum 44 vos ex patre diabolo estis et desideria patris vestri vultis facere ille homicida erat ab initio et in veritate non stetit quia non est veritas in eo cum loquitur mendacium ex propriis loquitur quia mendax est et pater eius 45 ego autem quia veritatem dico non creditis mihi
46 quis ex vobis arguit me de peccato si veritatem dico quare vos non creditis mihi 47 qui est ex Deo verba Dei audit propterea vos non auditis quia ex Deo non estis 48 responderunt igitur Iudaei et dixerunt ei nonne bene dicimus nos quia Samaritanus es tu et daemonium habes 49 respondit Iesus ego daemonium non habeo sed honorifico Patrem meum et vos inhonoratis me 50 ego autem non quaero gloriam meam est qui quaerit et iudicat
51 amen amen dico vobis si quis sermonem meum servaverit mortem non videbit in aeternum 52 dixerunt ergo Iudaei nunc cognovimus quia daemonium habes Abraham mortuus est et prophetae et tu dicis si quis sermonem meum servaverit non gustabit mortem in aeternum 53 numquid tu maior es patre nostro Abraham qui mortuus est et prophetae mortui sunt quem te ipsum facis 54 respondit Iesus si ego glorifico me ipsum gloria mea nihil est est Pater meus qui glorificat me quem vos dicitis quia Deus noster est 55 et non cognovistis eum ego autem novi eum et si dixero quia non scio eum ero similis vobis mendax sed scio eum et sermonem eius servo
56 Abraham pater vester exultavit ut videret diem meum et vidit et gavisus est 57 dixerunt ergo Iudaei ad eum quinquaginta annos nondum habes et Abraham vidisti 58 dixit eis Iesus amen amen dico vobis ANTEQUAM ABRAHAM FIERET, EGO SUM 59 tulerunt ergo lapides ut iacerent in eum Iesus autem abscondit se et exivit de templo."
"31 Then Jesus said to those Jews, who believed him: If you continue in my word, you shall be my disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 33 They answered him: We are the seed of Abraham, and we have never been slaves to any man: how sayest thou: you shall be free? 34 Jesus answered them: Amen, amen I say unto you: that whosoever committeth sin, is the servant of sin. 35 Now the servant abideth not in the house for ever; but the son abideth for ever.
36 If therefore the son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed. 37 I know that you are the children of Abraham: but you seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. 38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and you do the things that you have seen with your father. 39 They answered, and said to him: Abraham is our father. Jesus saith to them: If you be the children of Abraham, do the works of Abraham. 40 But now you seek to kill me, a man who have spoken the truth to you, which I have heard of God. This Abraham did not.
41 You do the works of your father. They said therefore to him: We are not born of fornication: we have one Father, even God. 42 Jesus therefore said to them: If God were your Father, you would indeed love me. For from God I proceeded, and came; for I came not of myself, but he sent me: 43 Why do you not know my speech? Because you cannot hear my word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and he stood not in the truth; because truth is not in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof. 45 But if I say the truth, you believe me not.
46 Which of you shall convince me of sin? If I say the truth to you, why do you not believe me? 47 He that is of God, heareth the words of God. Therefore you hear them not, because you are not of God. 48 The Jews therefore answered, and said to him: Do not we say well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil? 49 Jesus answered: I have not a devil: but I honour my Father, and you have dishonoured me. 50 But I seek not my own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth.
51 Amen, amen I say to you: If any man keep my word, he shall not see death for ever. 52 The Jews therefore said: Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest: If any man keep my word, he shall not taste death for ever. 53 Art thou greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? and the prophets are dead. Whom dost thou make thyself? 54 Jesus answered: If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father that glorifieth me, of whom you say that he is your God. 55 And you have not known him, but I know him. And if I shall say that I know him not, I shall be like to you, a liar. But I do know him, and do keep his word.
56 Abraham your father rejoiced that he might see my day: he saw it, and was glad. 57 The Jews therefore said to him: Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? 58 Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say to you, BEFORE ABRAHAM WAS, I AM. 59 They took up stones therefore to cast at him. But Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple."
[John 8:31-59, Gospel for Passion Sunday]