Christus Resurréxit! Resurréxit Vere! Blessed Pascaltide greetings on this Easter morning, the first day within the Octave of Easter. The great Benedictine liturgist, Dom Prosper Gueranger OSB, aptly sums up the joy of Easter Sunday morning as experienced by the Blessed Mother, who according to tradition was the first to see her risen Son:
“The night between Saturday and Sunday has well nigh run its course, and the day-dawn is appearing. The Mother of sorrows is waiting, in courageous hope and patience, for the blissful moment of her Jesus’ return. Magdalene and the other holy women have spent the night in watching, and are preparing to start for the sepulcher. In limbo, the Soul of our crucified Lord is about to give the glad word of departure to the myriads of the long-imprisoned holy souls, who cluster round Him in adoring love. Death is still holding his silent sway over the sepulcher, where rests the Body of Jesus. Since the day when he gained his first victim, Abel, he has swept off countless generations; but never has he held in his grasp a prey so noble as this that now lies in the tomb near Calvary. Never has the terrible sentence of God, pronounced against our first parents, received such a fulfillment as this; but never has death received such a defeat as the one that is now preparing. It is true, the power of God has, at times brought back the dead to life: the son of the widow of Naim, and Lazarus, were reclaimed from the bondage of this tyrant death; but he regained his sway over them all. But his Victim of Calvary is to conquer him forever, for this is He of whom it is written in the prophecy: “O death! I will be thy death!” Yet a few brief moments and the battle will be begun, and life shall vanquish death.
…Meanwhile, our risen Jesus, seen by no other mortal eye, has sped to His most holy Mother. He is the Son of God; He is the vanquisher of death; but He is, likewise, the Son of Mary. She stood near Him to the last, uniting the sacrifice of her mother’s heart with that He made upon the Cross; it is just, therefore, that she should be the first to partake of the joy of His resurrection. The Gospel does not relate the apparition thus made by Jesus to His Mother, whereas all the others are fully described. It is not difficult to assign the reason. The other apparitions were intended as proofs of the resurrection; this to Mary was dictated by the tender love borne to her by her Son. Both nature and grace required that His first visit should be to such a Mother, and Christian hearts dwell with delight on the meditation of the mystery. There was no need of its being mentioned in the Gospel; the tradition of the holy Fathers, beginning with St. Ambrose, bears sufficient testimony to it; and even had they been silent, our hearts would have told it us. And why was it that our Savior rose fro the tomb so early on the day He had fixed for His resurrection? It was because His filial love was impatient to satisfy the vehement longings of His dearest and most afflicted Mother. Such is the teaching of many pious and learned writers; and who that knows aught of Jesus and Mary could refuse to accept it?
But who is there would attempt to describe the joy of such a meeting? Those eyes, that had grown dim from wakefulness and tears, now flash with delight at beholding the brightness which tells her Jesus is come. He calls her by her name; not with the tone of voice which pierced her soul when He addressed her from the Cross, but with an accent of joy and love, such as a son would take when telling a mother that he had triumphed. The Body which, three days ago, she had seen covered with Blood and dead, is now radiant with life, beaming with the reflections of divinity. He speaks to her words of tenderest affection, He embraces her, He kisses her. Who, we ask, would dare to describe this scene, which the devout Abbot Rupert says so inundated the soul of Mary with joy that it made her forget all the sorrows she had endured.”
Nor must we suppose that the visit was a short one. In one of the revelations granted to the seraphic St. Teresa, our Lord told her that when He appeared to His blessed Mother immediately after His resurrection, He found her so overwhelmed with grief that she would soon have died; that it was not until several moments had passed, that she was able to realize the immense joy of His presence; and that He remained a long time with her, in order to console her.
Let us, who love this blessed Mother and have seen her offer up her Son on Calvary for our sake, let us affectionately rejoice in the happiness wherewith Jesus now repays her, and let us learn to compassionate her in her dolors. This is the first manifestation of our risen Jesus: it is a just reward for the unwavering faith which has dwelt in Mary’s soul during these three days, when all but she had lost it. But it is time for Him to show Himself to others, that so the glory of His resurrection may be made known to the world. His first visit was to her who is the dearest to Him of all creatures, and who well deserved the favor; now, in His goodness, He is about to console those devoted women, whose grief is, perhaps, too human, but their love is firm, and neither death nor the tomb have shaken it.
- Source: Easter Sunday reflection, The Liturgical Year by Dom Prosper Gueranger, OSB: https://sensusfidelium.com/the-liturgical-year-dom-prosper-gueranger/easter/easter-sunday/
Commentary on Sunday’s Easter Collect: As custom, we share Dr. Mike Foley’s commentary on Easter Sunday’s Collect for the Mass: http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2021/04/the-collect-for-easter-sunday.html
Easter Sunday Latin Masses
- St. Thomas Aquinas – 11:30am
- St. Ann – 12:30pm
- St. John the Baptist, Tryon – 8:30am (2 hours west of Charlotte)
- Prince of Peace, Taylors, SC – 12 noon (2 hours southwest of Charlotte)
- St. Elizabeth the Hill Country, Boone – 1pm (2 hours northwest of Charlotte)
- Our Lady of Grace, Greensboro – 1pm (1.5 hours north of Charlotte)
- Our Lady of the Lake, Chapin, SC – 1pm (1.5 hours south of Charlotte)
Latin Mass Schedule Changes for Easter Week
Easter Thursday April 21: There will be a 10am Latin Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas parish. The normal 7pm Latin Mass is canceled for this week only.
Respect Life Latin Mass – Saturday April 23, 8am (St. Ann)
St. Ann will offer its monthly 8am Latin Mass for an end to abortion, followed by prayers at the abortion facility (or a Holy Hour of Reparation).
Divine Mercy Novena Good Friday – Easter Saturday (April 15 – 23): Good Friday began the Divine Mercy novena which concludes the day before Divine Mercy/Low Sunday, Saturday April 23. St. Ann’s features a statue of the Divine Mercy of Our Lord in front of the parish, honoring the late seminarian & parishioner Michael Kitson who passed away on Divine Mercy Sunday a few years ago. As we have asked in prior years, for those who observe this devotion please consider praying for these intentions as part of your novena:
For the suffering Christians in the Middle East and around the world; an end of abortion in our country; the reestablishment of the weekly Sunday Latin Mass at Sacred Heart parish in Salisbury; restoration of the Latin Triduum for 2023 (new addition); and for the regularization (resolution of the status) of the Society of St. Pius X.
Latin Mass & Traditional News
- Maundy Thursday Sermon: We share a wonderful sermon by Fr. Armand de Malleray, FSSP, at the Latin Mass parish in Warrington, England for Maundy Thursday. Father preaches on the Holy Eucharist, the priesthood, and extends an invitation for young men to consider the priesthood, and particularly his congregation, the Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), which offers the Latin Mass exclusively: https://youtu.be/KEA99uvyMOA (He also subtly and with gratitude, notes that thanks to Pope Francis’ February 11 decree, there is no safer place for a Latin Mass seminarian than the FSSP)
- The Good Things of Good Friday: Dr. Mike Foley pens an excellent article on the history of the Church’s commemoration of Good Friday and other traditional customs (food dishes, saints, and conversions) related to this solemn day: https://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2022/04/the-good-things-of-good-friday.html#.YlucDtPMKHs
- The Ecstasy and Terror of Holy Thursday: Fr. John Perricone (who visited St. Ann in 2018 to preach the Lenten mission) as written a helpful piece on the important distinctions of the Holy Thursday Mass: https://www.crisismagazine.com/2022/the-ecstasy-and-terror-of-holy-thursday
- THE SACRED PARASCEVE: Good Friday Meditation from Viganò: The Remnant has posted a beautiful reflection by former U.S. papal nuncio, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò who offers some words on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, comparing it to the state of the Church today, and the need to repent our own inequities and the call for conversion: https://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/articles/item/5931-the-sacred-parasceve-good-friday-meditation-from-vigano/
Easter Evening: The Road to Emmaus – Dom Prosper Gueranger, OSB
To conclude today’s update as it began, we share excerpts from Dom Gueranger’s continued Easter reflection from his book, The Liturgical Year, specifically the fifth and last appearance Our Lord made on Easter Sunday evening, to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus:
The Day of Jesus’ Resurrection is fast drawing to its close. It is the day honoured by God with the greatest of all miracles: it is the most important day that has ever dawned upon the world since Light was first created: but the night will soon be upon us, shadowing the brightness of the great day. Four times has our Redeemer appeared. He would now manifest Himself to the whole of His Apostles, and thus enable them to know by their own experience what they have, a few hours since, learned from Peter’s testimony. But, leaving, for a few moments longer, these men, whom He honours with the name of Brethren, and who now believe in His Resurrection, He would first console two hearts that are grieving on His account, though their grief comes from their want of faith.
Two men are traversing the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus, slowly and sadly. They are evidently suffering from some cruel disappointment; nay, they give one the idea that a motive of fear impels them to leave the city. They had been Disciples of Jesus; but the ignominious and violent death of this Master, in whom they had had such confidence, has filled their hearts with bitter despondency. They were ashamed of having joined themselves with one who is not what they took Him to be. They had hid themselves after His execution; but the report having been spread of His sepulcher having been broken into, and the Body taken away, they resolve to seek a safer refuge. Jesus’ enemies have great power, and are doubtless busy taking proceedings against those who have dared to break the seal of the sepulcher. Perhaps all that have had any connection with this Jesus will be arraigned before the public tribunal.
Whilst thus conferring with each other on the sad events of the last few days, a stranger overtakes them and walks with them. It is Jesus. So absorbed are they in their own sorrow, that they do not recognize Him. The same happens to us, when we give way to feelings of human grief, we lose sight of that God who comes to cheer us by His presence along the path of our exile…
…At length, Jesus makes himself known to our two incredulous disciples. They have placed him at the head of the table; it is for him to break the bread. He takes it into his divine hands, as he did at the Last Supper; and no sooner has he divided the bread and given them their portion, than their eyes are opened, and they recognize their guest as Jesus, the risen Jesus. They would throw themselves at his feet—but he has disappeared, leaving them mute with surprise, and yet transported with exceeding joy. It is the fifth apparition. It is described by St Luke, and forms the Gospel of tomorrow’s Mass (Easter Monday).
The two disciples cannot wait; though so late in the evening, they must hurry back to Jerusalem, and tell the Apostles that their Master is living, that they have seen him, and talked with him. They therefore leave Emmaus, where they thought to pass the night, and are soon back in the city from which they had tremblingly fled. They are soon with the Apostles; but they find them already aware of the glad tidings, and fervent in their faith of the Resurrection. Before they have time to open their lips, the Apostles exclaim: ‘The Lord hath truly risen, and hath appeared unto Simon!’ The two disciples then relate what has just happened to themselves.
Christus Resurréxit! Resurréxit Vere! What Mass are you attending Easter Sunday?