‘In that day the root of Jesse, who stands for an ensign of the people, him the Gentiles shall beseech, and his sepulchre shall be glorious.’
Think on the very làmentable pain,
Think on the piteous cross of woeful Christ,
Think on His blood beat out at every vein,
Think on His precious heart carvèd in twain,
Think how for thy redemption all was wrought:
Let Him not lose what He so dear hath bought.
‘… he was wounded for our iniquities, he was bruised for our sins….‘
‘They parted my garments amongst them; and upon my vesture they cast lots.’
‘He was offered because it was his own will, and he opened not his mouth: he shall be led as a sheep to the slaughter, and shall be dumb as a lamb before his shearer, and he shall not open his mouth.’
‘For I am ready for scourges: and my sorrow is continually before me.‘
‘I have given my body to the strikers, and my cheeks to them that plucked them: I have not turned away my face from them that rebuked me, and spit upon me.‘
‘ Now shall you be laid waste, O daughter of the robber: they have laid siege against us, with a rod shall they strike the cheek of the judge of Israel.’
The text for this portion of the service is the Benedictus, or Canticle of Zechariah. Though this canticle, comprising Luke 1:68-79, is part of the Church’s morning prayer every day of the year (at the hour of Lauds), it has a special resonance on these days.
Because of the compassionate kindness of our God,
the dawn from on high shall break upon us
To shine on those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
to guide our feet in the way of peace.