Ҿ˹˹ѧ
PDF
ePub

cum

munere, tranquillum perpe- may enjoy with all his people tuæ pacis accommoda : et the tranquillity of perpetual coelestem victoriam peace and heavenly victory.) omni populo suo.) Per eum- Through the same Lord Jesus dem Dominum nostrum Christ thy Son: who, with Jesum Christum Fillium tu- thee and the Holy Ghost, um : qui tecum vivit et re- liveth and reigneth one God gnat in unitate Spiritus for ever and ever. Sancti Deus, per omnia sæcula sæculorum. B. Amen.

R. Amen.

Here, the Deacon takes off the white Dalmatic, vests in purple, and returns to the Bishop. Then begin the Prophecies from the Old Testament.

THE PROPHECIES.

The Torch of the Resurrection now sheds its light from the Ambo throughout the holy place, and gladdens the hearts of the Faithful. How solemn a preparation for what is now to engage our attention, —the Baptism of the Catechumens, whose instruction and progress in good works we have followed with such interest during the past forty days! They are assembled together under the outward porch of the Church. The Priests are performing over them the preparatory rites, which embody such profound teaching, and were instituted by the Apostles. First of all, the sign of the cross is made upon their foreheads ; and then, the Priest, imposing his hand upon the head of each Catechumen, adjures Satan to depart from this soul and body, and give place to Christ. Imitating thus our Redeemer, the Priest then touches with his spittle the ears, saying: “Be ye opened !” He does the same to the nostrils, and says :

Breathe ye in the sweetness of fragrance !” The Neophyte is next anointed, on the breast and between the shoulders, with the Oil of Catechumens : but, as this ceremony expresses his having to fight the spiritual

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

combat, the Priest first receives from him the promise to renounce Satan, with his works and pomps.

These rites are performed first over the inen, and then over the women. The children of Christian parents are also admitted to take their place among the Catechumens. If any of these latter be labouring under any sickness, and have notwithstanding come to the Church in order to receive, to-night, the grace of Regeneration,-a Priest says over them a Prayer, in which he fervently begs of God to heal them, and confound the malice of Satan.

These ceremonies, which are called the Catechisation, occupy a considerable portion of time, on account of the great number of the aspirants to Baptism. It is for this reason, that the Bishop came to the Church at the hour of None (three o'clock in the afternoon), and that the great Vigil began so early. Whilst these rites are being administered to the Catechumens, the rest of the Faithful are listening to appropriate passages from the Scripture, which are being read from the Ambo, and which are the complement of the Lenten Instructions.

These Lessons are twelve in number: but in the venerable Basilica, where we are now supposing ourselves to be, we may say they are twenty-four, since each of the Twelve is read in Latin first, and then in Greek. In order to fix the attention, and excite the devotion, of her children to what she reads to them, the Church, after each Lesson, recites a Prayer, which sums up the doctrine expressed in the preceding Prophecy. To some of them is added an appropriate Canticle from the Old Testament, and it is sung, by the whole assembly, to the well known melody of the Tract. The aspirants to Baptism, as soon as they have received the ceremonies of Catechisation, are allowed to enter the Church, where, in the place. assigned to them, they listen to the Lessons, and join in the Prayers :-how could they better continue their preparation for the great Sacrament? And yet, there is an aspect of mournfulness about this portion of the Service, which tells us that the longed-for hour is not yet come. Frequent genuflexions, and the sombre coloured Vestments, strongly contrast with the beautiful flame of the Paschal Torch, which sheds its silent beams of light upon the Faithful. Their hearts are still throbbing with the emotions excited within them by the Exsultet : they are impatient to see their Jesus' Resurrection fulfilled in the Baptism of the Catechumens.

FIRST PROPHECY.

(Genesis, CHAP, I.) This first Lesson speaks to us of the Creation, of the Spirit of God moving over the waters, of the separation of light from darkness, and of Man's being made to the likeness of his God. This work of the Creator had been deranged and spoiled by Satan's malice. The time is come, when it is to recover all its beauty. The Holy Ghost is about to effect this regeneration by Water; Christ, our Light, is going to rise from the darkness of the tomb; the image of God is to re-appear in Man, for he is to be cleansed by the Blood of his Redeemer, who is the new Adam, that came down from heaven, in order to re-instate, in all his rights, the old and earthly Adam.

In principio creavit Deus In the beginning God coelum et terram. Terra au- created heaven and earth. tem erat inanis, et vacua : And the earth was void and et tenebræ erant super fa- empty, and darkness was upon ciem abyssi : et Spiritus Dei the face of the deep; and the ferebatur super aquas. Dix- Spirit of God moved over the itque Deus : Fiat lux. Et waters. And God said : Be facta est lux. Et vidit Deus light made. And light was lucem: quod esset bona; et made.

And God saw the divisit a tenebris. light that it was good : and Appellavitque lucem, Di- he divided the light from the

darkness. And he called the em : et tenebras, Noctein. light day, and the darkness Factumque est vespere et night; and there was evening mane, dies unus. and morning one day.

And God said : Let there be Dixit quoque Deus : Fia firmament made amidst the at firmamentum in medio waters : and let it divide the aquarum, et_dividat aquas waters from the waters. And ab aquis. Et fecit Deus God made a firmament, and firmamentum : divisitque divided the waters that were

aquas, quæ erant sub firunder the firmament from mamento, ab his quæ erant those that were above the super firmamentum. Et facfirmament. And it was so. tum est ita. Vocavitque And God called the firma- Deus firmamentum, Cement, Heaven: and the even- lum. Et factum est vespere ing and morning were the et mane, dies secundus. second day.

God also said : Let the Dixit vero Deus : Congrewaters that are under the gentur aquæ, quæ sub coelo heaven be gathered together sunt, in locum unum et into one place : and let the appareat arida. Factumque dry land appear. And it was est ita. Et vocavit Deus ariso done. And God called the dam Terram : congregatiodry land Earth : and the nesque aquarum appellavit gathering together of the Maria. Et vidit Deus quod waters he called Seas. And esset bonum, et ait: GermiGod saw that it was good. net terra herbam virentem, And he said : Let the earth et facientem semen : et ligbring forth the green herb, num pomiferum faciens and such as may seed, and the fructum juxta genus suum, fruit tree yielding fruit after cujus semen in semetipso its kind, which may have seed sit super terram. Et factum in itself

upon the earth. And est ita. Et protulit terra herit was so done. And the earth bam virentem, et facientem brought forth the green herb, semen juxta genus suum, and such as yieldeth seed lignumque faciens fructum; according to its kind, and the et habens unumquodque setree that beareth fruit, having mentem secundum speciem seed each one according to its suam. Et vidit Deus quod kind. And God saw that it esset bonum : et factum was good. And the evening est vespere et mane, dies and the morning were the tertius. third day.

And God said : Let there be Dixit autem Deus : Fiant lights made in the firmament luminaria in firmamento of heaven, to divide the day coli, et dividant diem ac and the night, and let them noctem : et sint in signa et

:

SO

ness.

tempora, et dies, et annos : be for signs, and for seasons, et luceant in firmamento and for days and years ; to coeli, et illuminent_terram. shine in the firmament of Et factum est ita. Fecitque heaven, and to give light upon Deus duo luminaria magna, the earth. And it was luminare majus, ut præes. done. And God made two set diei : et luminare minus, great lights; a greater light to ut præesset nocti : et stel- rule the day, and a lesser light las. Et posuit eas in firma- to rule the night; and stars. mento coeli, ut lucerent su- And he set them in the firmaper terram : et præessent ment of heaven, to shine upon diei ac nocti, et dividerent the earth. And to rule the lucem ac tenebras. Et vidit day and the night, and to Deus quod esset bonum. divide the light and the darkEt factum est vespere et

And God saw that it mane, dies quartus. was good. And the evening

and morning were the fourth

day. Dixit etiam Deus : Pro- God also said : Let the waducant aquæ reptile animæ ters bring forth the creeping viventis, et volatile super creature having life, and the terram, sub firmamento coe- fowl that may fly over the li. Creavitque Deus cete earth under the firmament of grandia, et omnem animam heaven. And God created the viventem atque motabilem, great whales, and every living quam produxerant aquæ in and moving creature, which species suas : et omne vola- the waters brought forth, actile, secundum genus suum. cording to their kinds, and Et vidit Deus quod esset every winged fowl according bonum : benedixitque eis, to its kind. And God saw dicens : Crescite, et multi- that it was good. And he plicamini, et replete aquas blessed them, saying: Increase maris : avesque multipli- and multiply, and fill the wacentur super terram. Et ters of the sea ; and let the factum est vespere et mane, birds be multiplied upon the dies quintus.

earth. And the evening and

morning were the fifth day. Dixit

quoque Deus : Pro- And God said : Let the ducat terra animam viven- earth bring forth the living tem in genere suo : jumenta, creature in its kind, cattle, and et reptilia, et bestias terræ, creeping things, and beasts of secundum species suas. Fac- the earth according to their tumque est ita. Et fecit kinds; and it was so done. Deus bestias terræ juxta And God made the beasts of species suas : et jumenta, et the earth according to their omne reptile terræ in genere kinds, and cattle, and every

Et vidit Deus quod thing that creepeth on the

:

[ocr errors]

suo.

« ͹˹Թõ
 »