Christ is Risen! Indeed He is risen!
At Mass this day we sing the “Paschal sequence,” Victimae paschali laudes, which captures the joy of Christ’s overwhelming victory over Darkness and allows Mary Magdalene to draw us into her dazed thrill that “her hope” is alive! Here it is:
Let Christians offer sacrificial
praises to the passover victim.
The lamb has redeemed the sheep:
The Innocent Christ has reconciled
the sinners to the Father.
Death and life contended
in a spectacular battle:
the Prince of life, who died,
Tell us, Mary, what did
you see on the road?
“I saw the tomb of the living Christ
and the glory of his rising,
The angelic witnesses, the
clothes and the shroud.”
“Christ my hope is arisen;
into Galilee, he will go before his own.”
The Eighth Day of creation is complete. Hell has been vanquished, Heaven has been opened, hope has been restored, life has been revealed and the Son’s self-offering to the Father for humanity has been drawn up into Paradise as a fragrant offering and immortalized in Christ’s glorious open Wounds. The Church, soon to be revealed on Pentecost, will be tasked, as the Body of the Risen Christ, with an awesome mission: to extend God’s victory over sin and death to the whole human race and out into the entire created order. She will be called Catholic because her mission will not be to gather in a mere portion of creation, but the universal whole of humanity and the entire cosmos.
Cantare amantis est, “Only Lovers Sing”
Every year I post this video again as it, for me, sums up the spirit of surprise and joy that characterizes this feast. It’s an Easter flash mob at a Mall in Beirut, Lebanon. They sing the Paschal hymn (troparion) that every Eastern Christian knows by heart and sings ceaselessly throughout the Easter season:
Christ is risen from the dead,
Trampling down death by death,
And upon those in the tombs
The flash mob sings it in both Arabic and Greek, and each, respectively, runs like this:
Al-Masīh qām min baīni’l-amwāt
Wa wati’ al-mawt bi’l-mawt
Wa wahab al-hayāt
Christós anésti ek nekrón,
thanáto thánaton patísas,
ké tís en tís mnímasi,
Enjoy their joyful song and be sure to click “cc” for English subtitles: