EXULTET

The Exsultet, sometimes seen as “Exultet” and also referred to as the Praeconium Paschale, is an ancient chant sung during the Easter Vigil. It is traditionally sung by the deacon after the Paschal candle has been lit and the clergy have processed to the altar. The lighted Paschal candle contains a twofold symbolism. First, it represents the pillar of fire that went before the Israelites during their flight from Egypt. Second, it represents Christ, who is the light of the world. The procession likewise has a twofold meaning. It symbolizes the journey of the Israelites out of Egypt, and also the arrival of Christ who is the Savior of the world. The Exsultet sings of this symbolism and recalls for us the history of our salvation; from the fall of Adam, to the events of that first Passover held by Moses and the Israelites, and then finally the events of that last Passover at which Jesus suffered, died, rose from the dead and by which mankind was redeemed. The tone of the hymn is very much one of joy at having received so great a gift as our redemption and eternal life.The final verses from both the 1962 Missal and the 1975 Missal are given below.
Exsultet iam angelica turba caelorum exsultent divina mysteria et pro tanti Regis victoria, tuba insonet salutaris. Let now the heavenly hosts of angels rejoice let the living mysteries be joyfully celebrated: and let a sacred trumpet proclaim the victory of so great a King.
Gaudeat et tellus tantis irradiata fulgoribus et, aeterni regis splendore illustrata, totius orbis se sentiat amisisse caliginem. Let the earth also be filled with joy, illuminated with such resplendent rays; and let men know that the darkness which overspread the whole world is chased away by the splendor of our eternal King.
Laetetur et mater Ecclesia tanti luminis adornata fulgoribus: et magnis populorum vocibus haec aula resultet. Let our mother the Church be also glad, finding herself adorned with the rays of so great a light and let this temple resound with the joyful acclamations of the people.
Quapropter adstantes vos, fratres carissimi, ad tam miram huius sancti luminis claritatem, una mecum, quaeso, Dei omnipotentis misericordiam invocate. Wherefore, beloved brethren, you who are now present at the admirable brightness of this holy light, I beseech you to invoke with me the mercy of almighty God.
Ut, qui me non meis meritis intra Levitarum numerum dignatus est aggregare luminis sui claritatem infundens cerei huius laudem implere perficiat. That he, who has admitted me into the number of his Levites not on my own merits, will, by an infusion of his light upon me, enable me to celebrate the praises of this light.
Per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum Filium suum, qui cum eo vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Through our Lord Jesus Christ his Son, who with Him and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth one God for ever and ever.
R. Amen. R. Amen.
V. Dominus vobiscum. R. Et cum spiritu tuo. V. The Lord be with you. R. And with thy spirit.
V. Sursum corda. R. Habemus ad Dominum. V. Lift up your hearts. R. We have lifted them up to the Lord.
V. Gratias agamus Domino Deo nostro. R. Dignum et iustum est. V. Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. R. It is fitting and just.
Vere dignum et iustum est, invisibilem Deum Patrem omnipotentem Filiumque eius unigenitum, Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum, toto cordis ac mentis affectu et vocis ministerio personare. It is truly fitting and just to proclaim with all the affection of our heart and soul, and with the sound of our voice the invisible God the Father almighty, and his only Son our Lord Jesus Christ.
Qui pro nobis aeterno Patri Adae debitum solvit et veteris piaculi cautionem pio cruore detersit. Who paid for us to his eternal Father the debt of Adam: and by his sacred blood canceled the guilt contracted by original sin.
Haec sunt enim festa Paschalia, in quibus vere ille Agnus occiditur, cuius sanguine postes fidelium consecrantur. For this is the Paschal solemnity, in which the true Lamb was slain, by whose blood the doors of the faithful are consecrated.
Haec nox est, in qua primum patres nostros, filios Israel, eductos de Aegypto, Mare Rubrum sicco vestigio transire fecisti. Haec igitur nox est, quae peccatorum tenebras columnae illuminatione purgavit. This is the night in which thou formerly broughtest forth our forefathers, the children of Israel, out of Egypt, leading them dry-foot through the Red Sea. This then is the night which dissipated the darkness of sin by the light of the pillar.
Haec nox est, quae hodie per universum mundum in Christo credentes a vitiis saeculi, et caligine peccatorum segregatos reddit gratiae, sociat sanctitati. This is the night which now delivers all over the world those that believe in Christ from the vices of the world and darkness of sin, restores them to grace, and clothes them with sanctity.
Haec nox est, in qua, destructis vinculis mortis, Christus ab inferis victor ascendit. This is the night in which Christ broke the chains of death, and ascended conqueror from hell.
Nihil enim nobis nasci profuit, nisi redimi profuisset. For it availed us nothing to be born, unless it had availed us to be redeemed.
O mira circa nos tuae pietatis dignatio! O inaestimabilis dilectio caritatis: ut servum redimeres, Filium tradidisti! O how admirable is thy goodness towards us! O how inestimable is thy love! Thou hast delivered up thy Son to redeem a slave.
O certe necessarium Adae peccatum, quod Christi morte deletum est! O truly necessary sin of Adam, which the death of Christ has blotted out!
O felix culpa, quae talem ac tantum meruit habere Redemptorem! O happy fault, that merited such and so great a Redeemer!
O vere beata nox, quae sola meruit scire tempus et horam, in qua Christus ab inferis resurrexit! O truly blessed night, which alone deserves to know the time and hour when Christ rose again from hell.
Haec nox est, de qua scriptum est: Et nox sicut dies illuminabitur: et nox illuminatio mea in deliciis meis. This is the night of which it is written: And the night shall be as light as the day, and the night is my illumination in my delights.
Huius igitur sanctificatio noctis fugat scelera, culpas lavat: et reddit innocentiam lapsis, et maestis laetitiam. Fugat odia, concordiam parat, et curvat imperia. Therefore the sanctification of this night blots out crimes, washes away sins, and restores innocence to sinners, and joy to the sorrowful. It banishes enmities, produces concord, and humbles empires.
In huius igitur noctis gratia, suscipe, sancte Pater laudis huius sacrificium vespertinum, quod tibi in haec cerei oblatione sollemni, per ministrorum manus de operibus apum, sacrosancta reddit ecclesia. Therefore on this sacred night, receive, O holy Father, the evening sacrifice of this sacrifice, which thy holy Church by the hands of her ministers presents to thee in the solemn offering of this wax candle made out of the labor of bees.
Sed iam columnae huius praeconia novimus, quam in honorem Dei rutilans ignis accendit. Qui, licet sit divisus in partes, mutuati tamen luminis detrimenta non novit. Alitur enim liquantibus ceris, quas in substantiam pretiosae huius lampadis apis mater eduxit. And now we know the excellence of this pillar, which the bright fire lights for the honor of God. Which fire, though now divided, suffers no loss from the communication of its light. Because it is fed by the melted wax, which the mother bee wrought for the substance of this precious lamp.
Ending according to the 1962 Missal: Ending according to the 1962 Missal:
O vere beata nox, quae exspoliavit Aegyptos, ditavit Hebraeos nox, in qua terrenis caelestia, humanis divina iunguntur! O truly blessed night, which plundered the Egyptians, and enriched the Hebrews. A night, in which heaven is united to earth, and God to man.
Oramus ergo te, Domine, ut cereus iste in honorem tui nominis consecratus, ad noctis huius caliginem destruendam, indeficiens perseveret. Et in odorem suavitatis acceptus, supernis luminaribus misceatur. Flammas eius lucifer matutinus inveniat: Ille, inquam, lucifer, qui nescit occasum: Ille qui regressus ab inferis, humano generi serenus illuxit. We beseech thee therefore, O Lord, that this candle, consecrated to the honor of thy name, may continue burning to dissipate the darkness this night. And being accepted as a sweet savor, may be united with the celestial lights. Let the morning star find it alight, that star which never sets. Which being returned from hell, shone with brightness on mankind.
Precamur ergo te, Domine, ut nos famulos tuos, omnemque clerum, et devotissimum populum, una cum beatissimo Papa nostro N. et Antistite nostro N. quiete temporum concessa, in his paschalibus gaudiis, assidua protectione regere, gubernare, et conservare digneris. Per eundem Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. We beseech thee therefore, O Lord, to grant us peaceable times during these Paschal solemnities, and with thy constant protection to rule, govern, and preserve us thy servants, all the clergy, and the devout laity, together with our holy Pope N. and our Bishop N. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ thy Son : who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth one God for ever and ever.
R. Amen. R. Amen.
Ending according to the 1975 Missal: Ending according to the 1975 Missal:
O vere beata nox, in qua terrenis caelestia, humanis divina iunguntur! O truly blessed night, in which heaven is united to earth, and God to man!
Oramus ergo te, Domine, ut cereus iste in honorem tui nominis consecratus, ad noctis huius caliginem destruendam, indeficiens perseveret. Et in odorem suavitatis acceptus, supernis luminaribus misceatur. Flammas eius lucifer matutinus inveniat: Ille, inquam, lucifer, qui nescit occasum: Christus Filius tuus, qui regressus ab inferis, humano generi serenus illuxit, et vivit et regnat in saecula saeculorum. We beseech thee therefore, O Lord, that this candle, consecrated to the honor of thy name, may continue burning to dissipate the darkness this night. And being accepted as a sweet savor, may be united with the celestial lights. Let the morning star find it alight, that star which never sets: Christ Thy Son, who came back from hell, and shone with brightness on mankind, and who liveth and reigneth for ever and ever.
R. Amen. R. Amen.

 

Crux Fidelis by Bartolucci

There are two Pange Linguas in use, one by St. Thomas Aquinas and then this one, by Venantius Fortunatus (530-609) which extols the triumph of the Cross. He wrote it for a procession that brought a part of the true Cross to Queen Radegunda in 570. This hymn is used on Good Friday during the Adoration of the Cross and in the Liturgy of the Hours during Holy Week and on feasts of the Cross. The concluding stanza was not written by Fortunatus, but was added later.When used in the Liturgy the hymn is often broken into smaller hymns such as: Lustra sex qui iam peregit, En acetum, fel, arundo, and Crux fidelis inter omnes.

There is a charming ancient legend that is hinted at in the second verse of this hymn. According to this legend, the wood of the Cross upon which Christ was crucified was taken from that tree which was the source of the fruit of the fall in the Garden of Eden. When Adam died, the legend states, Seth obtained from the Cherubim guarding the Garden a branch of the tree from which Eve ate the forbidden fruit. Seth planted this branch at Golgotha (the place of the skull), which is so named because Adam was buried there. As time went on, the Ark of the Covenant, the pole upon which the bronze serpent was lifted, and other items were made from this tree.

PANGE, lingua, gloriosi
proelium certaminis,1
et super Crucis trophaeo
dic triumphum nobilem,
qualiter Redemptor orbis
immolatus vicerit.
SING, my tongue,
the Savior’s glory;
tell His triumph far and wide;
tell aloud the famous story
of His body crucified;
how upon the cross a victim,
vanquishing in death, He died.
De parentis protoplasti
fraude Factor condolens,
quando pomi noxialis
morte morsu corruit,2
ipse lignum tunc notavit,
damna ligni ut solveret.
Eating of the tree forbidden,
man had sunk in Satan’s snare,
when our pitying Creator did
this second tree prepare;
destined, many ages later,
that first evil to repair.
Hoc opus nostrae salutis
ordo depoposcerat,
multiformis proditoris
ars ut artem falleret,
et medelam ferret inde,
hostis unde laeserat.
Such the order God appointed
when for sin He would atone;
to the serpent thus opposing
schemes yet deeper than his own;
thence the remedy procuring,
whence the fatal wound had come.
Quando venit ergo sacri
plenitudo temporis,
missus est ab arce Patris
natus, orbis, Conditor,
atque ventre virginali
carne factus prodiit.3
So when now at length the fullness
of the sacred time drew nigh,
then the Son, the world’s Creator,
left his Father’s throne on high;
from a virgin’s womb appearing,
clothed in our mortality.
Vagit infans inter arcta
conditus praesepia:
membra pannis involuta
Virgo Mater alligat:
et manus pedesque et crura4
stricta cingit fascia.
All within a lowly manger,
lo, a tender babe He lies!
see his gentle Virgin Mother
lull to sleep his infant cries!
while the limbs of God incarnate
round with swathing bands she ties.
LUSTRA sex qui iam peracta5
tempus implens corporis,
se volente, natus ad hoc,6
passioni deditus,
Agnus in crucis levatur
immolandus stipite.
THUS did Christ to perfect manhood
in our mortal flesh attain:
then of His free choice He goeth
to a death of bitter pain;
and as a lamb, upon the altar of the cross,
for us is slain.
En acetum, fel, arundo,
sputa, clavi, lancea:
mite corpus perforatur,
Sanguis, unda profluit7
terra, pontus, astra, mundus,
quo lavantur flumine!
Lo, with gall His thirst He quenches!
see the thorns upon His brow!
nails His tender flesh are rending!
see His side is opened now!
whence, to cleanse the whole creation,
streams of blood and water flow.
CRUX fidelis,
inter omnes
arbor una nobilis;
nulla talem silva profert,
flore, fronde, germine.
Dulce lignum, dulci clavo,8
dulce pondus sustinens!
FAITHFUL Cross!
above all other,
one and only noble Tree!
None in foliage, none in blossom,
none in fruit thy peers may be;
sweetest wood and sweetest iron!
Sweetest Weight is hung on thee!
Flecte ramos, arbor alta,
tensa laxa viscera,
et rigor lentescat ille,
quem dedit nativitas,
ut superni membra Regis
miti tendas stipite.9
Lofty tree, bend down thy branches,
to embrace thy sacred load;
oh, relax the native tension
of that all too rigid wood;
gently, gently bear the members
of thy dying King and God.
Sola digna tu fuisti
ferre saeculi pretium,
atque portum praeparare
nauta mundo naufrago,
quem sacer cruor perunxit,10
fusus Agni corpore.
Tree, which solely wast found worthy
the world’s Victim to sustain.
harbor from the raging tempest!
ark, that saved the world again!
Tree, with sacred blood anointed
of the Lamb for sinners slain.
Aequa Patri Filioque,
inclito Paraclito,
sempiterna sit beatae
Trinitati gloria,
cuius alma nos redemit
atque servat gratia. Amen.11
Blessing, honor, everlasting,
to the immortal Deity;
to the Father, Son, and Spirit,
equal praises ever be;
glory through the earth and heaven
to Trinity in Unity. Amen.

The Death of Our Lord

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The Death of Our Lord

He humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross.

For which cause God also hath exalted Him.–PHILIP, ii. 8,9.

And Jesus again crying with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.– MATT. xxvii. 50.

INTRODUCTION. This is the beginning of Holy Week. It was on this day that our Lord entered Jerusalem in triumph, saluted by the cheers and hosannas of the people who six days later were clamoring for His death. The week terminates with the sorrowful scenes of Good Friday and Holy Saturday, as described in today’s Gospel. After our Lord’s death His body was deposited in the tomb and His soul descended into Limbo. It is on these articles of the Creed that we shall speak today.

I. He died. 1. The death of our Lord is mentioned in the Creed that we may know He really died. 2. His soul was separated from his body, but the Divinity remained united to both His soul and body. 3. Christ’s death was voluntary.

II. He was buried, 1. The burial of our Lord is made a distinct part of the Creed in order that His death may be the more certain, and His resurrection the more authentic and glorious. 2. As the prophets had foretold, and as the Evangelists narrate, the Saviour’s burial was in keeping with the honor and respect due Him; His body suffered no corruption. 3. Although it was a Divine Person that suffered, died, and was buried for us, our Lord’s divine nature remained at all times impassible and immortal; it was His human nature that suffered. Continue reading

Holy Saturday Meditation: The Burial of Our Lord

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Holy Saturday Meditation
The Burial of Our Lord

Reflection: Be present in spirit at the descent from the cross and the burial of Jesus.

Ask for grace to pass this the last day of Lent holily.

“And after these things, [an hour after the death of our Lord,] Joseph of Arimathea (because he was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews) besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus. And Pilate gave leave. He came therefore, and took away the body of Jesus. And Nicodemus also came, he who at first came to Jesus by night, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pound weight. They took therefore the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen cloths, with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. Now there was, in the place where He was crucified, a garden, and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein no man yet had been laid. There, therefore, because of the parasceve of the Jews, they laid Jesus, because the sepulchre was nigh at hand.” (St. John 19: 38-42.) Continue reading