O Sacred Head, Sore Wounded…

O sacred head, sore wounded, Defiled and put to scorn: O kingly head, surrounded With mocking crown of thorn; What sorrow mars thy grandeur? Can death thy bloom deflow’r? O countenance whose splendor The hosts of heav’n adore!

Thy beauty, long desired, Hath vanished from our sight: Thy pow’r is all expired, And quenched the light of light. Ah me! for whom thou diest, Hide not so far thy grace: Show me, O Love most highest, The brightness of thy face.

In thy most bitter passion My heart to share doth cry. With thee for my salvation Upon the cross to die. Ah, keep my heart thus moved To stand thy cross beneath, To mourn thee, well-beloved, Yet thank thee for thy death.

What language shall I borrow To thank thee, dearest friend, For this thy dying sorrow, Thy pity without end? Oh, make me thine forever! And should I fainting be, Lord, let me never, never Outlive my love for thee.

My days are few, O fail not, With thine immortal pow’r, To hold me that I quail not In death’s most fearful hour: That I may fight befriended, And see in my last strife To me thine arms extended Upon the cross of life.

Author: Paul Gerhardt

Click here to hear our Good Friday podcast, with Guy Scott at the piano. A PDF of the prayer service and a Good Friday homily by Rev. Canon Sara D’Angio White can be found on our @St.C’s media webpage:

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