Friday, April 22, 2011

The Exultet from the English Missal

NOW LET THE ANGELIC HOST OF HEAVEN REJOICE: let the divine mysteries rejoice: And for the victory of the mighty King, let the trumpet of salvation sound forth. Let the earth also be glad, illumined by the rays of this great brightness, and enlightened by the splendor of the eternal King, let her know that she hath put away the darkness of the whole world. Let our mother the Church also rejoice, adorned with the brightness of so great a light: and let this temple resound with the triumphant voices of the peoples: Wherefore, dearly beloved brethren, who are here present in the wondrous clearness of this holy light, join with me, I beseech you, in calling upon the mercy of almighty God. That he who hath been pleased, for no merit of mine, to admit me into the number of his Levites: may pour on me the brightness of his light, and make me meet to proclaim the praises of this Candle. Through Jesus Christ his Son our Lord: Who liveth and reigneth with him in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God. Throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
V. Lift up your hearts.
R. We lift them up unto the Lord.
V. Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
R. It is meet and right so to do.

IT IS VERY MEET and right that we should, with the whole affection of our heart and mind, and with the service of our lips, give praise unto the invisible God, the Father almighty. And unto his only-begotten Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Who paid for us to the eternal Father the debt of Adam’s transgression: and with his dear blood wiped away the reproach of our former offences. For this is the paschal feast wherein the very Lamb is slain, by whose blood the doorposts of the faithful are made holy. This is the night, wherein of old thou didst lead forth our fathers, the children of Israel out of Egypt, and didst make them pass as on dry land through the Red Sea. Yea, this is the night, that with the brightness of the pillar hath purged away the darkness of iniquity. This is the night, which throughout the whole world today doth separate them that believe in Christ from the wickedness of the age, and from the darkness of transgressions, reneweth them unto grace, restoreth them to holiness. This is the night wherein, breaking the chains of death, Christ ascended from hell in triumph. For naught indeed had it profited us to be born, if it had not profited us to be redeemed. O how wonderful the condescension of thy loving kindness! O how inestimable the goodness of thy love: who to redeem a slave didst deliver up thy Son! O truly necessary sin of Adam, which by the death of Christ was done away! O happy fault, which was counted worthy to have such and so great a Redeemer! O night truly blessed, which alone was worthy to know the time and the hour when Christ rose again from hell! This is the night whereof it is written: And the night is as clear as the day: and, Then shall my night be turned into day. The sanctifying power therefore of this night putteth to flight the deeds of wickeness, washeth away sins: restoreth innocence to the fallen, and joy to them that mourn; casteth out enmities, prepareth concord, and boweth down principalities.

THEREFORE in this night of grace accept, O holy Father, the evening sacrifice of this incense; which, by the hands of thy ministers, holy Church doth lay before thee, in the solemn offering of this Candle, made from the work of bees. But we already know the excellency of this pillar, which for the honor of God, the sparkling fire doth kindle.
WHICH, though it be divided into parts, suffereth not loss by the borrowing of its light. For it is fed by melting wax, which the bee the mother hath wrought into the substance of this precious Candle.

O NIGHT TRULY BLESSED, which did spoil the Egyptians, and made rich the Hebrews! O night wherein heavenly things are joined unto earthly, things human unto things divine. We therefore pray thee, O Lord: that this Candle, consecrated to the honor of thy name, may continue without ceasing to vanquish the darkness of this night. That, being accepted for a savour of sweetness, it may be mingled with the lights of heaven. May the morning star find it burning; that morning star, I say, which knoweth not his going down. That star, which, rising again from hell, steadfastly giveth light to all mankind. We therefore pray thee, O Lord: that thou wouldest vouchsafe to rule, govern and preserve with thy continual protection us thy servants, the whole clergy and thy most faithful people: together with our most blessed Father [Pope N.] and our Bishop N., granting us peaceful times in this our paschal joy.

Look also on those who rule us in power, and by the ineffable gift of thy goodness and mercy, direct their thoughts to justice and peace, that from the busy toil of earth they may attain unto the heavenly country with all thy people. Through the same Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord: Who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God: throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

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