The Fifth Sunday in Lent: Passion Sunday

Color: Violet; Intent: Mystery of the Cross


O Word of Life, now called the cross, thou ever upright, ever raised on high, eternally above! O Cross, most skillfully devised instrument of salvation, given to us by the Highest! O Cross, invincible trophy of Christ’s conquest of his foes! O Cross, life-giving tree, with its roots planted in earth, and its fruits treasured up in heaven! O Cross, most venerable sweetness and sweet name! O Cross most worshipful, who, through Gnosis bringest the worthy to God! O Name of the cross, hidden mystery! O ineffable grace that is expressed in the nave of the cross! O nature of man that cannot be separated from God! O love ineffable, inseparable, that cannot be declared by unclean lips! We will declare thee for what thou art; we will not keep silence on the mystery of the cross which was always in the world. And thou, O Cross, wilt be unto us no mere cross of wood to slay the body of earthly matter but the cross of light that lifts man from things of earth to the matchless wonders of eternity. Amen.


The Lesson is taken from the Acts of St. Peter & the Acts of St. Andrew:
It is right to mount on the cross of Christ, who is the one and only Word stretched out upon the cross. So that the Word is the upright beam whereon I am crucified, and the Sound is that which crosses it, the nature of Man, while the nail which holds the cross-beam to the upright in its center is the conversion and repentance of Man. The bar of the cross is the invincible man. This is the Father, this is the fountain that comes forth from the silence; it is he who is sought after everywhere. This is also the Father in whom the monad has evolved like a light-spark before which all the worlds are as nothing.


The Gospel is taken from the Gospel according to St. John:
Jesus said: The hour is come that the Son of Man should be glorified. Amen, Amen, I say unto you, except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it, and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto eternal life. If any man serve Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there also shall My servant be.

Homilies for Passion Sunday by Bishop Stephan A. Hoeller