Alleluia! He is risen!!
"I have risen, and I am with you still..."
The chapel is dark and hushed. We've processed inside from the Easter fire, holding our lighted candles. In darkness we stood for the Exultet, listened to excerpts from the Scriptures telling our salvation history, responding in psalms and prayers. Then the moment comes: the sounds of the Gloria swells, the bells peal, the lights come on and all the sisters cast off their black copes, revealing the full white of the Dominican habit. The Mass continues with the blessing of the water, the renewal of our baptismal promises and then the liturgy of the Eucharist. Jesus returns in the Real Presence of the Blessed Sacrament to the tabernacle which had laid empty since Holy Thursday. He is risen, and He is with us still.
Love has conquered death! Jesus has thrown wide the gates of paradise and broken down the bars of the underworld. Rejoice! Our Lord has conquered sin and death and He invites us to share in His victory not at some distant point in the future, but today! "By dying, he destroyed our death, and by rising, restored our life." Let us truly be overcome with Paschal joy!
Christians, to the Paschal Victim
Offer your thankful praises!
A Lamb the sheep redeems;
Christ, who only is sinless,
Reconciles sinners to the Father.
Death and life have contended
in that combat stupendous:
The Prince of life, who died, reigns immortal.
Speak, Mary, declaring
What you saw, wayfaring.
"The tomb of Christ, who is living,
The glory of Jesus' resurrection;
Bright angels attesting,
The shroud and napkin resting.
Yes, Christ my hope is arisen;
To Galilee he goes before you."
Christ indeed from death is risen, our new life obtaining.
Have mercy, victor King, ever reigning!