|Christ indeed from death is risen, our new life
obtaining. (Sequence of Easter Sunday)
On Easter Sunday, the Church is recollected in contemplation of the risen Christ.
Thus she relives the primordial experience that lies at the basis of her existence. She
feels imbued with the same wonder as Mary Magdalen and the other women who went to
Christ's tomb on Easter morning and found it empty. That tomb became the womb of life.
Whoever had condemned Jesus, deceived himself that he had buried his cause under an
ice-cold tombstone. The disciples themselves gave into the feeling of irreparable failure.
We understand their surprise, then, and even their distrust in the news of the empty tomb.
But the Risen One did not delay in making himself seen and they yielded to reality. They
saw and believed! Two thousand years later, we still sense the unspeakable emotion that
overcame them when they heard the Master's greeting: "Peace be with you.'"....
...Christ's Resurrection is the strength, the secret of Christianity. It is not a question
of mythology or of mere symbolism, but of a concrete event. It is confirmed by sure and
convincing proofs. The acceptance of this truth, although the fruit of the Holy Spirit's
grace, rests at the same time on a solid historical base. On the threshold of the third
millennium, the new effort of evangelization can begin only from a renewed experience of
this Mystery, accepted in faith and witnessed to in life.... Pope
John Paul II
Mass is to be celebrated on Easter Day with great solemnity. It is
appropriate that the penitential rite on this day take the form of a sprinkling with water
blessed at the Vigil, during which the antiphon Vidi aquam, or some other song of
baptismal character should be sung. The fonts at the entrance to the church should also be
filled with the same water. The tradition of celebrating baptismal Vespers on Easter
Day with the singing of psalms during the procession to the font should be maintained
where it is still in force, and appropriately, restored. The paschal candle has its proper
place either by the ambo or by the altar and should be lit at least in all the more solemn
liturgical celebrations of the season until Pentecost Sunday, whether at Mass, or at
Morning and Evening Prayer. After the Easter season the candle should be kept with honor
in the baptistry, so that in the celebration of Baptism the candles of the baptized may be
lit from them. In the celebration of funerals, the paschal candle should be place near the
coffin to indicate that the death of a Christian is his own passover. The paschal candle
should not otherwise be lit nor placed in the sanctuary outside the Easter season.
God our Father, creator of all, today is the day of Easter joy. This is the
morning on which the Lord appeared ot men who had begun to lose their hope and opened
their eyes to what the scriptures foretold: that first he must die, and then he would rise
and ascend into his Father's glorious presence. May the risen Lord breathe on our minds
and open our eyes that we may know him in the breaking of bread, and follow him in his
risen life. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.