For this hour the key prophecy was from Isaiah 50:4-9: “The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary. . . The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair; I hid not my face from the shame and spitting. For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded; therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. . .”

Also some verses from Job, and then Isaiah 63:1-7 (William Billings wrote a beautiful setting of this): “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. . . And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold; therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me, and my fury, it upheld me. . . I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the Lord, and the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord hath bestowed on us. . .” (Christ first being described, and then speaking, here.)

“For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me. . . For dogs have compassed me; the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me; they pierced my hands and my feet.”   Ps. 38:17, 22:16

The gospels then, describing Pilate offering to release Jesus, and the people spurred on by the priests to chose Barabbas the murderer instead, and then Jesus being scourged by the soldiers. (By this time, we are reading four gospel passages every hour, in parallel.)

(After every hour, the litanies of the daytime are prayed, instead of only at the end of the whole day, as otherwise during the week. This is what makes this last so long, plus the fact that the psalms in Coptic are getting longer and longer, as the day becomes sadder.)

About these ads