Ҿ˹˹ѧ
PDF
ePub

V. Christus factus est pro Ň. Christ became, for our nobis obediens usque ad sakes, obedient unto death, mortem, mortem autem even to the death of the Cross: crucis :

Propter quod et Deus For which cause, God also exaltavit illum, et dedit illi hath exalted him, and hath nomen quod est super omne given him a Name, which is

above all names.

nomen.

Then is said, in secret, the Pater noster, which is followed by the Miserere (page 338). As soon as the Psalm is finished, the following Prayer is recited by the first in dignity :

Respice, quæsumus, Do- Look down, O Lord, we bemine, super hanc familiam seech thee, on this thy family, tuam, pro qua Dominus nos for which our Lord Jesus ter Jesus Christus non du- Christ hesitated not to be bitavit manibus tradi no- delivered into the hands of centium, et crucis subire wicked men, and undergo the tormentum.

punishment of the Cross.

(Then the rest in secret :)

Qui tecum vivit et regnat Who liveth and reigneth in unitate Spiritus Sancti, with thee, in the unity of the Deus, per omnia sæcula Holy Ghost, God, world withsæculorum, amen.

out end, amen.

THE MORNING.

A night has passed over the Tomb, wherein lies buried the Body of the Man-God. Death is triumphant in that silent cave, and holds captive Him that gives life to every creature but his triumph will soon be at an end. The Soldiers may watch, as best they will, over that Grave: they cannot hold Jesus prisoner, as soon as the moment fixed for his Resurrection comes. The holy Angels are there, profoundly adoring the lifeless Body of Him, whose Blood is to reconcile all things, both on earth, and in heaven. This Body, though, for a brief interval, separated from the Soul, is still united to the Person of the Son of God; so, likewise, the Soul, during its separation from the Body, has not, for an instant, lost its union with the Word. The Divinity remains also united with the Blood that lies sprinkled on Calvary, and which, at the moment of the Resurrection of the Man-God, is to enter once more into his sacred veins.

Let us, also, return to the Sepulchre, and adore the Body of our Buried Jesus. Now, at last, we understand what sin has done : By sin, death entered into the world; and it passed upon all men. Though Jesus knew no sin, yet has he permitted Death to have dominion over him, in order that he might make it less bitter to us, and, by his Resurrection, restore unto us that eternal life, of which we had been deprived by sin. How gratefully we should appreciate this Death of our Jesus! By becoming Incarnate, he became a Servant ;4 his Death was a still deeper humiliation. The sight of this Tomb, wherein his Body lies lifeless and cold, teaches us something far more important than the power of death :-it reveals to us the immense, the incomprehensible love of God for man.

He knew that we were to gain by his humiliations ;—the greater his humiliations, the greater our exaltation : this was his principle, and it led him to what seems like an excess ! Let us, then, love this sacred Sepulchre, which is to give us Life. We have thanked him for having died for us upon the Cross ; let us thank him, but most feelingly, for having humbled himself, for our sakes, even to the Tomb ! And now, let us visit the Holy Mother, who has

, passed the night in Jerusalem, going over, in saddest

i Coloss. i. 20.
9 Rom. v. 12.

3 II. Cor. v. 21.
4
+ Philipp. ii. 7.

[ocr errors]

memory, the scenes she has witnessed. Her Jesus has been a Victim to every possible insult and cruelty: he has been crucified: his precious Blood has flowed in torrents from those Five Wounds: be is dead, and now lies buried in yonder Tomb, as though he were but a mere man, yea the most abject of men.

How many tears bave fallen, during these long hours, from the eyes of the Daughter of David ! and yet, her Son has not come back to her! Near her is Magdalene; heart-broken by yesterday's events, she has no words to tell her grief, for Jesus is gone, and, as she thinks, for ever. The other Women, less loved by Jesus than Magdalene, yet, still, dear to him, stand round the disconsolate Mother. They bave braved every insult and danger in order to remain on Calvary till all was over, and they intend returning thither with Magdalene, as soon as the Sabbath is over, to honour the Tomb and the Body of Jesus.

John, the adopted son of Mary, and the Beloved Disciple of Jesus, is oppressed with sorrow. Others, also, of the Apostles and Disciples visit the house of mourning. Peter, penitent and humble, fears not to appear before the Mother of Mercy. Among the Disciples, are Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. We may easily imagine the conversation, it is on the Sufferings and Death of Jesus, and on the ingratitude of the Jews. The Church, in the 7th Responsory of to-day's Tenebra, represents these men as saying: “Behold! how the Just One dieth, and there " is none that taketh it to heart. Iniquity has had “its

way. He was silent as a Lamb under his shearer, and he opened not his mouth. He was taken away “ from distress and judgment: but his memory shall “be in peace."

Thus speak the men !—the women are thinking of their morrow's visit to the Sepulchre! The saintliness of Jesus, his goodness, his power, his Sufferings,

[ocr errors]

his Death,—everything is remembered, except his Resurrection, which they had often heard him say should certainly and speedily take place. Mary alone lives in expectation of his triumph. In her was verified that expression of the Holy Ghost, where, speaking of the Valiant Woman, he says : Her lamp

: shall not be put out in the night. Her courage fails not, because she knows that the Sepulchre must yield up its Dead, and her Jesus will rise again to Life. St. Paul tells us that our religion is vain, unless we have faith in the mystery of our Saviour's Resurrection ;-where was this faith on the day after our Lord's Death? In one heart only,—and that was Mary's. As it was her chaste womb, that had held within it Him, whom heaven and eartb cannot contain,—so on this day, by her firm and unwavering faith, she resumes within her single self the whole Church. How sacred is this Saturday, which, notwithstanding all its sadness, is such a day of glory to the Mother of Jesus ! It is on this account that the Church has consecrated to Mary the Saturday of

every week.

But it is time to repair to the House of God. The Bells are still silent : our faith must speak to us, and make us eager to assist at the grand Mysteries, which the Liturgy is about to celebrate. Surely, the christian sentiment must be dead in them who can be willingly absent from their Church on such a morning as this. No, it cannot be, that we, who have followed the celebration of the Mysteries of our Religion thus far, can flag now, and lose the graces of this Morning's magnificent Service.

1 Prov. xxxi. 18.

THE MORNING SERVICE.

[ocr errors]

It was the practice of the Church, and one that had been handed down from the earliest Ages, that the Sacrifice of the Mass should not be offered up either yesterday or to-day. Yesterday, the anniversary of Jesus' Death, was exclusively devoted to the remembrance of the Mystery of Calvary, and a boly fear kept the Church from renewing that Sacrifice upon her Altars. For the same reason, she abstained to-day, also, from its celebration. The Burial of Christ is a sequel of bis Passion : and during these hours when his Body lay lifeless in the Tomb, it was fitting that the Sacrifice, wherein he is offered as the glorious and Risen Jesus, should be suspended. Even the Greek Church, which never fasts on the Saturdays of Lent, follows the practice of the Latin Church for this Saturday: she not only fasts, but she even omits the celebration of the Mass of the Presanctified.

Such, we repeat, was the discipline of the Latin Church for nearly a thousand years : but about the 11th century, an important change began to be introduced with regard to the celebration of Mass on Holy Saturday. The Mass which, hitherto, had been celebrated during the Night preceding Easter Sunday,—then began to be anticipated, on the Saturday; but it was always considered as the Mass of the hour of our Lord's Resurrection, and not as the Mass of Holy Saturday. The relaxations, that had been introduced with regard to Fasting, were the occasion of this change in the Liturgy. In the first ages, the Faithful watched the whole night in the Church, awaiting the hour when our Lord rose triumphant from the Tomb. They also assisted at the solemn administration of Baptism to the Catechumens, which so sublimely expressed the passing from spiri

« ͹˹Թõ
 »