You don’t have to wait until Holy Week to start meditating on the passion and death of Jesus. In fact, the more you prayerfully reflect on Christ’s sacrifice now, the more fully you’ll be able to enter into Passiontide.
If you’re wondering where to begin when it comes to praying and meditating on the death and suffering of the Lord, there’s a perfect prayer to add to your daily prayer routine.
Below is the Litany of the Sacred Passion that is written by William G. Storey, a professor emeritus of Liturgy and Church History at the University of Notre Dame.
Lord Jesus, at the Last Supper you knew that Judas, one of the Twelve, would betray you. Good Lord, deliver us from false friends and treachery.
Lord Jesus, during the supper, you humbly washed the feet of your disciples. Good Lord, make us meek and humble of heart.
Lord Jesus, at the Last Supper, you gave us the sacrament of your broken body and out-poured blood. Good Lord, we worship the seal of the new and eternal covenant.
Lord Jesus, you asked your disciples to watch and pray with you in the Garden of Gethsemane. Good Lord, keep us awake and watchful with you.
Lord Jesus, at your betrayal and arrest all your friends fled in fear and deserted you. Good Lord, give us courage in time of trial.
Lord Jesus, you were falsely accused and condemned for speaking the truth before Caiaphas, the high priest. Good Lord, may we speak truth in the face of injustice.
Lord Jesus, in the courtyard of the high priest, Simon Peter swore three times that he did not know you. Good Lord, make us faithful in time of temptation.
Lord Jesus, Pilate traded you for a murderer and handed you over to crucifixion. Good Lord, have mercy on us sinners.
Lord Jesus, you were beaten, mocked, and humiliated by Pilate’s soldiers. Good Lord, may we suffer gladly for your sake.
Lord Jesus, on the cross you were taunted and derided as King of the Jews. Good Lord, may we always live in obedience to you.
Lord Jesus, on the cross you forgave your enemies. Good Lord, give us the grace to forgive others.
Lord Jesus, from the cross you promised paradise to a repentant criminal. Good Lord, make us long for paradise and eternal bliss.
Lord Jesus, from the cross you confided your Blessed Mother to your beloved disciple. Good Lord, make us children of Mary.
Lord Jesus, you cried out in agony to your Father and died with a loud cry. Good Lord, have mercy on us, now and at the hour of our death.
Lord Jesus, the Roman centurion recognized you as the Son of God. Good Lord, may we always praise and exalt you as our blessed savior.
Lord Jesus, you were taken down from the cross and laid in the arms of your sorrowful Mother. Good Lord, entrust us to the care of your Blessed Mother.
Lord Jesus, Joseph of Arimathea wrapped your body in a linen shroud and laid you in his rock-hewn tomb. Good Lord, grant us the gift of tears at the moment of your suffering, death, and burial.
Lord Jesus, the women who had followed you from Galilee watched as you were put to rest in the tomb. Good Lord, we await with joy your glorious resurrection on the third day.
Here, you can name your own intentions.
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you. For by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world.
Lord Jesus Christ, you were fastened with nails to the wood of the cross and raised on high for all to see. As the sun grew dark and the earth quaked, you surrendered your spirit to your Father, descended among the dead, broke open the gates of hell, and freed those bound in darkness. As angel choirs rejoiced, you were raised to life again on the third day, destroying death by your own death and canceling the power of sin. By these mighty deeds on our behalf, rescue us from our blindness and tepidity, inspire us anew by your Holy Spirit, and lead us into a life of prayer and service worthy of your awesome sacrifice, O Savior of the world, living and reigning with the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
May the glorious passion of our Lord Jesus Christ bring us the joys of paradise. Amen.