Low Sunday (Quasimodo)

THE OCTAVE OF THE PASCH.

Our neophytes closed the Octave of the Resurrection yesterday. They were before us in receiving the admirable mystery; their solemnity would finish earlier than ours. This, then, is the eighth clay for us who kept the Pasch on the Sunday, and did not anticipate it on the vigil. It reminds us of all the glory and joy of that Feast of Feasts, which united the whole of Christendom in one common feeling of triumph. It is the day of light, which takes the place of the Jewish Sabbath. Henceforth, the first day of the week is to be kept holy. Twice has the Son of God honoured it with the manifestation of His almighty power. The Pasch, therefore, is always to be celebrated on the Sunday; and thus, every Sunday becomes a sort of Paschal Feast, as we have already explained in the Mystery of Easter.

Our Risen Jesus gave an additional proof of His wishing the Sunday to be, henceforth, the privileged day. He reserved the second visit He intended to pay to all His disciples for this the eighth day since His Resurrection. During the previous days, He has left Thomas a prey to doubt; but, to-day He shows Himself to this Apostle, as well as to the others, and obliges Him, by irresistible evidence, to lay aside His incredulity. Thus does our Saviour again honour the Sunday. The Holy Ghost will come down from heaven upon this same day of the week, making it the commencement of the Christian Church: Pentecost will complete the glory of this favoured day.

Jesus’ apparition to the Eleven, and the victory He gains over the incredulous Thomas, — these are the special subjects the Church brings before us today. By this apparition, which is the seventh since His Resurrection, our Saviour wins the perfect faith of His disciples. It was impossible not to recognise God, in the patience, the majesty, and the charity of Him who showed Himself to them. Here again, our human thoughts are disconcerted; we should have thought this delay excessive; it would have seemed to us, that our Lord ought to have, at once, either removed the sinful doubt from Thomas’ mind, or punished him for his disbelief. But no: Jesus is infinite wisdom, and infinite goodness. In His wisdom, He makes this tardy acknowledgment of Thomas become a new argument of the truth of the Resurrection; in His goodness, He brings the heart of the incredulous disciple to repentance, humility, and love, yea, to a fervent and solemn retractation of all his disbelief. We will not here attempt to describe this admirable scene, which holy Church is about to bring before us. We will select, for our today’s instruction, the important lesson given by Jesus to His disciple, and, through him, to us all. It is the leading instruction of the Sunday, the Octave of the Pasch, and it behooves us not to pass it by, for, more than any other, it tells us the leading characteristic of a Christian, shows us the cause of our being so listless in God’s service, and points out to us the remedy for our spiritual ailments.

Jesus says to Thomas: “Because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed!” Such is the great truth, spoken by the lips of the God-Man: it is a most important counsel, given, not only to Thomas, but to all who would serve God and secure their salvation. What is it that Jesus asks of His disciple ? Has He not heard him make profession that now, at last, he firmly believes? After all, was there any great fault in Thomas’ insisting on having experimental evidence before believing in so extraordinary a miracle as the Resurrection? Was he obliged to trust to the testimony of Peter and the others, under penalty of offending his divine Master? Did he not evince his prudence, by withholding his assent until he had additional proofs of the truth of what his Brethren told him? Yes, Thomas was a circumspect and prudent man, and one that was slow to believe what he had heard; he was worthy to be taken as a model by those Christians, who reason and sit in judgment upon matters of faith. And yet, listen to the reproach made him by Jesus. It is merciful, and, withal, so severe! This Jesus has so far condescended to the weakness of His disciple, as to accept the condition, on which alone he declares that he will believe: now that the disciple stands trembling before his Risen Lord, and exclaims, in the earnestness of faith: “My Lord! and my God!” oh! see how Jesus chides him! This stubbornness, this incredulity, deserves a punishment: — the punishment is, to have these words said to him: “Thomas! thou hast believed, because thou hast seen!

Then, was Thomas obliged to believe before having seen? Yes, undoubtedly. Not only Thomas, but all the Apostles were in duty bound to believe the Resurrection of Jesus, even before He showed himself to them. Had they not lived three years with Him? Had they not seen Him prove himself to be the Messias and Son of God by the most undeniable miracles? Had He not foretold them, that He would rise again on the third day? As to the humiliations and cruelties of His Passion, had He not told them, a short time previous to it, that He was to be seized by the Jews, in Jerusalem, and be delivered to the Gentiles? that He was to be scourged, spit upon, and put to death? (Luke 18:32-33)

After all this, they ought to have believed in His triumphant Resurrection, the very first moment they heard of His Body having disappeared. As soon as John had entered the sepulchre, and seen the winding sheet, he at once ceased to doubt, he believed. But, it is seldom that man is so honest as this; he hesitates, and God must make still further advances, if He would have us give our faith! Jesus condescended even to this: He made further advances. He showed Himself to Magdalene and her companions, who were not incredulous, but only carried away by natural feeling, though the feeling was one of love for their Master. When the Apostles heard their account of what had happened, they were treated as women, whose imagination had got the better of their judgment. Jesus had to come in person: He showed Himself to these obstinate men, whose pride made them forget all that He had said and done, and which ought to have been sufficient to make them believe in His Resurrection. Yes, it was pride, for faith has no other obstacle than this. If man were humble, he would have faith enough to move mountains.

To return to our Apostle — Thomas had heard Magdalene, and he despised her testimony; he had heard Peter, and he objected to his authority; he had heard the rest of his fellow-Apostles and the two disciples of Emmaus, and no, he would not give up his own opinion. How many there are among us, who are like him in this! We never think of doubting what is told us by a truthful and disinterested witness, unless the subject touch upon the supernatural; and then, we have a hundred difficulties. It is one of the sad consequences left in us by original sin. Like Thomas, we would see the thing ourselves: that alone is enough to keep us from the fullness of the truth. We comfort ourselves with the reflection that, after all, we are Disciples of Christ; as did Thomas, who kept in union with his brother-Apostles, only he shared not their happiness. He saw their happiness, but he considered it to be a weakness of mind, and was glad that he was free from it!

How like this is to our modern rationalistic Catholic! He believes, but it is because his reason almost forces him to believe; he believes with his mind, rather than from his heart. His faith is a scientific deduction, and not a generous longing after God and supernatural truth. Hence, how cold and powerless is this faith! how cramped and ashamed! how afraid of believing too much! Unlike the generous unstinted faith of the saints, it is satisfied with fragments of truth, with what the Scripture terms diminished truths. (Psalm 11:2) It seems ashamed of itself. It speaks in a whisper, lest it should be criticised; and when it does venture to make itself heard, it adopts a phraseology, which may take off the sound of the divine. As to those miracles which it wishes had never taken place, and which it would have advised God not to work, they are a forbidden subject. The very mention of a miracle, particularly if it have happened in our own times, puts it into a state of nervousness. The lives of the saints, their heroic virtues, their sublime sacrifices — it has a repugnance to the whole thing! It talks gravely about those who are not of the true religion being unjustly dealt with by the Church in Catholic countries: it asserts that the same liberty ought to be granted to error as to truth: it has very serious doubts whether the world has been a great loser by the secularization of society.

Now, it was the for the instruction of persons of this class that our Lord spoke those words to Thomas: Blessed are they who have not seen, and have believed. Thomas sinned in not having the readiness of mind to believe. Like him, we also are in danger of sinning, unless our faith have a certain expansiveness, which makes us see everything with the eye of faith, and gives our faith that progress which God recompenses with a superabundance of light and joy. Yes, having once become members of the Church, it is our duty to look upon all things from a supernatural point of view. There is no danger of going too far, for we have the teachings of an infallible authority to guide us. The just man liveth by faith. Faith is his daily bread. His mere natural life becomes transformed for good and all, if only he be faithful to his Baptism. Could we suppose that the Church, after all her instructions to her neophytes, and after all those sacred rites of their Baptism which are so expressive of the supernatural life, would be satisfied to see them straightaway adopt that dangerous system which drives faith into a nook of the heart and understanding and conduct, leaving all the rest to natural principles or instinct? No, it could not be so. Let us, therefore, imitate St. Thomas in his confession, and acknowledge that, hitherto, our faith has not been perfect. Let us go to our Jesus, and say to him: “Thou art my Lord and my God! But, alas! I have many times thought and acted as though Thou wert my Lord and my God in some things, and not in others. Henceforth, I will believe without seeing; for I would be of the number of those whom Thou callest blessed!”

This Sunday, commonly called with us, Low Sunday, has two names assigned to it in the Liturgy: Quasimodo, from the first word of the Introit; and Sunday in albis (or, more explicitly, in albis depositis,) because it was on this day, that the neophytes assisted at the Church services attired in their ordinary dress. In the Middle-Ages, it was called Close-Pasch, no doubt in allusion to its being the last day of the Easter Octave. Such is the solemnity of this Sunday, that not only is it of a Greater Double rite, but no Feast, however great, can ever be kept upon it.

At Rome, the Station is in the Basilica of Saint Pancratius, on the Aurelian Way. Ancient writers have not mentioned the reason of this Church being chosen for to-day’s assembly of the Faithful. It may, perhaps, have been on account of the Saint’s being only fourteen years old when put to death, a circumstance which gave the young Martyr a sort of right to have the Neophytes round him, now that they were returning to their every day life.

Basilica of San Pancrazio in Rome

MASS.

The Introit repeats those beautiful words of St. Peter, which were addressed, in yesterday’s Epistle, to the newly baptized. They are like new-bom babes, lovely in their sweet simplicity, and eager to drink from the breasts of their dear Mother, the Church, the spiritual milk of faith, — that faith which will make them strong and loyal.

Introit
Quasi modo geniti infantes, alleluia: rationabiles, sine dolo lac concupiscite. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. As new born babes, alleluia: desire the national milk without guile. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Ps. Exsultate Deo adjutori nostro: jubilate Deo Jacob. Ps. Rejoice to God our helper: sing aloud to the God of Jacob.
℣. Gloria Patri. Quasi modo. ℣. Glory, &c. As new-born, &c.

 

On this the last day of the great Octave, the Church, in her Collect, bids farewell to the glorious solemnities that have so gladdened us, and asks our Lord to grant that our lives and actions may ever reflect the holy influence of our Pasch.

Collect
Præsta, quæsumus, omnipotens Deus: ut qui paschalia festa peregimus: hæc, te largiente, moribus et vita teneamus. Per Dominum. Grant, we beseech thee, O almighty God, that we, who have celebrated the Paschal solemnity, may, by the assistance of thy divine grace, ever make the effects thereof manifest in our lives and actions. Through, &c.
Epistle
Lectio Epistolæ beati Joannis Apostoli. Lesson of the Epistle of Saint John the Apostle.
I Cap. V. I Ch. V.
Quoniam omne quod natum est ex Deo, vincit mundum: et hæc est victoria, quæ vincit mundum, fides nostra. Quis est, qui vincit mundum, nisi qui credit quoniam Jesus est Filius Dei? Hic est, qui venit per aquam et sanguinem, Jesus Christus: non in aqua solum, sed in aqua et sanguine. Et Spiritus est, qui testificatur quoniam Christus est veritas. Quoniam tres sunt, qui testimonium dant in cælo: Pater, Verbum, et Spiritus Sanctus: et hi tres unum sunt. Et tres sunt, qui testimonium dant in terra: spiritus, et aqua, et sanguis: et hi tres unum sunt. Si testimonium hominum accipimus, testimonium Dei majus est: quoniam hoc est testimonium Dei, quod majus est, quoniam testificatus est de Filio suo. Qui credit in Filium Dei, habet testimonium Dei in se. Qui non credit Filio, mendacem facit eum: quia non credit in testimonium quod testificatus est Deus de Filio suo. Dearly beloved: Whatsoever is born of God, overcometh the world: and this is the victory which overcometh the world, our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he that came by water and blood, Jesus Christ: not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit which testifieth, that Christ is the truth. And there are three who give testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost. And these three are one. And there are three that give testimony on earth: the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three are one. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater. For this is the testimony of God, which is greater, because he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth in the Son of God, hath the testimony of God in himself. He that believeth not the Son, maketh him a liar: because he believeth not in the testimony which God hath testified of his Son.

The Apostle St. John here tells us the merit and power of faith: it is, says he, a victory, which conquers the world, both the world outside, and the world within us. It is not difficult to understand why this passage from St. John’s Epistles should have been selected for to-day’s Liturgy: it is on account of its being so much in keeping with the Gospel appointed for this Sunday, and in which our Lord passes such eulogy upon faith. If, as the Apostle here assures us, they overcome the world who believe in Christ, they have not sterling faith, who allow the world to intimidate their faith. Let us be proud of our faith, esteeming ourselves happy that we are but little children when there is question of our receiving a divine truth; and let us not be ashamed of our eager readiness to admit the testimony of God. This testimony will make itself heard to our hearts, in proportion to our willingness to hear it. The moment John saw the winding-bands which had shrouded the Body of his Master, he made an act of faith; Thomas, who had stronger testimony than John, (for he had the word of the Apostles, assuring him that they had seen their Risen Lord,) refused to believe: he had not overcome the world and its reasonings, because he had not faith.

The two Alleluia-Versicles are formed of two texts alluding to the Resurrection. The second speaks of the scene which took place on this day in the cenacle.

Alleluia
Alleluia, alleluia. Alleluia, alleluia.
℣. In die resurrectionis meæ, dicit Dominus, præcedam vos in Galilæam. Alleluia. ℣. On the day of my Resurrection, saith the Lord, I will go before you into Galilee. Alleluia.
℣. Post dies octo, januis clausis, stetit Jesus in medio discipulorum suorum, et dixit: Pax vobis. Alleluia. ℣. After eight days, the doors being shut, Jesus stood in the midst of his disciples, and said: Peace be with you.
Gospel
Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Joannem. Sequel of the holy Gospel according to John.
Cap. XX. Ch. XX.
In illo tempore: Quum sero esset die illo, una sabbatorum, et fores essent clausæ, ubi erant discipuli congregati propter metum Judæorum: venit Jesus, et stetit in medio, et dixit eis: Pax vobis. Et cum hoc dixisset, ostendit eis manus et latus. Gavisi sunt discipuli, viso Domino. Dixit ergo eis iterum: Pax vobis. Sicut misit me Pater, et ego mitto vos. Hæc cum dixisset, insufflavit, et dixit eis: Accipite Spiritum Sanctum: quorum remiseritis peccata, remittuntur eis: et quorum retinueritis, retenta sunt. Thomas autem unus ex duodecim, qui dicitur Didymus, non erat cum eis quando venit Jesus. Dixerunt ergo ei alii discipuli: Vidimus Dominum. Ille autem dixit eis: Nisi videro in manibus ejus fixuram clavorum, et mittam digitum meum in locum clavorum, et mittam manum meam in latus ejus, non credam. Et post dies octo, iterum erant discipuli ejus intus, et Thomas cum eis. Venit Jesus januis clausis, et stetit in medio, et dixit: Pax vobis. Deinde dicit Thomæ: Infer digitum tuum huc, et vide manus meas, et affer manum tuam, et mitte in latus meum: et noli esse incredulus, sed fidelis. Respondit Thomas, et dixit ei: Dominus meus et Deus meus. Dixit ei Jesus: Quia vidisti me, Thoma, credidisti: beati qui non viderunt, et crediderunt. Multa quidem et alia signa fecit Jesus in conspectu discipulorum suorum, quæ non sunt scripta in libro hoc. Hæc autem scripta sunt ut credatis, quia Jesus est Christus Filius Dei: et ut credentes, vitam habeatis in nomine ejus. At that time: When it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them: Peace be to you. And when he had said this, he shewed them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord. He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. Now Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him: We have seen the Lord. But he said to them: Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus cometh, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said: Peace be to you. Then he saith to Thomas: Put in thy finger hither, and see my hands; and bring hither thy hand, and put it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing. Thomas answered, and said to him: My Lord, and my God. Jesus saith to him: Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed. Many other signs also did Jesus in the sight of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God: and that believing, you may have life in his name.

We have said enough about St. Thomas’ incredulity; let us now admire his faith. His fault has taught us to examine and condemn our own want of faith; let us learn from his repentance how to become true believers. Our Lord, who had chosen him as one of the pillars of His Church, has been obliged to treat him with an exceptional familiarity: Thomas avails himself of Jesus’ permission, puts his finger into the sacred wound, and immediately he sees the sinfulness of his past incredulity. He would make atonement, by a solemn act of faith, for the sin he has committed in priding himself on being wise and discreet: he cries out, and with all the fervor of faith: My Lord and my God! Observe, he not only says that Jesus is his Lord, his Master, the same who chose him as one of His disciples: this would not have been faith, for there is no faith where we can see and touch. Had Thomas believed what his brother Apostles had told him, he would have had faith in the Resurrection; but now he sees, he has experimental knowledge of the great fact; and yet, as our Lord says of him, he has faith. In what? In this, that his Master is God. he sees but the Humanity of Jesus, and he at once confesses Him to be God. From what is visible, his soul, now generous and repentant, rises to the invisible: “Thou art my God!” Now, O Thomas! thou art full of faith! The Church proposes thee to us, on thy Feast, as an example of faith. The confession thou didst make on this day is worthy to be compared with that which Peter made, when he said, “Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God!” By this profession, which neither flesh nor blood had revealed to him, Peter merited to be made the Rock whereon Christ built His Church: thine did more than compensate thy former disbelief; it gave thee, for the time, a superiority over the rest of the Apostles who, so far at least, were more taken up with the visible glory than with the invisible Divinity of their risen Lord.The Offertory gives us another text of the Gospel, relative to the Resurrection.

The Offertory gives us another text of the Gospel, relative to the Resurrection.

Offertory
Angelus Domini descendit de cœlo, et dixit mulieribus: Quem quæritis, surrexit sicut dixit. Alleluia. An Angel of the Lord came down from heaven, and said to the women: He whom ye seek is risen, as he said, alleluia.

In the Secret, the Church expresses the holy enthusiasm wherewith the Paschal mystery fills her; she prays that this joy may lead her to the never-ending one of the eternal Easter.

Secret
Suscipe munera, Domine, quæsumus, exsultantis Ecclesiæ: et cui causam tanti gaudii præstitisti, perpetuæ fructum concede lætitiæ. Per Dominum. Receive, we beseech thee, O Lord, the offerings and thy joyful Church: and as thou hast given occasion to this great joy, grant she may receive the fruits of that joy, which will never end. Through, &c.

While giving the Bread of heaven to her neophytes and other children, the Church sings in her Communion-Antiphon, the words spoken by Jesus to Thomas. This Apostle was permitted to touch our Lord’s sacred wounds; we, by the holy Eucharist, are brought into still closer intimacy with this same Jesus: but, that we may derive the profit intended by such condescension, we must have a faith lively and generous, like that which He exacted from His Apostle.

Communion
Mitte manum tuam et cognosce loca clavorum, alleluia: et noli esse incredulus, sed fidelis. Alleluia, alleluia. Put forth thy hand, and mark the place of the nails, alleluia: and be not incredulous, but believe. Alleluia, alleluia.

The Church concludes the prayers of her Sacrifice by asking that the divine mystery, instituted to be a support to our weakness, may give us untiring perseverance.

Postcommunion
Quæsumus, Domine Deus noster: ut sacrosancta mysteria, quæ pro reparationis nostræ munimine contulisti, et præsens nobis remedium esse facias et futurum. Per Dominum. Grant, we beseech thee, O Lord our God, that the sacred mysteries thou hast given us to preserve the grace of our redemption, may be our present and future remedy. Through, &c.

VESPERS.

When the Feast of the Annunciation is deferred till after Easter, it is kept on the Monday following Low Sunday: its First Vespers are now sung, and a commemoration only is made of the Sunday, at the end of the Office. We have given these below. Other years, the Vespers are those of Paschal Time.

ANTIPHON OF THE MAGNIFICAT

Ant. After eight days, the doors being shut, the Lord entering, said: Peace be to you. Alleluia, alleluia.

LET US PRAY.

Grant, we beseech thee, O Almighty God, that we who have celebrated the Paschal solemnity, may, by the assistance of thy divine grace, ever make the effects thereof manifest in our lives and actions. Through, etc.

As an appropriate prayer, wherewith to close the day, we offer to our readers the following beautiful one, wherein the Gothic Church of Spain celebrates the mystery of the eighth day—the Octave of Easter.

Ingeniti Genitoris genite Fili, qui in eo nobis diei hujus octavi renovas cultum, in quo te discipulorum aspectibus hodie præbuisti palpandum. Nam licet hic dies sit prior præ cæteris conditus, octavus post septem efficitur revolutus, quo ipse sicut admirabiliter e sepulchro surrexisti a mortuis, ita ad discipulos inæstimabiliter intrasti januis obseratis. Initium videlicet Paschæ ac finem exornans congruis sacramentis, cum et resurrectio tua custodibus terrorem incuteret, et manifestatio discipulorum corda dubia confortaret. Quæsumus ergo, ut nos his sacramentis imbutos fides qua te credimus post istud sæculum tibi repræsentet illæsos. Nullum nobis de te scrupulum dubitationis errorisque, aut otium pariat, aut quæsitio incauta enutriat. Serva in nomine tuo quos redemisti sanguine pretioso. Contemplandum te nostris sensibus præbe: nostrumque cor dignatus incredere. Esto semper in medio nostri qui hodie pacem nuntians discipulorum in medio astitisti. Quique in eis insufflasti Spiritum vitæ, nobis largire ejusdem Spiritus consolationem. O Son begotten of the unbegotten Father! thou again invitest us to honor this eighth day, on which thou didst permit thy disciples to see and touch thee. The Sunday, though made before the other days, becomes the eighth by following the seven preceding it. It was on this day that thou didst rise from the tomb and death; it was on this same thou enteredst where thy disciples were assembled, and, the doors being shut, didst honor them by thine inestimable visit. Thou didst thou adorn, with a mystery well suited to each, both the beginning and the close of the Pasch; for thy Resurrection struck terror into the soldiers that guarded the tomb, and thy apparition confirmed the doubting hearts of thy disciples. We, therefore, who possess the knowledge of all these mysteries, beseech thee to grant, that the faith whereby we believe, may present us before thee, after this life, free from sin. May neither sloth engender, nor indiscreet prying foster, any misgiving of doubt or error concerning thee. Preserve in thy holy name them thou hast redeemed by thy precious blood. Let our souls contemplate thee, and vouchsafe to enter into our hearts. O thou, that, on this day, didst appear in the midst of thy disciples and greet them with peace, abide ever with us. Thou didst breathe upon them the Spirit of life; grant us the consolation of the same Holy Spirit.

Once more let us listen to the devout Adam of Saint Victor. His sequences were great favorites with our Catholic forefathers of the Middle Ages. The triumph of our Redeemer over death was a subject which this great liturgical poet has often treated in a most masterly way.

Sequence
Mundi renovatio
Nova parit gaudia;
Resurgenti Domino
Conresurgunt omnia.
Elementa serviunt,
Et auctoris sentiunt
Quanta sit potentia.
The world’s renovation creates new joy. All creatures rise together with their Lord. The elements obey him, and feel their Creator’s mighty power.
Ignis volat mobilis,
Et aer volubilis:
Fluit aqua labilis,
Terra manet stabilis:
Alta petunt levia,
Centrum tenent gravia,
Renovantur omnia.
Fire is impetuous in its flight; air is swift; water is flowing; earth is firm; light things tend aloft, and those that are heavy seek their center: but all are now renewed.
Cœlum fit serenius,
Et mare tranquillius;
Spirat aura levius,
Vallis nostra floruit.
Revirescunt arida,
Recalescunt frigida,
Postquam ver intepuit.
Heaven is more serene, the sea more tranquil, the winds breathe softer. Our valley is filled with flowers; and now that gentle Spring is come, the dry things have put on green again, and the cold a genial warmth.
Gelu mortis solvitur,
Princeps mundi tollitur,
Et ejus destruitur
In nobis imperium;
Dum tenere voluit
In quo nihil habuit,
Jus amisit proprium.
The frost of death is thawed, the prince of this world is made captive, and has no longer power over us: by striving to take Him over whom he had no claim, he lost his own.
Vita mortem superat;
Homo jam recuperat
Quod prius amiserat,
Paradisi gaudium:
Viam præbet facilem,
Cherubim versatilem
Amovendo gladium.
Life conquers death; man now regains what he had lost—the joys of heaven; the Angel sheathes his two-edged sword, and leaves the passage free.
Christus cœlos reserat,
Et captivos liberat,
Quos culpa ligaverat
Sub mortis interitu.
Pro tanta victoria
Patri, Proli gloria
Sit cum Sancto Spiritu!
Jesus opens heaven, and liberates them whom sin had made captives of death. For this great victory, be glory to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Amen. Amen.

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This text is taken from The Liturgical Year, authored by Dom Prosper Gueranger (1841-1875)

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