"We should be taking steps to celebrate Easter in creative new ways: in art, literature, children’s games, poetry, music, dance, festivals, bells, special concerts, anything that comes to mind. This is our greatest festival. Take Christmas away, and in biblical terms you lose two chapters at the front of Matthew and Luke, nothing else. Take Easter away, and you don’t have a New Testament; you don’t have a Christianity… This is our greatest day. We should put the flags out."
N. T. Wright
King's College famously led the way at Christmas with a "new way": a festival of nine lessons and carols. But what do we have at Easter?
This service celebrates Holy Week through Easter -- but is this what Wright is after? Is there a way to celebrate Easter "on it's own"? Or do we always need to back up tell the whole Triduum story for the Easter message to make sense?
I honestly don't know. What does "new way" that is focused solely on the Easter message look like?
The first Alleluia sung at the Easter Vigil is known as the Great Alleluia. It is sung before the reading of the Gospel that tells of Jesus' resurrection. It is one of the oldest pieces of Christian sacred music.
“This [Great Alleluia] rises with a slow movement; it rises above the grave of Adam, and it has the blood of Christ on its wings. It is the marriage song of the Paschal night, which will grow slowly brighter as it meets the day of resurrection. But these are only words. The first alleluia of the Paschal night is a mystery, unutterable like all mysteries. As this alleluia is, so is the whole life of Christians: A gentle, quiet song of joy which meets the rise of day in the midst of the suffering of night time.”
Aemiliana Löhr, The Mass Throughout the Year 2: Holy Week to the Last Sunday after Pentecost, tr. I. T. Hale (Westminster, Md. 1959), p. 64
Quoted in The Liturgical Year: Its History and Its Meaning After the Reform of the Liturgy by Adolf Adam
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