07 April 2012

'His cross stands empty . . .' Holy Saturday

Pietà (The Lamentation of Christ), El Greco, painted 1571-76

From The Gospel of John (2003)  Directed by Philip Saville. Jesus played by Henry Ian Cusick; narrator, Christopher Plummer.

The Entombment of Christ, El Greco, painted 1560s

His cross stands empty

His cross stands empty in a world grown silent
Through hours of anguish and of dread;
In stillness, earth awaits the resurrection,
While Christ goes down to wake the dead

He summons Adam and his generations,
Brings light where darkness endless seemed;
He frees and claims His own, so long held captive,
Who, with the living, are redeemed.

With God the Father and the Holy Spirit,
Give praise to Christ the crucified,
Who, through the ages, seeks to save his lost ones:
The sinful men for whom he died.

This hymn, from The Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal, is used in The Office of Readings for Holy Saturday in The Divine Office approved by the Episcopal Conferences of Australia, England and Wales, Ireland, Scotland.

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