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um, angularem scilicet lapi. corner-stone, hast bestowed on dem, claritatis tuæ ignem the faithful the fire of thy fidelibus contulisti, produc- brightness ; sanctify this new tum e silice, nostris profu- fire produced from a flint for turum usibus, novum hunc our use : and grant, that duriguem sanctifica; et concede ing this Paschal festival, we nobis, ita per hæc festa may be so inflamed with Paschalia cælestibus desi- heavenly desires, that with deriis inflammari; ut ad pure minds we may come to perpetuæ claritatis, puris. the solemnity of eternal splenmentibus, valeamus festa dour. Through the same Christ pertingere. Per eumdem

our Lord. Christum Dominum nostrum. R. Amen.

R. Amen.

OREMUS.

LET US PRAY.

Domine Deus, Pater om- O Lord God, Almighty nipotens, lumen indefi- Father, never failing light, ciens, qui es conditor om- who art the author of all nium luminum : benedic light : bless this light, that is hoc lumen, quod a te sanc- blessed and sanctified by thee, tificatum atque benedic- who hast enlightened the tum est, qui illuminasti whole world : that we may omnem mundum : ut ab eo be enlightened by that light, lumine accendamur, atque andinflamed with the fire of thy illuminemur igne claritatis brightness : and as thou didst tuæ ; et sicut illuminasti give light to Moses, when he Moysen exeuntem de Æ- went out of Egypt, so illumine gypto, ita illumines corda our hearts and senses, that we et sensus nostros; ut ad vi- may obtain light and life ever

; tam et lucem æternam per- lasting. Through Christ our venire mereamur. Per Chris Lord. tum Dominum nostrum. R. Amen.

R. Amen.

OREMUS.

LET US PRAY.

Domine sancte, Pater om- O Holy Lord, Almighty nipotens, æterne Deus, be- Father, Eternal God : vouchnedicentibus nobis hunc safe to co-operate with us, who ignem in nomine tuo, et bless this fire in thy name, unigeniti Filii_tui Dei ac and in that of thy only Son Domini nostri Jesu Christi, Christ Jesus, our Lord and et Spiritus Sancti, coopera- God, and of the Holy Ghost : re digneris, et adjuva nos assist us against the fiery darts of the enemy, and illumine us contra ignita tela inimici, with thy heavenly grace. Who et illustra gratia cælesti. livest and reignest with the Qui vivis et regnas cum same only Son and Holy eodem Unigenito tuo et Ghost, one God, for ever and Spiritu Sancto, Deus, per

omnia sæcula sæculorum. B. Amen.

B. Amen.

ever.

The Bishop then blesses the Incense, thus addressing himself in prayer to God:

Pour forth, we beseech thee, Veniat, quæsumus, omO Almighty God, thy abun- nipotens Deus, super hoc dant blessing on this Incense : incensum larga tuæ beneand kindle, invisible rege- dictionis infusio : et hunc uerator, the brightness of this nocturnum splendorem innight : that not only the sacri- visibilis regenerator accenfice that is offered this night de : ut non solum sacrifimay shine by the secret mix- cium, quod hac nocte litature of thy light; but also tum est, arcana luminis tui into whatever place any thing admixtione refulgeat : sed of this mysterious sanctifica- in quocumque loco ex hution shall be brought, there, jus sanctificationis mysteby the power of thy majesty, rio aliquid fuerit deporall the malicious artifices of tatum, expulsa diabolicæ the devil may be defeated. fraudis nequitia, virtus tuæ Through Christ our Lord. Majestatis assistat.

Per Christum Dominum nos

trum. B. Amen.

B. Amen.

After these prayers, an Acolyte puts some of the blessed Fire into the thurible. The Bishop then censes the Fire and the Incense, after having first sprinkled them with holy water. An other of the Acolytes lights a candle from the blessed Fire, that the new light may be brought into the Church. The Deacon then vests in a white Dalmatic. This festive colour, which contrasts so strongly with the purple cope worn by the Bishop, is worn on account of the joyful ministry which the Deacon is about to fulfil. He takes into his right hand a Reed, on the top of which is placed a triple-branched candle. The Reed is in

a

memory of our Lord's Passion : it also expresses the weakness of the Human Nature, which he assumed to himself by the Incarnation. The three-branch candle signifies the blessed Trinity, of which the Incarnate Word is the Second Person.

The Procession returns. Having entered the Church, the Deacon, after advancing a few steps, lowers the Reed, and the Acolyte, who carries the new light, lights one of the three branches of the candle. The Deacon then kneels, as do also all the clergy and people. Raising the light on high, he sings these words :

Lumen Christi.

The Light of Christ !

All answer:

Deo gratias.

Thanks be to God !

This first showing of the Light expresses the revelation made to us, by Jesus, of the Divinity of the Father. No one, says he, knoweth the Father, but the Son, and he to whom it shall please the Son to reveal him.

After this, all rise, and the Procession advances as far as mid-way up the Church. Here, the Deacon again lowers the Reed, and a second branch of the Candle is lighted by the Acolyte. The same ceremonies are observed as before, and the Deacon sings on a higher note :

Lumen Christi.

The Light of Christ !

The whole assembly answers :

Deo gratias.

Thanks be to God !

i St. Matth. xi. 27.

This second showing of the Light signifies the world's receiving the knowledge of the Divinity of the Son; be appeared and dwelt among us, and, with his own sacred lips, taught us that he was God, equal to the Father in all things.

The procession continues as far as the Altar-steps. The third branch of the Candle on the Reed is lighted, and the Deacon once more sings, but on a still higher and gladder note :

The Light of Christ !

Lumen Christi.

Again, the response is made:

Thanks be to God !

Deo gratias.

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This third showing of the Light signifies the revelation of the Divinity of the Holy Ghost, which was made to us by our Saviour when he commanded his Apostles to do what the Church is to do this very Night : Teach ye all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. It is, then, by Jesus, who is the Light of the world, that mankind has been taught to know the Blessed Trinity. The Bishop, before administering Baptism to the Catechumens, will ask them if they believe in this great Mystery. During the whole of this Night's Service, they will have before their eyes the expressive symbol of the Trinity,—the threebranch Candle.

This, then, is the first use to which the new Fire is put :-to proclaim the Holy Trinity. It is next to publish the glory of the Incarnate Word, by lighting up the glorious symbol which is now to be brought before us. The Bishop is seated on his throne. The Deacon kneels before him, and asks a

i St. Matth. xxviii. 19.

blessing, before beginning the great work intrusted to him. The Pontiff thus blesses him.

Dominus sit in corde tuo, The Lord be in thy heart et in labiis tuis : ut digne and lips, that thou mayest et competenter annunties worthily and fitly proclaim suum Paschale præconium. his Paschal praise. In the In nomine Patris, et Filii, name of the Father, and of et Spiritus Sancti. Amen. the Son, and of the Holy

Ghost. Amen. Thus prepared, the Deacon rises, and goes to the Ambo. The Acolytes, holding the triple Candle and the five grains of Incense, are standing at his side. Near the Ambo is a marble pillar, on which is fixed the Paschal Candle.

THE PASCHAL CANDLE.

The sun is setting, and our earth will soon be mantled in darkness. The Church has provided a torch, which is to spread its light upon us during the whole of this long Vigil. It is of an unusual size. It stands alone, and is of a pillar-like form. It is the symbol of Christ. Before being lighted, its scriptural type is the pillar of a cloud, which hid the Israelites when they went out from Egypt; under this form, it is the figure of our Lord, when lying lifeless in the tomb. When lighted, we must see in it both the pillar of fire, which guided the people of God, and the glory of our Jesus risen from his grave. Our holy mother the Church, would have us enthusiastically love this glorious symbol, and speaks its praises to us in all the magnificence of her inspired eloquence. As early as the beginning of the 5th century, Pope St. Zozimus extended to all the Churches of the City of Rome, the privilege of blessing the Paschal Candle, although Baptism was administered no where but in the Baptistery of St. John Lateran. The object of this grant was, that all

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