He is risen, the Lord is risen indeed!
News of the Order and commentary appear after the Proper Collect, Epistle and Gospel
CHRIST our Passover is sacrificed for us: * therefore let us keep the feast, Not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; * but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 1 Cor. v. 7.
CHRIST being raised from the dead dieth no more; * death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: * but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, * but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom. vi. 9.
CHRIST is risen from the dead, * and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, * by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, * even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 1 Cor. xv. 20
ALMIGHTY God, who through thine only-begotten Son Jesus Christ hast overcome death, and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life; We humbly beseech thee that, as by thy special grace preventing us thou dost put into our minds good desires, so by thy continual help we may bring the same to good effect; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.
Source of Collect: Sacramentary of Gelasius [ca 494 AD]. This was changed to reflect the churches fight against the teachings of Pelagain, and English monk who traveled and taught that people could do good withouth God's help.
He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
Holy Days in the Octave of Easter
To sum up in few words: By the unanimous judgment of all, it has been decided that the most holy festival of Easter should be everywhere celebrated on one and the same day, and it is not seemly that in so holy a thing there should be any division. As this is the state of the case, accept joyfully the divine favour, and this truly divine command; for all which takes place in assemblies of the bishops ought to be regarded as proceeding from the will of God. Make known to your brethren what has been decreed, keep this most holy day according to the prescribed mode; we can thus celebrate this holy Easter day at the same time, if it is granted me, as I desire, to unite myself with you; we can rejoice together, seeing that the divine power has made use of our instrumentality for destroying the evil designs of the devil, and thus causing faith, peace, and unity to flourish amongst us. May God graciously protect you, my beloved brethren.
An interesting story of a Fourth Century pilgrim "Egeria" who recorded her visit to the Holy Land and Holy Week events in Jerusalem is featured here on Christian History and Biography
Please give thanksgiving to God for the promise of the Resurrection. Pray for unity of the Body of Christ according to God's will and purpose, and for Charity amongst all Christians.
In the quotation today, Constantine speaks of the decision in the First Council that directed a unified day celebrate the Resurrection. The Council decreed the Resurrection should be celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox. Christendom is divided today with observances based on different calculations between East and West. Let us pray that in our day we will see Christians move to a common date and ultimately achieve a closer walk in Chirst.
Please note today the Icon of the empty tomb and angel above. Note the linens. Now, the linens had been placed on Jesus along with an hundred pounds of burial spices [Gospel of John]. Jewish burial custom was to wrap strips of cloth around the body. The face was not wrapped, but rather the deceased's prayer shaw was folded and laid across the face. In three days, kin were to return to the tomb to check the corpse; it was written that one man was found alive and lived over 20 more years bearing more children. Chrysostom said that the spice mixture with the linen strips became like iron. We can associate this with a modern-day cast. We hear in the Gospel that Peter and John looked in and were amazed, and believed. Amazed at what, a sheet folded? I think not. This Icon, unlike so many modern empty-tomb renditions, conveys for me the true sense and disposition of the burial cloths, which formed a cocoon about Jesus that was not torn asunder. The folded cloth was not carefully folded by God or Jesus or an angel, but by Nicodemus and Joseph or those with them. It correctly interprets the custom of the 1st Century Jew and the Gospel account.
The featured Psalm for this week is Psalm LVII. Augustine's homily today reflects on the Easter story as he considers David's plight. David, the shepherd turned warrior, hid in concealment in a cave from the threat of Saul -- until he should come forth in the fullness of time to assume that position of temporal kingship under God for which he was chosen and christened. The capitalization of "Anointed" in Coverdale's translation shows how this psalm pre-figures the Passion and Resurrection of Christ, and his ascension to Everlasting Kingship at the right hand of God. Augustine's translation prefaced the psalm with these words, "At the end, corrupt not, for David himself, for the inscription of the title; when he fled from the face of Saul into a cavern," to which Augustine comments:
We referring to holy Scripture, do find indeed how holy David, that king of Israel, from whom too the Psalter of David hath received the name thereof, had suffered for persecutor Saul the king of his own people, as many of you know that have either read or have heard the Scriptures. King David had then for persecutor Saul: and whereas the one was most gentle, the other most ferocious: the one mild, the other envious; the one patient, the other cruel; the one beneficent, the other ungrateful: he endured him with so much mildness, that when he had gotten him into his hands him he touched not, hurt not....What reference hath this to Christ? If all things which then were being done, were figures of things future, we find there Christ, and by far in the greatest degree. For this, "corrupt not for the inscription of the title," I see not how it belongeth to that David. For not any "title" was inscribed over David himself which Saul would "corrupt." But we see in the Passion of the Lord that there had been written a title, "King of the Jews:" in order that this title might put to the blush these very men, seeing that from their King they withheld not their hands. For in them Saul was, in Christ David was. For Christ, as saith the Apostolic Gospel, is, as we know, as we confess, of the seed of David after the flesh; for after the Godhead He is above David, above all men, above heaven and earth, above angels, above all things visible and invisible....And because already it had been sung through the Holy Spirit, "Unto the end, corrupt not, for the inscription of the title:" Pilate answered them, "What I have written, I have written:" why do ye suggest to me falsehood? I corrupt not truth.