Good Friday: The Third Nocturne, by Monk Peter Abelard

The Crucifixion

Alone to sacrifice Thou goest, Lord,
Giving Thyself to death whom Thou wilt slain.
For us Thy wretched folk is any word,
Whose sins have brought Thee to this agony?

For they are ours, O Lord, our deeds, our deeds.
Why must Thou suffer torture for our sin?
Let our hearts suffer for Thy passion, Lord,
That very suffering may Thy mercy win.

This is that night of tears, the three days’ space,
Sorrow abiding of the eventide,
Until the day break with the risen Christ,
And hearts that sorrowed shall be satisfied.

So may our hearts share in Thine anguish, Lord,
That they may sharers of Thy glory be:
Heavy with weeping may the three days pass,
To win the laughter of Thine Easter Day.

* This excerpt is from “Medieval Latin Lyrics” translated and edited by Helen Waddell


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