Sunday, 24 April 2011

Easter Sunday: Christus surrexit, alleluia, alleluia!

Easter Sunday

Christus surrexit,
sicut dixit,

Christ is risen
as he said!

[Correggio. Noli me tangere. 1525]

Dum transisset Sabbatum,
Maria Magdalene et Maria Jacobi et Salome
emerunt aromata ut venientes ungerent Jesum.
Et valde mane una sabbatorum veniunt ad monumentum orto iam sole ut venientes ungerent Jesum.
Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto.

And when the Sabbath was past,
Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome
had brought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
And very early in the morning, the first day of the week,
they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun that they might come and anoint him.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

[Dum Transisset Sabbatum by John Taverner. Taken from Mark 16, sung at the Easter Vigil]

This first part of chapter 16 of St Mark's Gospel was rendered with extraordinary beauty in the 16th century by John Taverner, an English Elizabethan composer. It sublimely captures the unexplainably extraordinary moment of the discovery of the empty tomb, the realisation of the divine and of the undeniable proof that man is destined to live with God in eternal peace - forever and forever.

Here it is sung by the Tallis Singers, fittingly with images of the finding of the empty tomb.

Notice how the choir burst forth with that great "ALLELUIA" to symbolise the discovery by the holy women of the empty tomb and their sudden realisation that the Lord had risen from the dead. It is as if the heavens immediately opened and the whole heavenly host burst forth with a great, universal cry of profound joy. A marvellous piece!

"The Angels said to her 'Woman, why are you weeping?'. She said to them 'Because they have taken away my Lord and I do not know where they have laid Him'. Saying this she turned round and saw Jesus standing but she did not know that it was Jesus. Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him 'Sir, if you have carried Him away tell me where you have laid Him and I will take Him away'. And Jesus said to her 'Mary'. She turned and said to Him in Hebrew 'Rabboni!'".

[John 20]

"She went and said to the Disciples 'I have seen the Lord!' "

[John 20]

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.
Credendum est magis soli
Mariae veraci
Quam Judaeorum
Turbae fallaci.
Scimus Christum surrexisse
a mortuis vere:
Tu nobis, victor Rex, miserere.
Amen. Alleluia.

To the Paschal victim let Christians
Offer up their songs of praise.
The Lamb has redeemed the sheep:
Christ who is without sin
Has reconciled sinners to the Father.
Death and life have fought a huge battle,
The Prince of Life was dead, but lives and reigns.
Tell us, Mary, what did you see on your way?
'The tomb of Christ, who is alive,
And I saw the glory of his rising;
Angels standing as witnesses, the shroud and linen cloth.
Christ my hope has risen:
He has gone to Galilee before you'.
More trust should be placed in truthful Mary
Than in the deceitful crowd among the Jews.
Truly, we know Christ has risen from the dead:
O King and victor, have mercy on us. Amen. Alleluia.

[Wipo of Burgundy, Victimi Paschali Laudes. 1040. Sung on Easter Sunday]

Surrexit vere, sicut dixit. Alleluia!
He has truly risen, just as He said. Alleluia!


1 comment:

Anita Moore said...

Thank you for posting this. I have posted the video on my own blog and linked you.

What were we thinking when we tried to get rid of music like this and replace it with the insignificant melodies (as Dietrich von Hildebrand called them) that infest so many churches today? Who can doubt that this was the work of the enemy?