O blessed Passion of Christ!
We contemplate Thee bound to the column of Thy cruel scourging
and praise Thee with sorrowing love because
by the ropes that bound Thee, we are set free.
Holy Mass begins today with the words: Liberator meus (Ps 17:48). The same phrase is repeated in the verse of the Introit: Diligam te Domine, fortitudo mea: Dominus firmamentum meum, et refugium meum, et liberator meus (Ps 17:3). The Offertory Antiphon ends with an impassioned plea: libera me, Domine (Ps 58:2). The Communion Antiphon is a song of praise; it sings of the freedom that comes to the soul eucharistically united to Christ in His Passion: Et circuibo altare tuum, Domine (Ps 25:6-7).
The Proper Chants of today’s Mass are, in fact, a meditatio and an oratio on the words of Our Lord in the Gospel: “If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed” (Jn 8:36). One sees, from this example, the importance of the Proper of the Mass. When, as so often happens, the chants of the Proper are replaced by other texts, the theological and spiritual architecture of the liturgy is dismantled.