Three Hours' Agony

Last updated
Front page of the Devocion a las tres horas by P. Alonso Messia SJ. Alonso Messia SJ, Devotion a la tres horas.JPG
Front page of the Devocion a las tres horas by P. Alonso Messia SJ.

The Three Hours' Agony (also known as the Tre Ore,The Great Three Hours, or Three Hours' Devotion) is a Christian service held in many Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican and Methodist churches on Good Friday from noon till 3 o'clock to commemorate the three hours of Christ's hanging at the cross. [1]

It includes sermons on the Seven Last Words from the Cross, [2] and usually occurs between noon and 3PM (the latter being the time Jesus is said to have died on the cross and the time the Liturgy of the Lord's Passion begins), [1] and sometimes between 6PM and 9PM. [3]

The Jesuit priest Alphonsus Messia (died 1732) is said to have devised this devotion in Lima, Peru. It was introduced to Rome around 1788 and spread around the world to many Christian denominations. [1] In 1815, Pope Pius VII decreed a plenary indulgence to those who practise this devotion on Good Friday. [4]

Related Research Articles

Good Friday Christian religious holiday preceding Easter

Good Friday is a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Calvary. It is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday, and may coincide with the Jewish observance of Passover. It is also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, Great and Holy Friday, and Black Friday.

Passion of Jesus Final period in the life of Jesus, before his crucifixion

In Christianity, the Passion is the short final period in the life of Jesus Christ.

Maundy Thursday Christian holiday commemorating the Last Supper

Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday is the Christian holy day falling on the Thursday before Easter. It commemorates the Washing of the Feet (Maundy) and Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles, as described in the canonical gospels.

Holy Week Calendar date

In some traditions of Christianity, Holy Week is the most sacred week in the Church year. In Eastern Rite Churches, also known as Eastern Orthodox, Holy Week occurs the week after Lazarus Saturday. In the rites of the Western/Latin/Roman Church it begins with Palm Sunday and concludes on Easter Sunday. For all Christian traditions it is a moveable observance that falls on the last week of Lent or Sixth Lent Week.

Stations of the Cross Series of artistic representations, depicting Jesus Christ carrying the Cross to his crucifixion

The Stations of the Cross or the Way of the Cross, also known as the Way of Sorrows or the Via Crucis, refers to a series of images depicting Jesus Christ on the day of his crucifixion and accompanying prayers. The stations grew out of imitations of Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem which is believed to be the actual path Jesus walked to Mount Calvary. The objective of the stations is to help the Christian faithful to make a spiritual pilgrimage through contemplation of the Passion of Christ. It has become one of the most popular devotions and the stations can be found in many Western Christian churches, including Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist, and Roman Catholic.

Paschal Triduum Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday

The Paschal Triduum or Easter Triduum, Holy Triduum, or the Three Days, is the period of three days that begins with the liturgy on the evening of Maundy Thursday, reaches its high point in the Easter Vigil, and closes with evening prayer on Easter Sunday. It recalls the Passion, Crucifixion, Death, burial, and Resurrection of Jesus, as portrayed in the canonical Gospels.

Compline Church service

Compline, also known as Complin, Night Prayer, or the Prayers at the End of the Day, is the final church service of the day in the Christian tradition of canonical hours, which are prayed at fixed prayer times. The English word is derived from the Latin completorium, as compline is the completion of the waking day. The word was first used in this sense about the beginning of the 6th century by St. Benedict in his Rule, in Chapters 16, 17, 18, and 42, and he even uses the verb compleo to signify compline: "Omnes ergo in unum positi compleant" ; "et exeuntes a completorio" ….

Sayings of Jesus on the cross seven expressions of Jesus during his crucifixion

The sayings of Jesus on the cross are seven expressions biblically attributed to Jesus during his crucifixion. Traditionally, the brief sayings have been called "words". They are gathered from the four Canonical Gospels. Three of the sayings appear only in the Gospel of Luke and three only in the Gospel of John. One other saying appears both in the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Mark, and another is only directly quoted in John but alluded to in Matthew and Mark. In Matthew and Mark, Jesus cries out to God. In Luke, he forgives his killers, reassures the penitent thief, and commends his spirit to the Father. In John, he speaks to his mother, says he thirsts, and declares the end of his earthly life.

Votive candle

A votive candle or prayer candle is a small candle, typically white or beeswax yellow, intended to be burnt as a votive offering in an act of Christian prayer, especially within the Anglican, Lutheran, and Roman Catholic Christian denominations, among others. In Christianity, votive candles are commonplace in many churches, as well as home altars, and symbolize the "prayers the worshipper is offering for him or herself, or for other people." The size of a votive candle is often two inches tall by one and a half inches diameter, although other votive candles can be significantly taller and wider. In other religions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism, similar offerings exist, which include diyas and butter lamps.

Angelus Catholic devotion honoring the Incarnation of Christ, usually prayed three times a day

The Angelus is a Catholic devotion commemorating the Incarnation. As with many Catholic prayers, the name Angelus is derived from its incipit—the first few words of the text: Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariæ. The devotion is practised by reciting as versicle and response three Biblical verses narrating the mystery, alternating with the prayer "Hail Mary". The Angelus exemplifies a species of prayers called the "prayer of the devotee".

Tenebrae Christian religious service

Tenebrae is a religious service of Western Christianity held during the three days preceding Easter Day, and characterized by gradual extinguishing of candles, and by a "strepitus" or "loud noise" taking place in total darkness near the end of the service.

Christian liturgy Pattern for worship used by a Christian congregation or denomination

Christian liturgy is a pattern for worship used by a Christian congregation or denomination on a regular basis. The term liturgy comes from Greek and mean "public work".

The Improperia are a series of antiphons and responses, expressing the remonstrance of Jesus Christ with his people. Also known as the Reproaches, they are sung In the Catholic liturgy as part of the observance of the Passion, usually on the afternoon of Good Friday. In the Byzantine Rite, they are found in various hymns of Good Friday and Holy Saturday. The Improperia appear in the Pontificale of Prudentius (846–61) and gradually came into use throughout Europe in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, finally being incorporated into the Roman Ordo in the fourteenth century.

Mass of the Lords Supper Holy Week service

The Mass of the Lord's Supper, also known as A Service of Worship for Maundy Thursday, is a Holy Week service celebrated on the evening of Maundy Thursday. It inaugurates the Easter Triduum, and commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus with his disciples, more explicitly than other celebrations of the Mass.

Gorzkie żale

Gorzkie żale (Polish pronunciation: [ˈɡɔʂkʲe ˈʐalɛ] Lenten is a Catholic devotion containing many hymns that developed out of Poland in the 18th century. The devotion is primarily a sung reflection and meditation on the Passion of Christ and the sorrows of His Blessed Mother. The devotion consists of a three-part cycle, subdivided into five unique parts. One part of the cycle is held on each Sunday in the period of Lent, including Palm Sunday, and the entire ceremony is held on Good Friday. The devotion originated in Holy Cross Church in Warsaw and from there it spread to whole of Poland.

Musical settings of sayings of Jesus on the cross are compositions which set seven short phrases uttered by Jesus on the cross, as gathered from the four Christian Gospels narrating the Crucifixion of Jesus. Several composers have written musical settings of the traditional collection of seven sayings, sometimes called Seven Last Words and ultima septem verba, for various combinations of voice and/or instruments. Eventually these settings became a separate form of Passion music. Perhaps the most outstanding work in this genre in the Lutheran tradition is the work by Heinrich Schütz. Joseph Haydn composed string quartets titled Die sieben letzten Worte unseres Erlösers am Kreuze.

Lent Christian observance

Lent is a solemn religious moveable observance in the Christian liturgical calendar that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends approximately six weeks later, the night before Easter Sunday. The purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer for Easter through prayer, mortifying the flesh, repentance of sins, almsgiving, simple living and self-denial. This season is observed in the Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran, Methodist, Moravian, Oriental Orthodox, Reformed, United Protestant and Roman Catholic Churches. Some Anabaptist, Baptist and nondenominational Christian churches also observe Lent. Quartodeciman christians end the fast of Lent on the paschal full moon of the Hebrew calendar, in order to celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread beginning on the 14th of Nisan, whence the name derives. For this practice, they were excommunicated in the Easter controversy of the 2nd century.

Christian prayer

Christian prayer is an important activity in Christianity, and there are several different forms used for this practice.

Lift High the Cross 19th-century English Christian hymn

"Lift High the Cross" is a 19th century English Christian hymn. It was written in 1887 by George Kitchin and revised in 1916 by Michael R. Newbolt.

Gesù Cristo Redentore, Alcamo

Gesù Cristo Redentore is a Catholic church in Alcamo, in the province of Trapani, Italy.

References

  1. 1 2 3 The United Methodist Book of Worship: Regular Edition Black. United Methodist Publishing House. 2016. p. 365. ISBN   9781426735004.
  2. Sermons on the Three Hours’ Agony at CatholicCulture.org
  3. Divozione alle tre ore dell'agonia di Gesù Cristo nostro redentore...
  4. Raccolta - Jesus Crucified

This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain :  Wood, James, ed. (1907). The Nuttall Encyclopædia . London and New York: Frederick Warne.Missing or empty |title= (help)