Seven Words of Christ
Spoken from the Cross.
- The first word, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Luke 23), was spoken after they nailed Him to the cross.
- The second was addressed to the penitent thief, "Amen, I say to thee, this day thou shalt be with me in Paradise" (Luke 23).
- "Woman, behold thy son. Behold thy Mother," the third word (John 19), He addressed to the Blessed Virgin and Saint John.
- Overcome by an agony of loneliness, He cried out the fourth word, "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me"" (Matthew 27).
- Parched with thirst, He spoke His fifth word, "I thirst" (John 19), whereupon a soldier handed him a sponge soaked in vinegar.
- The sixth word, "It is consummated" (John 19), He uttered when every prophecy which had been foretold of Him had been fulfilled.
- "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit" (Luke 23), was His seventh and last word.
The devotion of the Three Hours, observed from midday on Good Friday, commemorates these words of Christ.
Joseph Haydn and Theodore Dubois have interpreted them in oratorio form.
New Catholic Dictionary