Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Easter Wednesday & the Victimae Sequence

File:Resurrection of Christ and Women at the Tomb by Fra Angelico (San Marco cell 8).jpg
The Resurrection by Fra Angelico, 15th century.

Happy Easter, on this Easter Wednesday!  The great and glorious Octave of Easter continues.

Here is the introit for Mass on the day:





For more on the Feast of Easter in general, you might note:
Old Catholic Encyclopedia: Easter

Fish Eaters: Eastertide

Today I wanted to stop and note something of the sublime Sequence that is said of chanted during the 1st class Octave of Easter: the Victimae Paschali laudes.  This sequence, thought to be from the 11th century, was one of the few retained by the reforms of the Council of Trent.

The text reads thus in Latin:
Victimae paschali laudes
immolent Christiani.

Agnus redemit oves:
Christus innocens Patri
reconciliavit peccatores.

Mors et vita duello
conflixere mirando:
dux vitae mortuus,
regnat vivus.

Dic nobis Maria,
quid vidisti in via?

Sepulcrum Christi viventis,
et gloriam vidi resurgentis:

Angelicos testes,
sudarium, et vestes.

Surrexit Christus spes mea:
praecedet vos in Galilaeam.

Scimus Christum surrexisse
a mortuis vere:
tu nobis, victor Rex, miserere.
Amen. Alleluia.


Which, in English is:
Let Christians immolate
praises to the passover victim.

The lamb has redeemed the sheep:
Innocent Christ has reconciled
the sinners to the Father.

Death and life contended
in a miraculous battle:
the Prince of life, who died,
reigns alive.

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."

We know Christ is truly risen from the dead!
To us, victorious King, have mercy!
Amen. Alleluia.

Here is the Chant for this great Sequence:


The great Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina has his own setting, too:




Finally, for more, you might note this article:
Old Catholic Encyclopedia: Victimae Paschali

Surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia, et apparuit Simoni, alleluia!

Live well!

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