Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tuesday of Holy Week

As we enter the last week of our preparation for Easter, we see again the many similarities extant between the canonically approved Eastern and Western rites. In an earlier post, I quoted this sermon from St. John Chrysostom:
[L]et us not merely read of these things, but bear them in our mind; the crown of thorns, the robe, the reed, the blows, the smiting on the cheek, the spittings, the irony. These things, if continually meditated on, are sufficient to take down all anger.
St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on the Gospel of St. John (Homily 84)

One would be wise to compare this passage to the Collect for the Day from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer:
O LORD God, whose blessed Son, our Saviour, gave his back to the smiters and hid not his face from shame; Grant us grace to take joyfully the sufferings of the present time, in full assurance of the glory that shall be revealed; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
1928 BCP Collect for Tuesday in Holy Week.

It seems as if the BCP collect were written after having read this passage. (It may have been, for all I know.)
Now, at the end of Lent, we see that, as with the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee, these Byzantine words seem best illustrated by a Western devotion. This is one more reason to give thanks for the canonical Western Rite and her approved liturgies, proven in their Orthodoxy.

(Hat tip: Fr. Peter.)



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