Saturday, March 26, 2016

PM: Special Edition--Easter Vigil

Awash in darkness, we await the Light of the World.
R. Light of Christ. 
V. Thanks be to God. (Repeat three times).
There is no Introit, per se. The Pascal Candle retraces the steps and pauses of the Cross in the Good Friday liturgy. When it reaches it resting place for the next 50 days, the magnificent hymn of praise, Exsultet, is chanted.

Are you ready for seven Canticles, serving the purpose of the Gradual (depending on how many Reading are proclaimed)?
Make a joyful noise to the Lord all the earth; serve the Lord with gladness. 
V. Come into his presence in exultation.  
V. Know that the Lord is God. 
V. It is he that made us and not we ourselves; we are his people and the sheep of his pasture. 
Ps. 99: 2, 3
As His creation, we are subject to Him. More than enough reason to be joyful; even now so that we have been redeemed.
Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion; the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall never be shaken.
V. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people, from this time forth and for evermore. 
Ps. 124: 1, 2
The Tract from the 4th. Sunday of Lent makes a return. Like Abraham, we are to put our trust in the Lord, Who will be with us always.
Let us sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea; he has become my strength and my protection unto my salvation. 
V. This is my God and I will praise him, my father's God and I will exalt him. 
V. The Lord shatters the forces of war; the Lord is his name. 
Exodus 15:1, 2
While the Psalms are the primary source of the Propers, this passage, the song of joy the Israelites sang, is a pleasing exception. "My help comes from the Lord, Who created heaven and earth."
Praise the Lord, all nations; praise him in unison, all peoples. 
V. For his mercy is confirmed upon us and the faithfulness of the Lord endures for ever. 
Ps. 116
We give thanks to the Lord for his everlasting love and mercy. He will never fail us.
My beloved had a vineyard on a hill, in a fruitful place. 
V. And he fenced it in and made a ditch around it, and planted it with the vine of Sorec and built a watchtower in the midst of it. 
V. He hewed out a wine vat in it. Now, the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel. 
Isaiah 5:1, 2
We are called to be fruitful. But only if we, the branches, are grafted to the True Vine.
Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak; let the earth hearken to the words of my mouth. 
V. Let my speech be longed for as the rain; let my words come down like the dew, like showers upon the grass. 
V. Yes, and like snow upon the dry herb; for I will invoke the name of the Lord. 
V. Ascribe greatness to our God; the works of God are true and all his ways are justice. 
V. God is faithful, there is no iniquity in him; the Lord is just and holy. 
Deut. 32:1-4
Another Proper which is not a Psalm. But there are echoes of Psalm 121: 1-2, when our help comes from the Lord Who created heaven and earth.
As a hart longs for flowing streams, so longs my soul for you, O God. 
V. My soul thirsts for the living God; when shall I come and appear before the face of my God? 
V. My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me daily: "Where is your God ?" 
Ps. 41: 2, 3, 4
The groaning of our souls, imprisoned by sin, call out to God. Soon, the question will be answered.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his mercy endures forever. 
Ps. 117:1
This Alleluia is short and sweet. We acknowledge the mighty power of the Most High.

We begin the conferring of the Rites of Baptism and Confirmation with the intoning of the Litany of the Saints.
I saw water issuing forth from the Temple, on the right side, alleluia; and all those to whom this water came obtained salvation and they exclaimed: "Alleluia, alleluia." 
Ezek. 47:1, 9
As we renew our own baptismal promises, we are reminded of the cleansing water and blood which poured from the side of Christ.
The right hand of the Lord has done valiantly, the right hand of the Lord has exalted me; I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord, alleluia. 
Ps. 117:16, 17
In thanksgiving for His saving actions, this Offertory begins our preparation in the Liturgy of the Eucharist. We are still in awe that He did this for us.
Christ, our Paschal Lamb, has been sacrificed, alleluia; therefore, let us keep the feast by sharing the unleavened bread of uprightness and truth, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. 
1 Cor. 5:7,8
If you miss this Communion, don't worry; it's the same one for Easter Sunday. As Lent and the Triduum come to a close, hopefully we are more than ready for the banquet to come, both on earth and in heaven. 

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