Triduum Sacrum

I.

At Passover the wind blew cold
And Peter crouched, in dread, beside a fire;
The feast of bitter herbs, observed of old,
The Master longed to eat, with strong desire:

An Upper Room
For Supper set
With lamps alight
And comrades met
For highest Priesthood’s rite.

He took a towel and a bowl –
(Water can wash the dusty feet,
But not a traitor’s soul!) –
Love’s mandate sealed by act replete
With sacramental chivalry.

“Take, eat” this food, this living Bread
And share the Cup of life Divine;
“Arise, let us go hence”, He said,
To sheltered Olivet’s incline,
Where cold winds shook the fertile boughs.

II.

When rain like tear-drops trickled down the vase
And all earth convulsed in agony,
The ruler of the secret stars
Died felon-like, stretched taut upon the beam.
The mourners’ nard His unction made,
Sad love anointing the enshrouded Christ,
Who in his infancy refused not myrrh.

Magnolias white as altar linen, bright
As day, in Joseph’s garden bloom,
With all the April flowers that love the light,
Flanking the sealed and guarded tomb.

Now vigil lights in faithful hearts will burn
Until, in deathless quiet of an Easter morn,
He will return.

Canon George F. Tull

Canon Tull, who wrote this poem in April 1966 (it was published in his anthology “The Quiet Ways” by Mitre Press in 1969, was Vice-Chancellor for Europe of the San Luigi Orders, Titular Abbot of San Encino in the Abbey-Principality of San Luigi, and a priest of the Old Roman Catholic Church in Great Britain.

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