Season after Pentecost, 2023
“By the reader's desk the Paschal candle is burning; its light falls upon the pages of the Old Testament. Christ casts his light into the darkness of the past, and shows everywhere the saving design of his agapé, which held man from the beginning in its hands, held him fast, and is today fulfilled.”
A. Löhr, The Great Week, p. 162. Quoted in Kirby, Mark Daniel. "The Proper Chants of the Paschal Triduum in the Gradual Romanum: A Study in Liturgical Theology"
“The Paschal night is in a very special sense the Church's bridal feast. All the bridal and marriage images which have accompanied us full of promise since Epiphany find their completion today. .. . It is night; the bridegroom is here. He comes to the house of his betrothed, and he finds her watching. She has not slept all the while he was out in the tomb. Now he has come back, alive. His locks stream the dew of the night. . . . Until now she has only seen him through the window and blinds of the prophets' dark sayings and images. Now he has walked in from the night's dark pass, and overpowered every image and every prophecy with the glory of his resurrection.”
“And here now when everything we have seen and felt receives its last measure of reality in the sacrifice, here is time and place for the true Paschal hymn. All the chant of the past days, all the overpowering force of the Night Offices dissolve into the one first note of joy which nothing and no one can imitate; it must be heard and where possible sung with one's own voice if one is to know fully what resurrection is: the alleluia of Easter night, the first after long weeks of fasting and still communion, after the days of mystical suffering and death with the Lord. Yet we are not to look for a loud shout of joy here; that is not the spirit of Christian Easter. This 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 bright when 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.”
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