The Armchair Liturgist: Litany of the Holy Cross

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It’s a devotional tradition from centuries back. With this weekend’s feast, is anybody out there planning to use this litany? If so, what, how, and when?

This one, based on the writings of Thomas À Kempis, dates to the 15th century. More usually I’ve seen this one:

Lord, have mercy.                                                                           Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.                                                                         Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.                                                                            Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.                                                                                  Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven,                                                          Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,                                   Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, our Advocate,                                         Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God,                                                                    Have mercy on us.
Holy Cross whereon the Lamb of God was offered,         Save us, O Holy Cross.
Hope of Christians,                                                                          Save us, O Holy Cross.
Pledge of the resurrection of the dead,                                                 etc.
Shelter of persecuted innocence,
Guide of the blind,
Way of those who have gone astray,
Staff of the lame,
Consolation of the poor ,
Restraint of the powerful,
Destruction of the proud,
Refuge of sinners,
Trophy of victory over Hell,
Terror of demons,
Mistress of youth,
Succor of the distressed,
Hope of the hopeless,
Star of the mariner,
Harbor of the wrecked,
Rampart of the besieged,
Father of orphans,
Defense of widows,
Counsel of the just,
Judge of the wicked,
Rest of the afflicted,
Safeguard of childhood,
Strength of manhood,
Last hope of the aged,
Light of those who sit in darkness,
Splendor of kings,
Civilizer of the world,
Shield impenetrable,
Wisdom of the foolish,
Liberty of slaves,
Knowledge of the ignorant,
Sure rule of life,
Heralded by Prophets,
Preached by Apostles,
Glory of Martyrs,
Study of hermits,
Chastity of virgins,
Joy of priests,
Foundation of the Church,
Salvation of the world,
Destruction of idolatry,
Stumbling block to the Jews,
Condemnation of the ungodly,
Support of the weak,
Medicine of the sick,
Health of the leprous,
Strength of the paralytic,
Bread of the hungry,
Fountain of those who thirst,
Clothing of the naked,
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,          Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,          Hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,          Have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.                                                                                  Christ, graciously hear us.
Lord, have mercy.                                                                            Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.                                                                         Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.                                                                            Lord, have mercy.

V. We adore You, O Christ, and we bless you,
R. Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

All: Behold the Cross of the Lord! Begone ye evil powers!
The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered! Alleluia!

Let Us Pray.
O God, Who for the redemption of the world, were pleased to be born in a stable and to die upon a cross; O Lord Jesus Christ, by Your holy sufferings, which we, Your unworthy servants, call to mind: by Your Holy Cross, and by Your death, deliver us from the pains of Hell, and welcome us as You welcomed the good thief who was crucified with You, for You live and reign eternally in Heaven.

R. Amen.

Sweet the wood, sweet the nails,
sweet the Burden which you bore,
for you alone, O Holy Cross,
were worthy to bear the King and Lord of Heaven.
R. Amen.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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