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O sacred Head, now wounded,

With grief and shame weighed down,
Now scornfully surrounded
With thorns, thine only crown;
O sacred Head, what glory,
What bliss till now was thine!
Yet, though despised and gory,
I joy to call thee mine.



What thou, my Lord, hast suffered,
Was all for sinners’ gain;
Mine, mine was the transgression,
But thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior!
’Tis I deserve thy place;
Look on me with thy favor,
Vouchsafe to me thy grace.

Now from thy cheeks has vanished
Their color once so fair;
From thy red lips is banished
The splendor that was there.
Grim death, with cruel rigor,
Hath robbed thee of thy life;
Thus thou hast lost thy vigor,
Thy strength in this sad strife.

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Holy Saturday is a day of profound mystery: Christ is dead and yet he remains busy at work, descending to the underworld to free the righteous held captive in the chains of death. The mournful suspense of Holy Saturday is thus imbued with the certainty of the Resurrection. Though our earthly sojourn be continually tinged by death, we know that our longing to exult in the fullness of redemption is not in vain. The Son of God himself has passed through death to rob it of its apparent finality. In Jesus, life wins. Magnificat, 4/3/2021