Easter-The Triumph and Glory of the Risen Christ


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By Dr. Eugene D’Souza, Moodubelle
Bellevision Media Network

03 April 2010: Following the forty days of prayers, abstinence, fast and charity during the period of Lent and the three days of Triduum on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday, Easter is the period of joy and happiness for all the Christians of the world as it is the day on which Jesus Christ following his passion and death on the Cross rose from the dead with triumph and glory. The resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter is the manifestation of the triumph of light over darkness and life over sin and death. The liturgy of Easter begins on Holy Saturday evening usually known as the Easter Vigil.

Holy Saturday is the day after Good Friday and before Easter and is considered as the last day of the Holy Week, the day on which Christians prepare for Easter.  This day reminds the Christians about the day that the body of Jesus Christ lay in the tomb. In the Roman Catholic liturgy as well as Anglican and Methodist traditions, no Mass is offered on this day.

Nightfall on Holy Saturday is time for joy and greatest expectation because of the beautiful liturgy of the Easter Vigil, often referred to as the Mother of all Holy Vigils, or the Great Service of Light.  The atmosphere in the church is different: the holy water fonts are drained, all the lights are out, the tabernacle is empty.

The liturgical service during the Easter Vigil begins outside the church. A new fire is lit and blessed. A Paschal Candle is prepared with these words while the priest marks the candle: Christ yesterday and today, the Beginning and the end, Alpha and Omega, all time belongs to him,  and all the ages to him be glory and power through every age for ever. Amen. With these words the priest engraves the present year 2010 on the  Paschal Candle. The priest lights the candle from the new fire, saying: May the light of Christ, rising in glory, dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds.

The candle is then processed through the church, with the deacon lifting the candle at three different times, singing: Christ our light (Lumen Christi) and the congregation singing in reply: Thanks be to God (Deo gratias). Everyone lights their candle from the Easter candle and continue in procession until the whole church is alight. The Paschal candle symbolizes Christ, the Light of the World.

During the Easter vigil, three Old Testament passages are read. The Gloria is sung before the reading of the Epistle of the Romans, and the Alleluia is sung before the Gospel. Following the Gospel and homily, the Easter water is blessed and  new members also known as Catechumens are initiated into the Christian faith through baptism, and the faithful are blessed with the blessed holy water and renew their baptismal promises.

After this ritual the Mass resumes with the special prayers inserted during the Eucharist Prayer. The whole church is called to join at the sacrificial table that Christ prepared for us through his death and resurrection. The Mass ends with the glorious words uttered by the celebrant: “The Mass is ended, go in peace, alleluia, alleluia.” And the joyful congregation replying: “Thanks be to God, alleluia, alleluia.” As people come out of the church they greet ‘Happy Easter’ to their family members, friends and even others that hey come across expressing the joy and happiness at the triumph of the Risen Christ.

Easter is one of the holiest festivals in the Christian calendar. It is celebrated around the world, with great fanfare and religious fervour. While the religious observations of the festival follow the Christian liturgies of respective Churches, the Easter celebration varies from country to country and region to region due to regional influences.

In the majority of countries, Easter bunny is the prominent Easter symbol, while in France, Easter fish and bells are the major Easter icons. In many Eastern European countries, Easter egg decoration is an integral part of Easter celebrations. However, in today’s age of rampant commercialization, the religious significance of Easter is fast losing its relevance and people are increasingly embracing the festive aspect of the Easter celebration.

Bellevision wishes all our readers and supporters a Happy and Joyful Easter.

 

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Comments on this Article
laurel, Ughelli/Delta State Mon, April-5-2010, 2:05
May the death of our lord Jesus Christ take away all our failure, disappointment, pains and lot more and may his resurrection brings us all favour, joy, success, appointment AMEN. Wishing you all Merry Easter Festivity Celebration and more years Celebration ahead.
peter, bellshill Sun, April-4-2010, 3:26
alleluia,alleluia.christ as risen from the dead to save the world from sin glory to risen christ alleluia.
prince, podikambla/dubai Sun, April-4-2010, 2:04
Thanks Dr Eugine for your special article on Easter . May the risen lord fil you with love and may all your prayers be granted.
simon.castelino, moodubelle kalmady jeddah ksa Sat, April-3-2010, 9:18
Sing alleluia to the lord thank you Dr Eugene a spical article wish u all happy easter
Manoj and Rima, Moodubelle/Dubai Sat, April-3-2010, 3:15
May the risen lord bless everyone. wish you all a Happy Easter.
Victor D Souza, Moodubelle / Doha Sat, April-3-2010, 10:31
Thank you Dr. Eugene, even though you have just travelled from Dubai to Muscat you still found time to present us (Bellevision viewers) with the special Easter article. May the Team BV and all the viewers share an Easter that s bright and sunny, filled with love and happiness in every way
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