Litany of the Life of Jesus Christ

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

Jesus, sent into the world by the Father, *
Jesus, conceived by the Holy Ghost,*
Jesus, Who didst put on the form of a servant,*
Jesus, born of the Virgin Mary,*
Jesus, adored by Thy Mother,*
Jesus, wrapped in swaddling clothes,*
Jesus, cradled in a manger,*
Jesus, nourished at a virgin's breast,*
Jesus, manifesting thyself to shepherds,*
Jesus, submitting to the law of circumcision,*
Jesus, adored by the Magi,*
Jesus, presented in the Temple,*
Jesus, received into the arms of the just Simeon,*
Jesus, exiled into Egypt,*
Jesus, persecuted by Herod,*
Jesus, brought up at Nazareth,*
Jesus, found in the Temple in the midst of the Doctors,*
Jesus, subject to thy Parents,*
Jesus, baptized by John,*
Jesus, tempted in the desert,*
Jesus, choosing for Thy disciples the poor and ignorant,*
Jesus, assisting the afflicted,*
Jesus, transfigured on the mountain,*
Jesus, weeping over Jerusalem,*
Jesus, entering Jerusalem as King of peace,*
Jesus, driving the buyers and sellers from the Temple,*
Jesus, washing Thy disciples' feet,*
Jesus, eating the Pasch with Thy disciples,*
Jesus, giving Thy Body for food, and Thy Blood for drink,*
Jesus, praying in the Garden of Olives,*
Jesus, betrayed by Judas,*
Jesus, hated and despitefully treated,*
Jesus, scourged and crowned with thorns,*
Jesus, going up to Calvary,*
Jesus, crucified between two thieves,*
Jesus, made the scorn of men,*
Jesus, dying upon the cross,*
Jesus, after Thy death, going down into hell,*
Jesus, rising again for our justification,*
Jesus, ascending into heaven,*
Jesus, sitting down at the right hand of the Father,*
Jesus, crowned with glory and honor,*
Jesus, sending down on Thy disciples the Holy Ghost, the Paraclete,*
Jesus, preparing for the just an eternal kingdom,*

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Pardon us O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have pity on us.

Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

Let us pray:

O God, who willest not the death, but the conversion of sinners; look favorably on Thy people, who, honoring the humiliations and the glories of Thy holy life, fly to Thy refuge with a contrite heart; and in Thy merciful kindness turn from us war, famine, pestilence, and all the other scourges of Thine anger. Who livest and reignest forever and ever. Amen


Hymn: Quicumque Christum quaeritis
(Author: Prudentius, 348 - 413)

Quicumque Christum quaeritis,
Uculos in altum tollite:
Illic licebit visere
Signum perennis glorias.

Illustre quiddam cernimus,
Quod nesciat finem pati,
Sublime, celsum, interminum,
Antiquius ccelo et chao.

Hic ille Rex est Gentium,
Populique Rex Judaici,
Promissus Abraha patri,
Ejusque in aevum semini.

Hunc et Prophetis testibus,
Iisdemque signatoribus
Testator et Pater jubet
Audire nos, et credere.

Jesu, tibi sit gloria,
Qui te revelas parvulis,
Cum Patre et almo Spiritu
In sempiterna saecula.

All ye who would the Christ descry,
Lift up your eyes to Him on high:
There mortal gaze hath strength to see
The token of His majesty.

A wondrous sign we there behold,
That knows not death nor groweth old,
Sublime, most high, that cannot fade,
That was ere earth and heaven were made.

Here is the King the Gentiles fear,
The Jews' most mighty King is here
Promised to Abraham of yore,
And to his seed forevermore.

'Tis He the Prophets words foretold,
And by their signs shown forth of old;
The Father's witness hath ordained
That we should hear with faith unfeigned.

Jesu, to Thee our praise we pay,
To little ones revealed today,
With Father and Blest Spirit One
Until the ages' course is done.


Hymn: Lux alma, Jesu
(Author: St. Bernard, 1091-1153)

Lux alma, Jesu, mentium,
Dum corda nostra recreas,
Culpae fugas caliginem,
Et nos reples dulcedine.

Quam laetus est, quern visitas!
Consols paternae dexterae,
Tu dulce lumen patriae,
Carnis negatum sensibus.

Splendor paternae gloriae,
Incomprehensa caritas,
Nobis amoris copiam
Largire per praesentiam.

Jesu, tibi sit gloria,
Qui te revelas parvulis,
Cum Patre et almo Spiritu,
In sempiterna saecula.

Light of the anxious heart,
Jesus, Thou dost appear,
To bid the gloom of guilt depart,
And shed Thy sweetness here.

Joyous is he, with whom,
God's Word, Thou dost abide;
Sweet Light of our eternal home,
To fleshly sense denied.

Brightness of God above!
Unfathomable grace!
Thy presence be a fount of love
Within Thy chosen place.

To Thee, whom children see,
The Father ever blest,
The Holy Spirit, One and Three,
Be endless praise addrest.

Sermon on the Transfiguration
by Father Prosper Gueranger (1805 - 1875)

The subject offered to our consideration, on this Second Sunday, is one of the utmost importance for the Holy Season. The Church applies to us the lesson which our Saviour gave to three of his Apostles. Let us endeavour to be more attentive to it than they were.

Jesus was about to pass from Galilee into Judea, that He might go up to Jerusalem, and be present at the Feast of the Pasch. It was that last Pasch, which was to begin with the immolation of the figurative lamb, and end with the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, Who taketh away the sins of the world. Jesus would have His disciples know him. His works had borne testimony to Him, even to those who were, in a manner, strangers to Him; but as for His Disciples, had they not every reason to be faithful to Him, even to death? Had they not listened to His words, which had such power with them, that they forced conviction? Had they not experienced His love, which it was impossible to resist? and had they not seen how patiently He had borne with their strange and untoward ways? Yes, they must have known Him. They had heard one of their company, Peter, declared that He was the Christ, the Son of the Living God (St. Math. xvi. 16). Notwithstanding this, the trial to which their faith was soon to be put, was to be of such a terrible kind, that Jesus would mercifully arm them against temptation by an extraordinary grace.

The Cross was to be a scandal and stumbling block (1. Cor. i. 23. ) to the Synagogue, and, alas! to more than it. Jesus said to His Apostles, at the Last Supper: All of you shall be scandalized in Me this night (St. Matth. xxvi. 32)." Carnal-minded as they then were, what would they think, when they should see Him seized by armed men, handcuffed, hurried from one tribunal to another, and He doing nothing to defend Himself! And when they found, that the High Priests and Pharisees, who had hitherto been so often foiled by the wisdom and miracles of Jesus, had now succeeded in their conspiracy against Him,--what a shock to their confidence! But, there was to be something more trying still: the people, who, but a few days before, greeted Him so enthusiastically with their hosannas, would demand His execution, and He would have to die, between two thieves, on the Cross, amidst the insults of His triumphant enemies.

Is it not to be feared that these Disciples of His, when they witness His humiliations and sufferings, will lose their courage? They have lived in His company for three years; but when they see, that the things He foretold would happen to Him are really fulfilled,--will the remembrance of all they have seen and heard, keep them loyal to Him? or will they turn cowards and flee from Him?--Jesus selects three out of the number, who are especially dear to Him: Peter, whom He has made the Rock, on which his Church is to be built, and to whom He has promised the Keys of the kingdom of heaven; James, the son of Thunder, who is to be the first Martyr of the Apostolic College; and John, James' brother, and His own Beloved Disciple. Jesus has resolved to take them aside, and show them a glimpse of that glory, which, until the day fixed for its manifestation, He conceals from the eyes of mortals.

He therefore leaves the rest of His Disciples in the plain near Nazareth, and goes, in company with the three privileged ones, towards a high hill, called Thabor, which is a continuation of Libanus, and which the Psalmist tells us was to rejoice in tHe Name of the Lord (Ps. Ixxxviii. 13.). No sooner has He reached the summit of the mountain, than the three Apostles observe a sudden change come over Him; His Face shines as the sun, and His humble garments become white as snow. They observe two venerable men approach, and speak with Him upon what He was about to suffer in Jerusalem. One is Moses, the lawgiver; the other is Elias, the Prophet, who was taken up from earth on a fiery chariot, without having passed through the gates of death. These two great representatives of the Jewish Religion, the Law and the Prophets, humbly adore Jesus of Nazareth. The three Apostles are not only dazzled by the brightness which comes from their Divine Master; but they are filled with such a rapture of delight, that they cannot bear the thought of leaving the place. Peter proposes to remain there for ever, and build three tabernacles, for Jesus, Moses and Elias. And whilst they are admiring the glorious sight, and gazing on the beauty of their Jesus' human Nature, a bright cloud overshadows them, and a voice is heard speaking to them: it is the voice of the Eternal Father, proclaiming the Divinity of Jesus, and saying: This is My beloved Son!

This transfiguration of the Son of Man, this manifestation of His glory, lasted but a few moments; His mission was not on Thabor; it was humiliation and suffering in Jerusalem. He therefore withdrew into Himself the brightness He had allowed to transpire; and when He came to the three Apostles, who, on hearing the voice from the cloud, had fallen on their faces with fear,--they could see no one save only Jesus. The bright cloud was gone; Moses and Elias had disappeared. What a favour they have had bestowed upon them! Will they remember what they have seen and heard? They have had such a revelation of the Divinity of their dear Master!--is it possible, that when the hour of trial comes, they will forget it, and doubt His being God? and, when they see Him suffer and die, be ashamed of Him and deny Him? Alas! the Gospel has told us what happened to them.

A short time after this, our Lord celebrated his Last Supper with his Disciples. When the Supper was over, he took them to another mount, Mount Olivet, which lies to the east of Jerusalem. Leaving the rest at the entrance of the Garden, He advances with Peter, James, and John, and then says to them: My soul is sorrowful even unto death: stay you here, and watch with Me (St. Matth. xxvi.). He then retires some little distance from them, and prays to His Eternal Father. The Heart of our Redeemer is weighed down with anguish. When He returns to His three Disciples, He is enfeebled by the Agony He has suffered, and His garments are saturated with Blood. The Apostles are aware that He is sad even unto death, and that the hour is close at hand when He is to be attacked: are they keeping watch? are they ready to defend Him? No: they seem to have forgotten him; they are fast asleep, for their eyes are heavy. Yet a few moments, and all will have fled from Him; and Peter, the bravest of them all, will be taking his oath that he never knew the Man.

After the Resurrection, our three Apostles made ample atonement for this cowardly and sinful conduct, and acknowledged the mercy wherewith Jesus had sought to fortify them against temptation, by showing them His glory on Thabor, a few days before His Passion. Let us not wait till we have betrayed Him: let us at once acknowledge that He is our Lord and our God. We are soon to be keeping the anniversary of His Sacrifice; like the Apostles, we are to see Him humbled by His enemies and bearing, in our stead, the chastisements of Divine Justice. We must not allow our faith to be weakened, when we behold the fulfilment of those prophecies of David and Isaias, that the Messias is to be treated as a worm of the earth (Ps. xxi. 7), and be covered with wounds, so as to become like a leper, the most abject of men, and the Man of sorrows (Is. liii. 3, 4). We must remember the grand things of Thabor, and the adorations paid Him by Moses and Elias, and the bright cloud, and the voice of the Eternal Father. The more we see Him humbled, the more must we proclaim His glory and divinity; we must join our acclamations with those of the Angels and the Four-and-Twenty Elders, whom St. John, (one of the witnesses of the Transfiguration,) heard crying out with a loud voice: The Lamb that was slain, is worthy to receive power, and divinity, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and benediction (Apoc. v. 12)!

Sermon of St. Leo, Pope
from the Roman Breviary

The Lord displays His glory before chosen witnesses and makes illustrious that bodily shape which He shared with others with such splendor that His countenance shone like the sun, and His garments were white as snow. In this transfiguration the chief object was to remove the scandal of the cross from the hearts of the disciples; and to prevent their faith being disturbed at the humiliation of His voluntary passion, by revealing the excellence of His hidden dignity. But with no less foresight the foundation was laid of the hope of holy Church, that the whole body of Christ might realize with what a change it was to be endowed, and that the members might promise themselves a share in that honor which had shone forth in their head.

But to confirm the Apostles and to lead them on to all knowledge, still further instruction was conveyed by that miracle. For Moses and Elias, that is, the law and the prophets, appeared talking with the Lord; so that in the presence of these five men might most truly be fulfilled what was said: In two or three witnesses every word stands. What more stable, what more steadfast, than the word, in the proclamation of which the trumpet of the old and of the new Testament sounds forth, and the records of ancient witnesses agree with the teaching of the Gospel? For the pages of both Covenants corroborate each other; and He, whom under the veil of mysteries the types that went before had promised, is displayed clearly and manifestly by the splendor of his present glory.

The Apostle Peter, therefore, being stirred by the revelation of these mysteries, despising things worldly and scorning things earthly, was carried away by a certain excess of mind to the desire of things eternal; and, being filled with rapture at the whole vision, longed to make his abode with Jesus in the place where he was gladdened by the sight of His glory. And so also he says: Lord, it is good for us to be here: if Thou wilt, let us set up here three tents, one for Thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. But to this proposal the Lord made no reply, signifying that what he asked was not indeed wicked, but irregular; since the world could not be saved except by Christ's death, and by the Lord's example in this the faithful were called upon to believe, that, although there ought not to be any doubt about the promises of happiness, yet we should understand that, amid the trials of this life, we must ask for power to endure, rather than for glory.

Homily of St. John Chrysostom
from the Roman Breviary

Since the Lord had often spoken of perils, often of His own passion, often of the death and of the slaughter of his disciples, and had laid upon them very many hard and difficult commandments; and these, indeed, were of this present life, and even now impending, while the good things were but in hope and expectation: as, for example, that they would save their life, if they should lose it; that He would come in the glory of His Father, and would render rewards: therefore, to assure them by their own eyes, and to show them what manner of glory it is, with which He is to come, He manifested and unveiled it as far as they could bear it in this present life, lest they, and especially Peter, should grieve over their own death, or over that of the Lord.

And see what He does when He had discoursed of the kingdom and of hell. When He says: he who finds his life, will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake, will find it; and again: He will render to every man according to his conduct; in these words, He indicated heaven and hell. Since therefore He had discoursed of both, He grants them a glimpse of heaven only and not of hell. To see hell would have profited the more ignorant and foolish, but since his disciples were upright and clear-sighted men enough for them to be strengthened by a sight of the better things. This also was much more seemly for Him. Yet He did not altogether pass over the other, but sometimes He set the horrors of hell as it were before their very eyes, as He did in the parable of Lazarus, and when he called to mind the one who exacted the hundred denarii from his fellow-servant.


Prayer in Honor of the Transfiguration of Our Lord

O God, Who in the glorious Transfiguration of Thine only-begotten Son didst strengthen the sacraments of faith by the testimony of the fathers, and Who didst wonderfully foreshow the perfect adoption of Thy children by a voice coming down in a shining cloud, mercifully grant that we be made co-heirs of the King of glory Himself, and grant us to be sharers in the same glory. Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen

Sanctify, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the gifts offered on the glorious Transfiguration of Thine only-begotten Son, and by the splendors of that very illumination cleanse us from the stains of our sins. Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen

Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that with the understanding of a purified mind we may follow those sacred mysteries of Thy Son's Transfiguration which we celebrate with our solemn office. Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen