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Holy Week Liturgy

Judas Mercatur Pessimus

As a reflection of the somber meaning of Holy Week, the Church has Judas Mercatur Pessimus, roughly translated as Judas, the worst possible merchant. A mournful piece of Church music, Judas Mercator Pessimus was composed by the 16th century Fr. Tomás Luis de Victoria of Spain.

Complete Innocence itself, Our Lord is condemned to die ignominiously on the cross due to the betrayal of none other than one of His own disciples, Judas Iscariot, who received 30 coins of silver for his treachery. As Our Lord said It would have been better for him, had he never been born.

Fr. Tomás Luis de Victoria is condsidered one of the greatest Church composers of the counter-reformation period. Judas Mercator Pessimus is performed here by the Spanish quartet known as 'Q'.



Listen to Judas Mercator Pessimus

Latin Lyrics:

Judas, mercator pessimus,
Osculo petiit Dominum.
Ille, ut agnus innocens,
Non negavit Judae osculum.

Denariorum numero
Christum Judaeis tradidit.

Melius illi erat,
Si natus non fuisset.
Denariorum numero
Christum Judaeis tradidit.
Translation:

Judas, the worst possible merchant,
Asked to kiss the Lord.
And He, like an innocent lamb,
Did not reject the kiss of Judas.

For a number of coins
He delivered Christ to the Jews.

It would have been better for him,
Had he never been born.
For a number of coins
He delivered Christ to the Jews.



udas mercator pessimus

Judas mercator pessimus


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