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Archive for the ‘The Incarnation’ Category

Exultet

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Rejoice, heavenly powers! Sing, choirs of angels!
Exult, all creation around God’s throne!
Jesus Christ, our King, is risen!
Sound the trumpet of salvation!

Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor,
radiant in the brightness of your King!
Christ has conquered! Glory fills you!
Darkness vanishes for ever!

Rejoice, O Mother Church! Exult in glory!
The risen Savior shines upon you!
Let this place resound with joy,
echoing the mighty song of all God’s people!

My dearest friends,
standing with me in this holy light,
join me in asking God for mercy,

that he may give his unworthy minister
grace to sing his Easter praises.

Deacon: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Deacon: Lift up your hearts.
People: We lift them up to the Lord.
Deacon: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People: It is right to give him thanks and praise.

It is truly right
that with full hearts and minds and voices
we should praise the unseen God, the all-powerful Father,
and his only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

For Christ has ransomed us with his blood,
and paid for us the price of Adam’s sin to our eternal Father!

This is our passover feast,
when Christ, the true Lamb, is slain,
whose blood consecrates the homes of all believers.

This is the night
when first you saved our fathers:
you freed the people of Israel from their slavery
and led them dry-shod through the sea.

This is the night
when the pillar of fire destroyed the darkness of sin!

This is the night
when Christians everywhere,
washed clean of sin and freed from all defilement,
are restored to grace and grow together in holiness.

This is the night
when Jesus Christ broke the chains of death
and rose triumphant from the grave.

What good would life have been to us,
had Christ not come as our Redeemer?
Father, how wonderful your care for us!
How boundless your merciful love!
To ransom a slave you gave away your Son.

O happy fault,
O necessary sin of Adam,
which gained for us so great a Redeemer!

Most blessed of all nights,
chosen by God to see Christ rising from the dead!

Of this night scripture says:
“The night will be as clear as day:
it will become my light, my joy.”

The power of this holy night dispels all evil,
washes guilt away, restores lost innocence,
brings mourners joy;
it casts out hatred, brings us peace,
and humbles earthly pride.

Night truly blessed when heaven is wedded to earth
and man is reconciled with God!

Therefore, heavenly Father,
in the joy of this night,
receive our evening sacrifice of praise,
your Church’s solemn offering.

Accept this Easter candle,
a flame divided but undimmed,
a pillar of fire that glows to the honor of God.

(For it is fed by the melting wax,
which the mother bee brought forth
to make this precious candle.)

Let it mingle with the lights of heaven
and continue bravely burning
to dispel the darkness of this night!

May the Morning Star which never sets
find this flame still burning:
Christ, that Morning Star,
who came back from the dead,
and shed his peaceful light on all mankind,
your Son, who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
Amen.

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Christ Carrying the Cross (detail)
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Christ Carrying the Cross (detail)
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From Theology and Sanity, first published in 1946 and revised in 1978:

[The Apostles] knew Christ before they knew He was God. Had they known from the beginning, they might simply have feared Him, and fear would have made a bar to any progress in intimacy. But by the time they knew beyond the possibility of uncertainty that He was God, they had come to know that He was love. If they had known that Christ was God first, then they would have applied their idea of God to Christ; as it was, they were able to apply their knowledge of Christ to God. The principal fruit for them and for us of their three years of companionship with him was the unshakable certainty of His love for mankind; and it was St. John, the Apostle He loved best, who crystallized the whole experience for us in the phrase of his first Epistle, “God is Love” (4:8).

We may ask why the Jews did not know that already, for God had shown them His love often enough; and in the Old Testament His love is wonderfully stated. “The Lord is compassionate and merciful, long-suffering and plenteous in mercy” (Ps 102:8); that is strong enough, yet it is not the strongest thing of its sort. In Isaiah (49:15) there is a phrase which would seem to reac the very limit of divine tenderness: “Can a woman forget her infant, so as not to have pity on the son of her womb? And if she should forget, yet will I not forget thee.” The truth is that love arises and abides most easily and naturally where there is community of nature; and until God took our nature and became man, that way did not exist. God-made-man could love us with human love—and this, though a lesser thing than divine love, can be very comforting to our weakness. Nowhere in the Old Testament did it occur to anyone to God God what they were to call God-made-man, “the friend of sinners.” The Jews knew that God had spoken to and done great things for mankind, but He had not been man.

The moral for us is simple: in our approach to God we are helped enormously by seeing Him in our nature; and for the mind, this means a continual study of Him whereby the Apostles’ experience of Christ becomes our own personal experience, their intimacy becomes our intimacy. We cannot always analyze intimacy; but there is no mistaking it: we know the person quite differently. You do not learn intimacy, or reap the fruit of someone else’s. You grow into it. In the Gospels, one really can grow into this intimacy with Our Lord, precisely because the evangelists do not obtrude their own personalities. Anyhow, know Him we must. There is no other way to full knowledge of God; Christ has said so. In other words, we have to vivify all that hard thinking about the Infinite by the closest companionship with our Lord Jesus Christ. By both, the mind grows toward the knowledge of God which is its health (Sheed 82-83).

God is Love. Deo gratias.

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Mary the Dawn, Christ the Perfect Day;
Mary the Gate, Christ the Heav’nly Way!

Mary the Root, Christ the Mystic Vine;
Mary the Grape, Christ the Sacred Wine!

Mary the Wheat-sheaf, Christ the Living Bread;
Mary the Rose-tree, Christ the Rose blood-red!

Mary the Font, Christ the Cleansing Flood;
Mary the Chalice, Christ the Saving Blood!

Mary the Temple, Christ the Temple’s Lord;
Mary the Shrine, Christ the God adored!

Mary the Beacon, Christ the Haven’s Rest;
Mary the Mirror, Christ the Vision Blest!

Mary the Mother, Christ the Mother’s Son;
Both ever blest while endless ages run!

Amen.

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A litel childe there is ibore
Ispronge out of Jesses more
To save alle us that were forlore
Gloria tibi domine

Jhesus that is so fulle of might
Ibore he was aboute midnight
The angel songe with alle here might
Gloria tibi domine

Jhesus is that childes name
Maide and moder is his dame
And so oure sorow is turned to game
Gloria tibi domine

Three kinges there came with here presence
Of mirre and golde and frankencense
As clerkes singe in here sequence
Gloria tibi domine

Now sitte we downe upon oure knee
And pray that child that is so free
And with gode herte now sing we
Gloria tibi domine

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