Electronic Prayer Book

Easter Day Evening

 
 

Opening

 

 

 

O God, come to my assistance,
O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.

Halleluia.

 

The Christian Passover

 

Halleluia, or “Praise the Lord”, is an expression of joy and hope for the eternal happiness which our Lord obtained for us by His glorious Resurrection. The Church sings Halleluia today, and often during the Octave (1), because Christ is risen from the grave, and as St. Augustine says, “We have left the grave of sin, and are ready to walk in the way of the divine commandments.”

In the Latin Missal, Easter is called “Pascha,” a name chosen from the Hebrew word meaning “passing over”. The Jews celebrated the feast of “Passover” because the destroyer of the first-born of Egypt “passed over” the houses of the Israelites, who had sprinkled the transom and posts of their doors with the blood of the paschal lamb; and because the Jews were, in that same night, delivered from bondage, “passing over” through the Red Sea into the land of promise
(Exodus 12: 11). Since Christians have been redeemed and have “passed over” to the freedom of children of God, we too call the day of His Resurrection, “Pascha” or “Passover”.

The Paschal Season commemorates the triumph of our Lord. It is an invitation to spiritual joy. As Christ arose from the dead so must we rise from coldness and indifference to a life of fervor and holiness. Christ offered himself in complete holocaust on the Cross; we must offer ourselves completely to God through our risen Saviour; risen with Christ, we must “seek the things that are above”.

Christ promised the miracle of His Resurrection. He fulfilled that promise, proving His Divinity and giving our faith a sure foundation. He could have ended His stay on earth with His Resurrection on Easter Sunday, but He preferred to remain among His beloved for forty days:

1. To strengthen their faith in the mystery of the Resurrection. “To them also He showed Himself alive after His Passion by many proofs, during forty days appearing to them and speaking of the kingdom of God.” (Acts 1: 3).

2. To stimulate the hope of universal resurrection as the consequence and fruit of His glorious Resurrection.

3. To console the faithful for their sorrow during His Passion and Death.

Since Christ rose from the dead, we know that He is the Son of God, His doctrine is divine, His Church is true, and we, as members of His Mystical Body, provided we are His true disciples, shall one day rise with glorified bodies.

“It is Christ Jesus Who died, yes and rose again, He Who is at the right hand of God, Who also intercedes for us.” Who, then, “shall separate us from the love of Christ?” (Romans 8: 34f)

Footnotes:

(1) The Octave of Easter — The word Octave can mean the 8th day, and the early Christians used this term as a reference to the Resurrection.

‘Octave’ also refers to the celebration of a single festival for 8 days. This had its origins in the Feast of Tabernacles (Luke 23: 36) and the Dedication of the Temple (2 Chronicles 7 : 9)

Interestingly, the first Christian baptisteries were octagonal as symbols of new life.

 

Acclamations For Reflection

 

In Time After Easter the morning reflections are beautiful proclamations from the Bible (as used in the Roman Breviary and Roman Missal — 1962.)

Spending a moment to reflect on one or more of these prepares us to praise God using the psalms of the day, which follow.

 
 
 

Sing joyfully to the Lord, all you lands; serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful singing.

 
  • And an Angel of the Lord came down from heaven, and drawing near rolled back the stone, and sat upon it, Halleluia, Halleluia.
 
  • And behold there was a geat earthquake; for an Angel of the Lord came down from heaven, Halleluia.

 

  • And for fear of him the guards were terrified and became like dead men, Halleluia.
 
  • His countenance was like lightning, and his rainment like snow, Halleluia, Halleluia.

 

 

  • But the Angel spoke and said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you seek Jesus, Halleluia.”
 
 

From Psalm 110 [111]

A Prayer of Thanksgiving
 

 

I will thank the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the just and in the congregation.

Great are the works of the Lord, worthy of study for all who love them.

Splendid and glorious in his work; and his justice abides forever.

He has left a memorial of his wonders; merciful and kind is the Lord.

He has given food to those who fear him; he will be mindful forever of his covenant.

He has shown his powerful works to, in giving them possession of the nations.

Trustworthy and just are the works of his hands; grounded in truth are all his precepts.

Established forever and ever, based on truth and equity.

He has sent deliverance to his people he has established his covenant forever; holy is his name and worthy of reverence.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, prudent is the conduct of all who practice it; his praise abides forever.

 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

 

 

Psalm 133 [134]

Exhortation to the Night Watch To Bless the Lord

 

 

Behold, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord; who stand in the house of the Lord during the night hours.

Lift up your hands towards the sanctuary, and bless the Lord.

May the Lord bless you from Zion, he who made heaven and earth.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end.

 

 

Reading — 1 Cor. 5: 7 — 8

 

At the end of the Passover (The Pasch),
when the paschal lamb was sacrificed, the Jews,
after carefully banishing from the house all the
“old leaven”, ate only unleavened bread.

Now Christ, “our Passover” (our Paschal Lamb)
at the time of His passion weas sacrificed once and for all;
this is the Christian Passover, which is never ending.
We ought therefore to exclude from our lives the “old leaven”,
that is sin and our evil tendencies, and put in its place
“the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth”.
In this way we shall be indeed “unleavened” in the way meant by St. Paul.

If we have risen with Christ our life should be entirely changed.
The Jews could eat the paschal Lamb only with unleavened bread;
we must feed on Christ, “our Passover”, with the unleavened bread
of a spotless life, free from all leaven of sin.

 

Brethren: Purge out the old leaven, that you may be new dough, as you really are without leaven. For Christ, our Passover, has been crucified. Therefore let us keep festival, not with the old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

 
 

Alternative Readings

 
Old Testament The Gospels Epistles of St. Paul Other Epistles
 

Easter Hymn for Evening

 

We call on the whole of creation (the heavens, the earth and the Church) to join us in rejoicing at the Lord’s victory over death.

  • Let the angelic choirs of heaven now rejoice; let the divine mysteries be celebrated with joy; and let the trumpet of salvation resound for victory of so great a King.
  • Let the earth also rejoice, illumined with such resplendent rays; and enlightened with the brightness of the eternal King, let it feel that the darkness of the whole world is dispersed.
  • Let also our mother the Church rejoice, adorned with the brightness of so great a light; and may this temple (1) resound with the joyful voices of the people.

(1) This temple — echoes of the Dedication of the temple in 2 Chronicles 7: 9.
Here the Church, the Body of Christ, is the new temple of God’s Presence in the world.
(John 2: 19 and 1 Cor. 12: 12 — 14)

 

Mary’s Hymn of Praise — St. Luke 1: 46 — 55

 

Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist (Luke 1: 41 — 45), acclaimed Mary, warmly with the words: “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb” – to which Mary replied in her prophetic hymn.

 
 
 
Antiphon
   
       
 

And looking up they saw that the stone had been rolled back, for it was very large, Halleluia!

   
       

My soul magnifies the Lord.

And my spirit rejoices in God my saviour,

Because he has regarded the lowliness of his handmaid, for behold; henceforth all generations shall call me blessed,

Because he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

And His mercy is from generation to generation toward those who fear him. — He has shown might with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.

 

He has put down the mighty from their thrones and has exalted the lowly.

The hungry he has filled with good things and the rich he has sent empty away. —

He has given help to Israel his servant, mindful of his mercy.

(As he promised our fathers) towards Abraham and his descendants forever.

 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

       
     
Antiphon

Repeat the appointed antiphon of the day.

 
 

The Lord’s Prayer

 
 

Traditional

Our Father who art in heaven
Hallowed be thy name
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us;
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.

Amen.

 

Contemporary

Our Father, in heaven,
Hallowed be Your Name,
Your Kingdom come,
Your will be done,
On earth as in heaven,
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.

Amen.

 

Prayer

 

Today, Lord, through Your only begotten Son, the conqueror of death, You re-open the way to heaven for us. May Your grace inspire rightful desires in us and help us also in their fulfillment. This we ask of You through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever. Amen.

 

Closing

   
 

V. Our help is in the Name of the Lord.

R. Who made heaven and earth.

   

May the all powerful
and merciful Lord, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
bless and preserve us.
Amen.

 

Part 2. Devotions Throughout Advent | Part 3. The Angelus | Part 4. Prayers For Protection