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Palm Sunday

First Reading

Isaiah 50:4-7

A reading from the prophet Isaiah

I did not cover my face against insult and I know I will not be ashamed.

The Lord has given me

a disciple’s tongue.

So that I may know how to reply to the wearied

he provides me with speech.

Each morning he wakes me to hear,

to listen like a disciple.

The Lord has opened my ear.

For my part, I made no resistance,

neither did I turn away.

I offered my back to those who struck me,

my cheeks to those who tore at my beard;

I did not cover my face

against insult and spittle.

The Lord comes to my help,

so that I am untouched by the insults.

So, too, I set my face like flint;

I know I shall not be shamed.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Isaiah 50:4-7

A reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah

The servant of the Lord said:

“The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher,

that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word.

Morning by morning he wakens-

wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught.

“The Lord God has opened my ear,

and I was not rebellious,

I did not turn backward.

“I gave my back to those who struck me,

and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard;

I did not hide my face

from insult and spitting.

“The Lord God helps me;

therefore I have not been disgraced;

therefore I have set my face like flint,

and I know that I shall not be put to shame.”

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Responsorial Psalm

Ps 21:8-9, 17-20, 23-24

R. My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?

All who see me deride me.

They curl their lips, they toss their heads.

‘He trusted in the Lord, let him save him;

let him release him if this is his friend.’ R.

Many dogs have surrounded me,

a band of the wicked beset me.

They tear holes in my hands and my feet.

I can count every one of my bones. R.

They divide my clothing among them.

They cast lots for my robe.

O Lord, do not leave me alone,

my strength, make haste to help me! R.

I will tell of your name to my brethren

and praise you where they are assembled.

‘You who fear the Lord give him praise;

all sons of Jacob, give him glory.

Revere him, Israel’s sons.’ R.

Second Reading

Philippians 2:6-11

A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Philippians

He humbled himself to become like us and God raised him on high.

His state was divine,

yet Christ Jesus did not cling

to his equality with God

but emptied himself

to assume the condition of a slave,

and became as men are,

and being as all men are,

he was humbler yet,

even to accepting death,

death on a cross.

But God raised him high

and gave him the name

which is above all other names

so that all beings

in the heavens, on earth and in the underworld,

should bend the knee at the name of Jesus

and that every tongue should acclaim

Jesus Christ as Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Philippians 2:6-11

A reading from the letter of Paul to the Philippians

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,

who, though he was in the form of God,

did not regard equality with God

as something to be exploited,

but emptied himself,

taking the form of a slave,

being born in human likeness.

And being found in human form,

he humbled himself

and became obedient to the point of death,

even death on a cross.

Therefore God highly exalted him

and gave him the name that is above every name,

so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend,

in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Gospel Acclamation

Philippians 2:8-9

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ, king of endless glory!

Christ became obedient for us even to death,

dying on the cross.

Therefore God raised him on high

and gave him a name above all other names.

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ, king of endless glory!

Gospel

Luke 23:1-49

The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke

When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people,

both chief priests and scribes, gathered together,

and they brought Jesus to their council.

They said, “If you are the Messiah, tell us.”

Jesus replied, “If I tell you, you will not believe;

and if I question you, you will not answer.

But from now on

the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.”

All of them asked, “Are you, then, the Son of God?”

Jesus said to them, “You say that I am.”

Then they said, “What further testimony do we need?

We have heard it ourselves from his own lips!”

Then the assembly of the elders rose as a body and brought Jesus before Pilate.

They began to accuse him, saying,

“We found this man perverting our nation,

forbidding us to pay taxes to the emperor,

and saying that he himself is the Messiah, a king.”

Then Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

He answered, “You say so”.

Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds,

“I find no basis for an accusation against this man.”

But they were insistent and said,

“He stirs up the people by teaching throughout all Judea,

from Galilee where he began even to this place.”

When Pilate heard this,

he asked whether the man was a Galilean.

And when he learned that he was under Herod’s jurisdiction,

he sent him off to Herod,

who was himself in Jerusalem at that time.

When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad,

for he had been wanting to see him for a long time,

because he had heard about him

and was hoping to see Jesus perform some sign.

Herod questioned him at some length,

but Jesus gave him no answer.

The chief priests and the scribes stood by,

vehemently accusing him.

Even Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him;

then he put an elegant robe on him,

and sent him back to Pilate.

That same day Herod and Pilate became friends with each other;

before this they had been enemies.

Pilate then called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people,

and said to them,

“You brought me this man as one who was perverting the people;

and here I have examined him in your presence

and have not found this man guilty of any of your charges against him.

Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us.

Indeed, he has done nothing to deserve death.

I will therefore have him flogged and release him.”

Now Pilate was obliged to release someone for them at the festival.

Then they all shouted out together,

“Away with this fellow! Release Barabbas for us.”

(This was a man who had been put in prison

for an insurrection that had taken place in the city, and for murder.)

Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again;

but they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!”

A third time he said to them, ‘Why, what evil has he done?

I have found in him no ground for the sentence of death;

I will therefore have him flogged and then release him.”

But they kept urgently demanding with loud shouts

that he should be crucified;

and their voices prevailed.

So Pilate gave his verdict that their demand should be granted.

He released the man they asked for;

the one who had been put in prison for insurrection and murder,

and he handed Jesus over as they wished.

As they led Jesus away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene,

who was coming from the country,

and they laid the cross on him,

and made him carry it behind Jesus.

A great number of the people followed him,

and among them were women

who were beating their breasts and wailing for him.

But Jesus turned to them and said,

“Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me,

but weep for yourselves and for your children.

For the days are surely coming when they will say,

‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore,

and the breasts that never nursed.’

Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’

and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’

For if they do this when the wood is green,

what will happen when it is dry?”

Two others also, who were criminals,

were led away to be put to death with Jesus.

When they came to the place that is called The Skull,

they crucified Jesus there with the criminals,

one on his right and one on his left.

Then Jesus said, “Father; forgive them;

for they do not know what they are doing.”

And they cast lots to divide his clothing.

And the people stood by, watching;

but the leaders scoffed at him, saying,

“He saved others;

let him save himself

if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!”

The soldiers also mocked Jesus, coming up and offering him sour wine,

and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”

There was also an inscription over him,

“This is the King of the Jews.”

One of the criminals who were hanged there

kept deriding him and saying,

“Are you not the Messiah?

Save yourself and us!”

But the other criminal rebuked the first saying

“Do you not fear God

since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?

And we indeed have been condemned justly

for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds,

but this man has done nothing wrong.”

Then he said,

“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you,

today you will be with me in Paradise.”

It was now about noon,

and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon,

while the sun’s light failed;

and the curtain of the temple was torn in two.

Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said,

“Father; into your hands I commend my spirit.”

Having said this, he breathed his last.

When the centurion saw what had taken place,

he praised God and said, “Certainly this man was innocent.”

And when all the crowds who had gathered there for this spectacle

saw what had taken place,

they returned home, beating their breasts.

But all his acquaintances,

including the women who had followed him from Galilee,

stood at a distance, watching these things.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Luke 22:14 – 23:56

The passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke

N       When the hour came Jesus took his place at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them,

J        I have longed to eat this passover with you before I suffer; because, I tell you, I shall not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.

N       Then, taking a cup, he gave thanks and said,

J        Take this and share it among you, because from now on, I tell you, I shall not drink wine until the kingdom of God comes.

N       Then he took some bread, and when he had given thanks, broke it and gave it to them, saying,

J        This is my body which will be given for you; do this as a memorial of me.

N       He did the same with the cup after supper, and said,

J        This cup is the new covenant in my blood which will be poured out for you.

And yet, here with me on the table is the hand of the man who betrays me. The Son of Man does indeed go to his fate even as it has been decreed, but alas for that man by whom he is betrayed!

N       And, they began to ask one another which of them it could be who was to do this thing.

A dispute arose also between them about which should be reckoned the greatest, but he said to them,

J        Among pagans it is the kings who lord it over them, and those who have authority over them are given the title Benefactor. This must not happen with you. No; the greatest among you must behave as if he were the youngest, the leader as if he were the one who serves. For who is the greater: the one at table or the one who serves? The one at table, surely? Yet here I am among you as one who serves!

You are the men who have stood by me faithfully in my trials; and now I confer a kingdom on you, just as my Father conferred one on me: you will eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and you will sit on thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel.

Simon, Simon! Satan, you must know, has got his wish to sift you all like wheat; but I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail, and once you have recovered, you in your turn must strengthen your brothers.

N       He answered,

O       Lord, I would be ready to go to prison with you, and to death.

N       Jesus replied,

J        I tell you, Peter, by the time the cock crows today you will have denied three times that you know me.

N       He said to them,

J        When I sent you out without purse or haversack or sandals, were you short of anything?

N       They answered,

C       No.

N       He said to them,

J        But now if you have a purse, take it: if you have a haversack, do the same; if you have no sword, sell your cloak and buy one, because I tell you these words of scripture have to be fulfilled in me: He let himself be taken for a criminal. Yes, what scripture says about me is even now reaching its fulfilment.

N       They said,

C       Lord, there are two swords here now.

N       He said to them,

J        That is enough!

N       He then left the upper room to make his way as usual to the Mount of Olives, with the disciples following. When they reached the place he said to them,

J        Pray not to be put to the test.

N       Then he withdrew from them, about a stone’s throw away, and knelt down and prayed, saying,

J        Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me. Nevertheless, let your will be done, not mine.

N       Then an angel appeared to him coming from heaven to give him strength. In his anguish he prayed even more earnestly, and his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.

When he rose from prayer he went to the disciples and found them sleeping for sheer grief. He said to them,

J        Why are you asleep? Get up and pray not to be put to the test.

N       He was still speaking when a number of men appeared, and at the head of them the man called Judas, one of the Twelve, who went up to Jesus to kiss him. Jesus said,

J        Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?

N       His followers, seeing what was happening, said,

C       Lord, shall we use our swords?

N       And one of them struck out at the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. But at this Jesus spoke,

J        Leave off! That will do!

N       And touching the man’s ear he healed him.

Then Jesus spoke to the chief priests and captains of the Temple guard and elders who had come for him. He said.

J        Am I a brigand that you had to set out with swords and clubs? When I was among you in the Temple day after day you never moved to lay hands on me. But this is your hour; this is the reign of darkness.

N       They seized him then and led him away, and they took him to the high priest’s house. Peter followed at a distance. They had lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and Peter sat down among them, and as he was sitting there by the blaze a servant-girl saw him, peered at him and said,

O       This person was with him too.

N       But he denied it, saying,

O       Woman, I do not know him.

N       Shortly afterwards, someone else saw him and said,

O       You are another of them.

N       But Peter replied,

O       I am not, my friend.

N       About an hour later another man insisted, saying,

O       This fellow was certainly with him. Why, he is a Galilean.

N       Peter said,

O       My friend, I do not know what you are talking about.

N       At that instant, while he was still speaking, the cock crew, and the Lord turned and looked straight at Peter, and Peter remembered what the Lord had said to him, ‘Before the cock crows today, you will have disowned me three times’. And he went outside and wept bitterly.

Meanwhile the men who guarded Jesus were mocking and beating him. They blindfolded him and questioned him, saying,

C       Play the prophet. Who hit you then?

N       And they continued heaping insults on him.

When day broke there was a meeting of the elders of the people, attended by the chief priests and scribes. He was brought before their council, and they said to him,

C       If you are the Christ, tell us.

N       He replied,

J        If I tell you, you will not believe me, and if I question you, you will not answer. But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the Power of God.

N       Then they all said,

C       So you are the Son of God then?

N       He answered,

J        It is you who say I am.

N       They said,

C       What need of witnesses have we now? We have heard it for ourselves from his own lips.

N       The whole assembly then rose, and they brought him before Pilate. They began their accusation by saying,

C       We found this man inciting our people to revolt, opposing payment of tribute to Caesar, and claiming to be Christ, a king.

N       Pilate put to him this question,

O       Are you the king of the Jews?

N       He replied,

J        It is you who say it.

N       Pilate then said to the chief priests and the crowd,

O       I find no case against this man.

N       But they persisted,

C       He is inflaming the people with his teaching all over Judaea; it has come all the way from Galilee, where he started, down to here.

N       When Pilate heard this, he asked if the man were a Galilean; and finding that he came under Herod’s jurisdiction he passed him over to Herod who was also in Jerusalem at that time.

Herod was delighted to see Jesus; he had heard about him and had been wanting for a long time to set eyes on him; moreover, he was hoping to see some miracle worked by him. So he questioned him at some length; but without getting any reply. Meanwhile the chief priests and the scribes were there, violently pressing their accusations. Then Herod, together with his guards, treated him with contempt and made fun of him; he put a rich cloak on him and sent him back to Pilate. And though Herod and Pilate had been enemies before, they were reconciled that same day.

Pilate then summoned the chief priests and the leading men and the people. He said,

O       You brought this man before me as a political agitator. Now I have gone into the matter myself in your presence and found no case against him. Nor has Herod either, since he has sent him back to us. As you can see, the man has done nothing that deserves death, so I shall have him flogged and then let him go.

N       But as one man they howled,

C       Away with him! Give us Barabbas!

N       This man had been thrown into prison for causing a riot in the city and for murder.

Pilate was anxious to set Jesus free and addressed them again, but they shouted back.

C       Crucify him! Crucify him!

N       And for the third time he spoke to them,

O       Why? What harm has this man done? I have found no case against him that deserves death, so I shall have him punished and let him go.

N       But they kept on shouting at the top of their voices, demanding that he should be crucified, and their shouts were growing louder.

Pilate then gave his verdict: their demand was to be granted. He released the man they asked for, who had been imprisoned for rioting and murder, and handed Jesus over to them to deal with as they pleased.

As they were leading him away they seized on a man, Simon from Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and made him shoulder the cross and carry it behind Jesus. Large numbers of people followed him, and of women too who mourned and lamented for him. But Jesus turned to them and said,

j         Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep rather for yourselves and for your children. For the days will surely come when people will say, ‘Happy are those who are barren, the wombs that have never borne, the breasts that have never suckled!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’; to the hills, ‘Cover us!’ For if men use the green wood like this, what will happen when it is dry?

N       Now with him they were also leading out two other criminals to be executed.

When they reached the place called The Skull, they crucified him there and the criminals also, one on the right, the other on the left. Jesus said,

J        Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing.

N       Then they cast lots to share out his clothing. The people stayed there watching him. As for the leaders, they jeered at him, saying,

C       He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.

N       The soldiers mocked him too, and when they approached to offer him vinegar they said,

C       If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.

N       Above him there was an inscription: ‘This is the King of the Jews.’ One of the criminals hanging there abused him, saying,

O       Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us as well.

N       But the other spoke up and rebuked him,

O       Have you no fear of God at all? You got the same sentence as he did, but in our case we deserved it: we are paying for what we did. But this man has done nothing wrong. Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.

N       He replied

J        Indeed, I promise you, today you will be with me in paradise.

N       It was now about the sixth hour and, with the sun eclipsed, a darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. The veil of the Temple was torn right down the middle; and when Jesus had cried out in a loud voice, he said,

J        Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.

N       With these words he breathed his last.

All kneel and pause a moment.

N       When the centurion saw what had taken place, he gave praise to God and said,

O       This was a great and good man.

N       And when all the people who had gathered for the spectacle saw what had happened, they went home beating their breasts.

All his friends stood at a distance; so also did the women who had accompanied him from Galilee, and they saw all this happen.

Then a member of the council arrived, an upright and virtuous man named Joseph. He had not consented to what the others had planned and carried out. He came from Arimathaea, a Jewish town, and he lived in the hope of seeing the kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. He then took it down, wrapped it in a shroud and put him in a tomb which was hewn in stone in which no one had yet been laid. It was Preparation Day and the sabbath was imminent.

Meanwhile the women who had come from Galilee with Jesus were following behind. They took note of the tomb and of the position of the body.

Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments. And on the sabbath day they rested, as the law required.

Luke 22:14 – 23:56

The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke

When the hour came,

Jesus took his place at the table, and the apostles with him.

He said to them,

“I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer;

for I tell you, I will not eat it

until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”

Then he took a cup,

and after giving thanks he said,

‘”Take this and divide it among yourselves;

for I tell you that from now on

I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”

Then Jesus took a loaf of bread,

and when he had given thanks,

he broke it and gave it to them, saying,

“This is my body, which is given for you.

Do this in remembrance of me.”

And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying,

“This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.

But see, the one who betrays me is with me,

and his hand is on the table.

For the Son of Man is going as it has been determined,

but woe to that one by whom he is betrayed!”

Then they began to ask one another,

which one of them it could be who would do this.

A dispute also arose among them

as to which one of them was to be regarded as the greatest.

But Jesus said to them,

“The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them;

and those in authority over them are called benefactors.

But not so with you;

rather the greatest among you must become like the youngest,

and the leader like one who serves.

For who is greater,

the one who is at the table or the one who serves?

Is it not the one at the table?

But I am among you as one who serves.

“You are those who have stood by me in my trials;

and I confer on you,

just as my Father has conferred on me, a kingdom,

so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom,

and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

“Simon, Simon, listen!

Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat,

but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail;

and you, when once you have turned back,

strengthen your brothers.”

And Peter said to Jesus,

“Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death!”

Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the cock will not crow this day,

until you have denied three times that you know me.”

Jesus said to them,

“When I sent you out without a purse, bag, or sandals,

did you lack anything?”

The apostles said, “No, not a thing.”

Jesus said to them,

“But now, the one who has a purse must take it, and likewise a bag.

And the one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one.

For I tell you, this scripture must be fulfilled in me,

‘And he was counted among the lawless’;

and indeed what is written about me is being fulfilled.”

The apostles said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.”

Jesus replied, “It is enough.”

Jesus came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives;

and the disciples followed him.

When he reached the place, he said to his disciples,

“Pray that you may not come into the time of trial.”

Then Jesus withdrew from them about a stone’s throw,

knelt down, and prayed,

“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me;

yet, not my will but yours be done.”

Then an angel from heaven appeared to Jesus and gave him strength.

In his anguish he prayed more earnestly,

and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground. ~

When Jesus got up from prayer,

he came to the disciples and found them sleeping because of grief,

and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping?

Get up and pray that you may not come into the time of trial.”

While Jesus was still speaking, suddenly a crowd came,

and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them.

He approached Jesus to kiss him;

but Jesus said to him,

“Judas, is it with a kiss that you are betraying the Son of Man?”

When those who were around Jesus saw what was coming, they asked,

“Lord, should we strike with the sword?”

Then one of the disciples struck the slave of the high priest

and cut off his right ear.

But Jesus said, ‘No more of this!”

And Jesus touched the slave’s ear and healed him.

Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple police,

and the elders who had come for him,

‘Have you come out with swords and clubs as if I were a bandit?

When I was with you day after day in the temple,

you did not lay hands on me.

But this is your hour, and the power of darkness!”

Then they seized Jesus and led him away,

bringing him into the high priest’s house.

But Peter was following at a distance.

When they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard

and sat down together, Peter sat among them.

Then a servant girl, seeing him in the firelight,

stared at him and said, “This man also was with him.”

But Peter denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.”

A little later someone else, on seeing him, said,

“You also are one of them.”

But Peter said, “Man, I am not!”

Then about an hour later still another kept insisting,

“Surely this man also was with him; for he is a Galilean.”

But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about!”

At that moment, while he was still speaking, the cock crowed.

The Lord turned and looked at Peter.

Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him,

“Before the cock crows today,

you will deny me three times.”

And Peter went out and wept bitterly.

Now the men who were holding Jesus began to mock him and beat him;

they also blindfolded him and kept asking him,

“Prophesy!

Who is it that struck you?”

They kept heaping many other insults on him.

When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people,

both chief priests and scribes, gathered together,

and they brought Jesus to their council.

They said, “If you are the Messiah, tell us.”

Jesus replied, “If I tell you, you will not believe;

and if I question you, you will not answer.

But from now on

the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.”

All of them asked, “Are you, then, the Son of God?”

Jesus said to them, “You say that I am.”

Then they said, “What further testimony do we need?

We have heard it ourselves from his own lips!”

Then the assembly rose as a body and brought Jesus before Pilate.

They began to accuse him, saying,

“We found this man perverting our nation,

forbidding us to pay taxes to the emperor,

and saying that he himself is the Messiah, a king.”

Then Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

He answered, “You say so.”

Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds,

“I find no basis for an accusation against this man.”

But they were insistent and said,

“He stirs up the people by teaching throughout all Judea,

from Galilee where he began even to this place.”

When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean.

And when he learned that he was under Herod’s jurisdiction,

he sent him off to Herod,

who was himself in Jerusalem at that time.

When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad,

for he had been wanting to see him for a long time,

because he had heard about him

and was hoping to see Jesus perform some sign.

Herod questioned him at some length,

but Jesus gave him no answer.

The chief priests and the scribes stood by,

vehemently accusing him.

Even Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him;

then he put an elegant robe on him,

and sent him back to Pilate.

That same day Herod and Pilate became friends with each other;

before this they had been enemies.

Pilate then called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people,

and said to them,

“You brought me this man as one who was perverting the people;

and here I have examined him in your presence

and have not found this man guilty of any of your charges against him.

Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us.

Indeed, he has done nothing to deserve death.

I will therefore have him flogged and release him.”

Now Pilate was obliged to release someone for them at the festival.

Then they all shouted out together,

“Away with this fellow! Release Barabbas for us.”

(This was a man who had been put in prison

for an insurrection that had taken place in the city, and for murder.)

Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again;

but they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!”

A third time he said to them, “Why, what evil has he done?

I have found in him no ground for the sentence of death;

I will therefore have him flogged and then release him.”

But they kept urgently demanding with loud shouts

that he should be crucified;

and their voices prevailed.

So Pilate gave his verdict that their demand should be granted.

He released the man they asked for,

the one who had been put in prison for insurrection and murder,

and he handed Jesus over as they wished.

As they led Jesus away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene,

who was coming from the country,

and they laid the cross on him,

and made him carry it behind Jesus.

A great number of the people followed him,

and among them were women

who were beating their breasts and wailing for him.

But Jesus turned to them and said,

“Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me,

but weep for yourselves and for your children.

For the days are surely coming when they will say,

‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore,

and the breasts that never nursed.’

Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’

and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’

For if they do this when the wood is green,

what will happen when it is dry?”

Two others also, who were criminals,

were led away to be put to death with Jesus.

When they came to the place that is called The Skull,

they crucified Jesus there with the criminals,

one on his right and one on his left.

Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them;

for they do not know what they are doing.”

And they cast lots to divide his clothing.

And the people stood by, watching;

but the leaders scoffed at him, saying,

“He saved others;

let him save himself

if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!”

The soldiers also mocked Jesus, coming up and offering him sour wine,

and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself.”

There was also an inscription over him,

“This is the King of the Jews.”

One of the criminals who were hanged there

kept deriding him and saying,

“Are you not the Messiah?

Save yourself and us!”

But the other criminal rebuked the first, saying,

“Do you not fear God,

since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?

And we indeed have been condemned justly,

for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds,

but this man has done nothing wrong.”

Then he said,

“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

Jesus replied,

“Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

It was now about noon,

and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon,,

while the sun’s light failed;

and the curtain of the temple was torn in two.

Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said,

“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”

Having said this, he breathed his last.

All may kneel for a period of silence.

When the centurion saw what had taken place,

he praised God and said, “Certainly this man was innocent.”

And when all the crowds who had gathered there for this spectacle

saw what had taken place,

they returned home, beating their breasts.

But all his acquaintances,

including the women who had followed him from Galilee,

stood at a distance, watching these things. *

Now there was a good and righteous man named Joseph,

who, though a member of the council,

had not agreed to their plan and action.

He came from the Jewish town of Arimathea,

and he was waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God.

This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.

Then he took it down, wrapped it in a linen cloth,

and laid it in a rock-hewn tomb where no one had ever been laid.

It was the day of Preparation, and the sabbath was beginning.

The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed,

and they saw the tomb and how his body was laid.

Then they returned, and prepared spices and ointments.

On the sabbath these women rested according to the commandment

Luke 22:66 – 23:49

The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke

When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people,

both chief priests and scribes, gathered together,

and they brought Jesus to their council.

They said, “If you are the Messiah, tell us.”

Jesus replied, “If I tell you, you will not believe;

and if I question you, you will not answer.

But from now on

the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.”

All of them asked, “Are you, then, the Son of God?”

Jesus said to them, “You say that I am.”

Then they said, “What further testimony do we need?

We have heard it ourselves from his own lips!”

Then the assembly of the elders rose as a body and brought Jesus before Pilate.

They began to accuse him, saying,

“We found this man perverting our nation,

forbidding us to pay taxes to the emperor,

and saying that he himself is the Messiah, a king.”

Then Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

He answered, “You say so”.

Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds,

“I find no basis for an accusation against this man.”

But they were insistent and said,

“He stirs up the people by teaching throughout all Judea,

from Galilee where he began even to this place.”

When Pilate heard this,

he asked whether the man was a Galilean.

And when he learned that he was under Herod’s jurisdiction,

he sent him off to Herod,

who was himself in Jerusalem at that time.

When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad,

for he had been wanting to see him for a long time,

because he had heard about him

and was hoping to see Jesus perform some sign.

Herod questioned him at some length,

but Jesus gave him no answer.

The chief priests and the scribes stood by,

vehemently accusing him.

Even Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him;

then he put an elegant robe on him,

and sent him back to Pilate.

That same day Herod and Pilate became friends with each other;

before this they had been enemies.

Pilate then called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people,

and said to them,

“You brought me this man as one who was perverting the people;

and here I have examined him in your presence

and have not found this man guilty of any of your charges against him.

Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us.

Indeed, he has done nothing to deserve death.

I will therefore have him flogged and release him.”

Now Pilate was obliged to release someone for them at the festival.

Then they all shouted out together,

“Away with this fellow! Release Barabbas for us.”

(This was a man who had been put in prison

for an insurrection that had taken place in the city, and for murder.)

Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again;

but they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!”

A third time he said to them, ‘Why, what evil has he done?

I have found in him no ground for the sentence of death;

I will therefore have him flogged and then release him.”

But they kept urgently demanding with loud shouts

that he should be crucified;

and their voices prevailed.

So Pilate gave his verdict that their demand should be granted.

He released the man they asked for;

the one who had been put in prison for insurrection and murder,

and he handed Jesus over as they wished.

As they led Jesus away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene,

who was coming from the country,

and they laid the cross on him,

and made him carry it behind Jesus.

A great number of the people followed him,

and among them were women

who were beating their breasts and wailing for him.

But Jesus turned to them and said,

“Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me,

but weep for yourselves and for your children.

For the days are surely coming when they will say,

‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore,

and the breasts that never nursed.’

Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’

and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’

For if they do this when the wood is green,

what will happen when it is dry?”

Two others also, who were criminals,

were led away to be put to death with Jesus.

When they came to the place that is called The Skull,

they crucified Jesus there with the criminals,

one on his right and one on his left.

Then Jesus said, “Father; forgive them;

for they do not know what they are doing.”

And they cast lots to divide his clothing.

And the people stood by, watching;

but the leaders scoffed at him, saying,

“He saved others;

let him save himself

if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!”

The soldiers also mocked Jesus, coming up and offering him sour wine,

and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”

There was also an inscription over him,

“This is the King of the Jews.”

One of the criminals who were hanged there

kept deriding him and saying,

“Are you not the Messiah?

Save yourself and us!”

But the other criminal rebuked the first saying

“Do you not fear God

since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?

And we indeed have been condemned justly

for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds,

but this man has done nothing wrong.”

Then he said,

“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you,

today you will be with me in Paradise.”

It was now about noon,

and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon,

while the sun’s light failed;

and the curtain of the temple was torn in two.

Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said,

“Father; into your hands I commend my spirit.”

Having said this, he breathed his last.

When the centurion saw what had taken place,

he praised God and said, “Certainly this man was innocent.”

And when all the crowds who had gathered there for this spectacle

saw what had taken place,

they returned home, beating their breasts.

But all his acquaintances,

including the women who had followed him from Galilee,

stood at a distance, watching these things.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Luke 23:1-49

The passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke

The elders of the people and the chief priests and scribes rose, and they brought Jesus before Pilate.

They began their accusation by saying, ‘We found this man inciting our people to revolt, opposing payment of tribute to Caesar, and claiming to be Christ, a king.’ Pilate put to him this question, ‘Are you the king of the Jews?’ ‘It is you who say it’ he replied. Pilate then said to the chief priests and the crowd, ‘I find no case against this man.’ But they persisted, ‘He is inflaming the people with his teaching all over Judaea; it has come all the way from Galilee, where he started, down to here.’ When Pilate heard this, he asked if the man were a Galilean; and finding that he came under Herod’s jurisdiction he passed him over to Herod who was also in Jerusalem at that time.

Herod was delighted to see Jesus; he had heard about him and had been wanting for a long time to set eyes on him; moreover, he was hoping to see some miracle worked by him. So he questioned him at some length; but without getting any reply. Meanwhile the chief priests and scribes were there, violently pressing their accusations. Then Herod, together with his guards, treated him with contempt and made fun of him; he put a rich cloak on him and sent him back to Pilate. And though Herod and Pilate had been enemies before, they were reconciled that same day.

Pilate then summoned the chief priests and the leading men and the people. ‘You brought this man before me’ he said ‘as a political agitator. Now I have gone into the matter myself in your presence and found no case against the man in respect of all the charges you bring against him. Nor has Herod either, since he has sent him back to us. As you can see, the man has done nothing that deserves death, so I shall have him flogged and then let him go.’ But as one man they howled, ‘Away with him! Give us Barabbas!’ (This man had been thrown into prison for causing a riot in the city and for murder.)

Pilate was anxious to set Jesus free and addressed them again, but they shouted back, ‘Crucify him! Crucify him!’ And for the third time he spoke to them, ‘Why? What harm has this man done? I have found no case against him that deserves death, so I shall have him punished and then let him go.’ But they kept on shouting at the top of their voices, demanding that he should be crucified. And their shouts were growing louder.

Pilate then gave his verdict: their demand was to be granted. He released the man they asked for, who had been imprisoned for rioting and murder, and handed Jesus over to them to deal with as they pleased.

As they were leading him away they seized on a man, Simon from Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and made him shoulder the cross and carry it behind Jesus. Large numbers of people followed him, and of women too, who mourned and lamented for him. But Jesus turned to them and said, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep rather for yourselves and for your children. For the days will surely come when people will say, “Happy are those who are barren, the wombs that have never borne, the breasts that have never suckled!” Then they will begin to say to the mountains, “Fall on us!”; to the hills, “Cover us!” For if men use the green wood like this, what will happen when it is dry?’ Now with him they were also leading out two other criminals to be executed.

When they reached the place called The Skull, they crucified him there and the two criminals also, one on the right, the other on the left. Jesus said, ‘Father forgive them; they do not know what they are doing.’ Then they cast lots to share out his clothing.

The people stayed there watching him. As for the leaders, they jeered at him. ‘He saved others,’ they said ‘let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.’ The soldiers mocked him too and when they approached to offer him vinegar they said, ‘If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.’ Above him there was an inscription: ‘This is the King of the Jews.’

One of the criminals hanging there abused him. ‘Are you not the Christ?’ he said. ‘Save yourself and us as well.’ But the other spoke up and rebuked him. ‘Have you no fear of God at all?’ he said. ‘You got the same sentence as he did, but in our case we deserved it; we are paying for what we did. But this man has done nothing wrong. Jesus,’ he said ‘remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ ‘Indeed, I promise you,’ he replied ‘today you will be with me in paradise.’

It was now about the sixth hour and, with the sun eclipsed, a darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. The veil of the Temple was torn right down the middle; and when Jesus had cried out in a loud voice, he said, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’ With these words he breathed his last.

All kneel and pause a moment.

When the centurion saw what had taken place, he gave praise to God and said, ‘This was a great and good man.’ And when all the people who had gathered for the spectacle saw what had happened, they went home beating their breasts.

All his friends stood at a distance; so also did the women who had accompanied him from Galilee, and they saw all this happen.