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Contemplations on the Paschal hymn, Ti-Epistolee, which is the Pauline Epistle chanted during the Sixth hour of Good Friday.

In the sixth hour of the sixth day, the Beloved was crucified. Saint Paul looks at the crucified Lord and says “May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Gal. 6:14) The Son of God came down from heaven and was crucified because of me and for my sake. Jesus chose to die in the most humiliating way known to the Jews at that time. And still, Saint Paul speaks of the glory of the Cross of Jesus Christ. Through the Cross, Christ offered salvation to the whole world. Through the Cross, He defeated the devil and broke the gates of hell. Through the Cross, Jesus separated me from the world. He put his mark on me saying that I no longer belong to the world, or the world to me. Saint Paul emphasizes this separation by saying that circumcision, which portrays a separation unto God, must be spiritual not material. The Jews that participated in the crucifixion of Christ were circumcised in body only, but their hearts were away from God and his commandments.

The hymn “Ti-Epistolee” is the Pauline hymn of the sixth hour of the Great Friday. It starts with a low mournful note, because of the sadness at the sight of the Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross. Suddenly, the hymn rises, to remind the world of the salvation that Jesus is offering through the Cross. The prophecy of Isaiah the prophet is being realized in the Lord Jesus Christ, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.” (Isa. 53:5). However, the high note does not last for very long. It quickly drops in a manner that would fill the eyes of everyone with tears. The sight of the Lord on the Cross is overwhelming, that even the sun, the greatest of the celestial bodies, hid its face. How can the world find comfort at such an hour…

Because of me and for my sake.

In Galatians chapter 6, Saint Paul tells us how we can become worthy to accept the salvation of Our Lord Jesus Christ into our lives. First, we should help one another. The spiritually strong should, through the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen, comfort and carry the weak, just as Christ carried our sins on the Holy wood of the Cross. Second, We should not cater to the desires of the flesh, but rather to the needs of the spirit, which longs to be with her maker. And finally, we should do good deeds at every chance we get, especially for the faithful, but certainly not limited to them.