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faith in the Resurrection was not as yet in their hearts. The Incense signifies their spices; the absence of light signifies their want of faith.

GOSPEL.

Sequentia sancti Evangelii Sequel of the holy Gospel secundum Matthæum. according to Matthew. Cap. XXVIII.

Ch. XXVIII. Vespere autem Sabbati In the end of the Sabbath, quæ lucescit in prima Sab- when it began to dawn towards bati: venit Maria Magda- the first day of the week, came lene, et altera Maria videre Mary Magdalene and the other sepulcrum. Et ecce terræ Mary to the sepulchre. And m us factus est magnus. behold there was a great earthAngelus enim Domini de- quake. For an Angel of the scendit de cælo, et accedens Lord descended from heaven; revolvit lapidem, et sedebat and coming, rolled back the super eum.

Erat autem stone, and sat upon it; and aspectus ejus, sicut fulgur: his countenance was as lightet vestimentum ejus, sicut ning, and his raiment as snow. nix. Præ timore autem ejus, And for fear of him, the guards exterriti sunt custodes : et were struck with terror, and facti sunt velut mortui. Re- became as dead men. And spondens autem Angelus, the Angel answering, said to dixit mulieribus : Nolite the women : Fear not you ; timere vos. Scio enim, quod for I know that you seek Jesus Jesum, qui crucifixus est, who was crucified. He is not quæritis. Non est hic. Sur- here, for he is risen, as he said. rexit enim, sicut dixit : ve- Come, and see the place where nite, et videte locum, ubi the Lord was laid. And going positus erat Dominus. Et quickly, tell ye his disciples cito euntes, dicite discipulis that he is risen : and behold ejus, quia surrexit. Et ecce he will go before you into præcedit vos in Galilæam. Galilee : there you shall see Ibi eum videbitis: ecce præ- him. Lo, I have foretold it to dixi vobis.

you.

The Bishop does not intone the glorious Symbol of Faith : it is reserved for the second Mass, which is to be sung at a later hour in the morning. By this omission of the Creed, the Church would remind us of the hours which elapsed, before the Apostles, who were to preach to the world the Mystery of the Resurrection, had themselves honoured it by their faith.

After having saluted the people with the usual Dominus vobiscum, the Pontiff at once proceeds to offer to the Divine Majesty the bread and wine, which are to be used in the Sacrifice; and the Choir omits the Antiphon, which is called the Offertory, and is sung or recited in every other Mass. The Offertory is intended as a chant to be

sung

whilst the people go up to the Sanctuary when offering the bread and wine for the Holy Sacrifice, and which they are to receive, at the Communion, changed into the Body and Blood of Christ. But the Service of Holy Saturday is so long, that this ceremony of the offering is omitted. The spirit is as prompt and fervent as ever, but the body begins to feel exhausted; and the little children, who are kept fasting, on account of having to go to holy Communion, show by their cries that they, too, are suffering from want of food. To save time, therefore, the bread and wine, the matter of the Sacrifice, are provided this morning by the Church. The Neophytes will, nevertheless, approach to holy Communion, although they themselves have not brought bread and wine to the Sanctuary.

After having made the offering, and censed, first the Bread and Wine, then the Altar, the Pontiff recites the Secret, which is followed by the Easter Preface.

SECRET.

Receive, O Lord, we beseech Suscipe quæsumus, Dothee, the prayers of thy people, mine, preces populi tui cum together with the offering of oblationibus hostiarum : ut these hosts, that what is con- Paschalibus initiata mystesecrated by these Paschal riis, ad æternitatis nobis medelam, te operante, pro- mysteries, may, by the help of ficiant. Per Dominum. thy grace, avail us to eternal

life. Through, dc. Ñ. Per omnia sæcula sæ- W. For ever and ever. culorum. R. Amen.

R. Amen. ř. Dominus vobiscum. V. The Lord be with you. R. Et cum spiritu tuo. B. And with thy Spirit. V. Sursum corda.

ř. Lift up your hearts. R. Habemus ad Domi- B. We have them fixed on

God. Ť. Gratias agamus Do- Ñ. Let us give thanks to mino Deo nostro.

the Lord our God. Re. Dignum et justum est. B. It is meet and just.

num.

PREFACE. Vere dignum et justum It is truly meet and just, est, æquum et salutare, te right and available to salvaquidem Domine, omni tem- tion, to publish thy praise, O pore, sed in hac potissimum Lord, at all times; but chiefly Nocte gloriosius prædicare, and more gloriously on this cum Pascha nostrum immo- Night, when Christ our Paslatus est Christus. Ipse enim chal Lamb is sacrificed. For verus est Agnus, qui abstu- he is the true Lamb, that has lit peccata mundi: qui mor- taken away the sins of the tem nostram moriendo de- world. Who by dying desstruxit, et vitam resurgendo troyed our death, and by reparavit. Et ideo cum rising again, restored us to life. Angelis et Archangelis, cum And therefore with the Angels Thronis et Dominationibus, and Archangels, with the cumque omni militia coeles- Thrones and Dominations, tis exercitus, hymnum glo- and with all the heavenly host, riæ tuæ canimus, sine fine we sing a hymn to thy glory, dicentes: Sanctus ! Sanc- saying, unceasingly : Xoly! tus ! Sanctus !

Holy ! Holy ! The Canon commences, and the divine mystery is effected. Nothing in the sacred rites is changed,

. until close upon the Communion.

It is a custom, which has come down from the times of the Apostles, that, before receiving the Body and Blood of our Lord in Communion, the Faithful should give to each other the Kiss of Peace, saying : “Peace be with thee !” This ceremony is omitted in this first

Mass. It was not till the evening of the day of his Resurrection, that Jesus spoke these words to his Disciples. Holy Church, reverencing, as she does, every detail of her Jesus' life, loves to imitate them in her own practice. For the same reason, she omits the Agnus Dei," which, in its third repetition, has these words : “Give us Peace.”

And now the moment has come, when our Neophytes are to receive, for the first time, the Bread of Life and the Heavenly Chalice, which were instituted by Jesus at the Last Supper. Baptised in Water and the Holy Ghost, they have a right to approach the holy Table; and their White Robes are the outward expression of their souls' possessing the Wedding Garment, which all must have on, who would partake of the Banquet of the Lamb. They go up to the Altar with joy and reverence. The Deacon gives them the Body of our Lord, and then the Chalice of his precious Blood. The infants are also admitted to Communion: the Deacon dips his finger into the Chalice, and then puts it into their innocent mouths. Lastly, to signify that all are now, by their Baptism, those new-born babes, of whom St. Peter speaks,—they receive, after holy Communion, a little milk and honey; it is a symbol of infancy, and, at the same time, an allusion to the Promised Land.

The Communion over, the Bishop ends the Holy Sacrifice with a Prayer, in which he beseeches God to unite us all to each other in a spirit of fraternal charity, seeing that we all participate in the celebration of the Pasch. We have all the same Mother,the Church; the same Font of Baptism has given to us all the same life of grace;

we are all members of Jesus, our Head; the same Holy Spirit has signed

2

1 This formula does not date beyond the 7th century. 2 I. St. Pet. ii. 2.

us all with his seal, and the Father has made us all one family by adopting us as his Children. The signal for departure being given by the Deacon, in the Bishop's name, the Faithful leave the Church, and return to their homes, there to remain till they re-assemble for the Holy Sacrifice, which is again to be offered

up

in a still more solemn celebration of this the Feast of Feasts,– the Pasch of the Resurrection,

VESPERS.

During the centuries, when the Church celebrated the Vigil of Easter in the manner we have been describing, Holy Saturday had no Vespers. The Vigil began towards the hour of None, and continued, as we have seen, till the early morning of the Sunday. It was not till later,—when custom had authorised the anticipating the Easter midnight Mass, and saying it on the morning of Holy Saturday,—that this last day of Holy Week was provided with the Office of Vespers. In consequence of the service being so long, the Church made these Vespers as short as possible, and gave them a joyous character, in keeping with the return of the “ Alleluia." They are drawn up so as to form part of the Mass. They begin immediately after the Communion, and the Postcommunion serves as a conclusion both to them and the Mass itself. This Postcommunion Prayer is the one of which we have just been speaking, as terminating the ancient celebration of the Easter Vigil.

After the Communion, then, the Choir sings the following Antiphon and Psalm :

ANT. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

ANT. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

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