Easter Sunday

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?

Commentary on Sunday’s Easter Collect: As custom, we share a 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

Charlotte (Normal schedule)

  • St. Thomas Aquinas – 11:30am
  • St. Ann – 12:30pm

Schedule Change: Easter Thursday April 13, 10am Latin Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas: Due to Easter Week, the Thursday Latin Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas will be at 10am this Thursday. The normal 7pm Latin Mass is canceled for this week only.

Latin Masses This Week & Easter Sunday

  • Wednesday – 6pm St. Ann (Easter Wednesday)
  • Thursday – 10am, St. Thomas Aquinas (Easter Thursday – see schedule change above)
  • Friday – 7am – St. Ann (Easter Friday)

Save the Date: Saturday April 22, 7pm (St. Thomas Aquinas) – Holy Face Presentation with Fr. Lawrence Carney: Fr. Lawrence Carney will be visiting St. Thomas Aquinas parish to give a special talk on Saturday April 22 at 7pm. Father is the head of the League of St. Martin, which promotes the Holy Face Devotion which has been promoted often in these update. Father offers the Latin Mass exclusively, is chaplain to the traditional Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles, in Gower, Missouri, and has recently published a book with TAN Books, on the Holy Face devotion: https://tanbooks.com/products/books/tan-books/the-secret-of-the-holy-face/  To learn more about his work please visit: https://www.martinians.org/ (Please see attached flyer for event information)

Fr. Carney will also be offering and preaching the 11:30am Latin Mass on Sunday April 23. Please make all efforts to attend this important talk.

Holy Face Devotions

  • St Mark – Mondays at 5pm
  • St. Thomas Aquinas – Tuesdays 6am in the main church
  • St. Ann – Tuesdays 7:30am in the chapel after the Novus Ordo Mass (uses the booklet/chaplet which takes 15-20 minutes)
  • St Michael the Archangel, Gastonia – Tuesdays, 9am, Main Church
  • Holy Spirit, Denver – Tuesdays 10-11am after the Novus Ordo Mass
  • Don’t see your parish? Why not organize one?

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!’[41] The two disciples then relate what has just happened to themselves.

Christus Resurréxit! Resurréxit Vere! What Mass are you attending Easter Sunday?