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The Pilgrim
O. P. Kretzmann

Litany for Good Friday — 1938

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father in heaven
Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world
Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God
Have mercy on us.

By Thy Suering and Death —
By the hurt of Judas
treachery
By the pain of Peter
s denial
By the sweat of blood
By the agony of soul
By the robe of purple and the crown of thorn
By the bite of the whip and the lash of the scourge
By the Way of the Cross
By the nails and thirst
By the blood that stained the Holy Rood
By the travail of Thy soul By the riven vine and the trodden winepress
By Thy expiring cry

By Thy triumph in death
O dying Redeemer, hear us.

From hardness of heart and darkness of soul
From coldness of mind
From trampling Thy blood on the way of sin
From driving the nails again
From crucifying Thee anew
From forgetfulness of Thy great sorrow
From the loneliness of life without Thee
From greed and ambition
From the lust of the eye and the pride of life
From the burden of remembered sin
From the cunning of men
From the confusion of ignorance
From hate
From a jealous heart
From the last sin of unbelief
O living Redeemer, deliver us.

For the heart of man today, afraid
For the sick of body to ease their pain
For the sick of mind to lighten their gloom
For the sick of soul to bring them forgiveness
For them who weep alone
For Thy Life in every broken heart
For the soul that knows not Thee
For all who make known Thy way upon earth
For all who love Thy Holy Name
For all Thy Church in all the world
Thou King of Principalities and Powers, of Thrones and Domin ions
Thou Lord of Cherubim and Seraphim, of angels and archangels
Thou Prince of Peace and Glory, of Kingdoms and Empires
O dying and living Redeemer, hear us.

Nostalgia

This month the remainder of this column is being written far away from, books — on trains and ferries, in railroad stations and bus stops, beside mountains and rivers… This ought to please several readers who have complained that the Pilgrim cannot see life because of his lamp… All right… I am now beside a lamppost on the edge of a little town in Western Oregon — and the pencil moves in obedience to the rhythm of life in an American village at late dusk… Everyone who is compelled by time and circumstance to live in the monstrous cities our age has built must feel at times a nostalgia for the small town at twilight… The shadowed succession of dusk and dawn — the wind from the hills as night comes down and the stars burn cold — the lights in the little church for choir practice — the belated boy running home for supper in the house across the road — the barking of a dog — the moan of wind in pines — the water tower black against the drifting stars — all the strange world that lies between twilight and darkness, and the night whispering of simple, honest things — of faith and hope and peace and rest… In it is mans compass and his joy and grief… It may be that here lives are lived in ignorance of the heights of possible human experience, but surely there is less shame and degradation here… In a few moments shadows will dance on the dust of the road and moonlight will dream on the roofs of little houses… Like the tolling of the Compline bell I hear the simple lines of Monk Gibbon:

These going home at dusk
Along the lane
After the day’s warm work
Do not complain.

Were you to say to them
“What does it mean?
What is it all about
This troubled dream?”

They would not understand
They
d go their way
Or if they spoke at all
They
d surely say:

Dawn is the time to rise
Days are to earn
Bread and the midday rests
Dusk to return,

To be content, to pray
To hear songs sung
Or to make wayside love
If one is young

All from the good God comes
All then is good
Sorrow is known to him
And understood.”

One who had questioned al
l
And was not wise
Might be ashamed to meet
Their quiet eyes.

All is so clear to them
All is so plain:
Those who go home at dusk
Along the lane.

Farewell to Hallelujah

Shrove Tuesday… At Vespers today — or at the services last Sunday — the church sang the last Hallelujah and Lent began… From time immemorial the Hallelujah has been omitted from the services of the church during the season dedicated to the remembrance of the Passion of our Lord… The last Hallelujah dies away in chapel and cathedral and while the echo still lingers among the rafters, the violet paraments of sorrow are placed upon the altar… It will be Easter morning before the Hallelujah is heard again… There is wisdom in this… It is another and profound dierence between the Church and the world… The world never willingly abandons joy… Her votaries hang on to happiness with all the strength they have — until, inevitably, it is taken away from them… They have forgotten that the line of life must sometimes go down into the darkness of sorrow… It is never easy, but it is a great deal better to go down willingly than to be driven down like a slave. To give up joy by the strength of Him Who gave up heaven is a part of the way by which joy and heaven will return… Easter can come only to the heart that has known Lent…

The shadow which clings to alt] earthly good when it is seen in the light of faith is inevitable… Be cause of this the Christian view of life appears so much darker than the pagan — checkered with a darkness the more intense the brighter the light of faith shines upon it… But the fare well to Hallelujah, though necessary, is only temporary… It springs from the strong compulsions of the dust from which we came and the stronger compulsions of the everlasting mercy which lifted us from that dust… When all is said and done, Christianity is a religion of deeper gladness just because it is a religion of deeper fear and greater sorrow… The Cross remains the world climax of divine and human sorrow, ineffably distant and ineffably close, the sorrow of sin and the pain of mans long and lonely separation from God… So it is good that our Hallelujahs are silent for a little time… In their stead appear the crown of thorns, the drops of blood, the way of mourning, the five wounds, and the sound of our hands driving nails… And on Easter Morn our returning Hallelujahs will say that our Lord arose and ascended into Heaven, that He is now the King of Glory, Who has given us a share in both His suffering and His victory, in His passion and His power, in His former pain and His present peace.

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