Tag Archives: Resurrection

Jesus lives! Thy terrors now

Jesus lives! thy terrors now
can no longer, death, appall us;
Jesus lives! by this we know
thou, O grave, canst not enthrall us.
Alleluia!

Jesus lives! henceforth is death
but the gate of life immortal;
this shall calm our trembling breath
when we pass its gloomy portal.
Alleluia!

Jesus lives! for us he died;
then, alone to Jesus living,
pure in heart may we abide,
glory to our Savior giving.
Alleluia!

Jesus lives! our hearts know well
nought from us his love shall sever;
life, nor death, nor powers of hell
tear us from his keeping ever.
Alleluia!

Jesus lives! to him the throne
over all the world is given:
may we go where he has gone,
rest and reign with him in heaven.
Alleluia!

Words: Christian Friedrich Gellert (1715-1769), 1757;
trans. Frances E. Cox (1812-1897), 1841
Tune: ST. ALBINUS (Henry John Gauntlett, 1805-1876)

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O sons and daughters let us sing

Refrain:
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

O sons and daughters, let us sing!
The King of heaven, the glorious King,
o’er death today rose triumphing.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

Refrain

That Easter morn, at break of day,
the faithful women went their way
to seek the tomb where Jesus lay.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

Refrain

An angel clad in white they see,
who sat, and spake unto the three,
“Your Lord doth go to Galilee.”
Alleluia! Alleluia!

Refrain

That night the apostles met in fear;
amidst them came their Lord most dear,
and said, “My peace be on all here.”
Alleluia!

On this most holy day of days
to God your hearts and voices raise,
in laud and jubilee and praise.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

Refrain

Words: attributed to Jean Tisserand, fifteenth century; trans. John Mason Neale, 1851;
Tune: O FILII ET FILIAE (Jean Tisserand, d. 1494)

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He is risen!

He is risen, he is risen!
Tell it out with joyful voice:
he has burst his three days’ prison;
let the whole wide earth rejoice:
death is conquered, we are free,
Christ has won the victory.

Come, ye sad and fearful-hearted,
with glad smile and radiant brow!
Lent’s long shadows have departed;
Jesus’ woes are over now,
and the passion that he bore–
sin and pain can vex no more.

Come, with high and holy hymning,
hail our Lord’s triumphant day;
not one darksome cloud is dimming
yonder glorious morning ray,
breaking o’er the purple east,
symbol of our Easter feast.

He is risen, he is risen!
He hath opened heaven’s gate:
we are free from sin’s dark prison,
risen to a holier state;
and a brighter Easter beam
on our longing eyes shall stream.

Words: Cecil Frances Alexander, 1846
Music: UNSER HERRSCHER (Joachim Neander, 1680)

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Holy Saturday: A Reflection

O God, Creator of heaven and earth: Grant that, as the crucified body of your dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so we may await with him the coming of the third day, and rise with him to newness of life; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

This year, Holy Saturday is hitting me a little differently. This is normally a day that I forget about. I quickly move from the celebrations of Maundy Thursday (Christ’s last supper and footwashing), to Good Friday (remembering his death on the cross), and then often move my thoughts directly to the celebration of the Resurrection on Easter. However, this year I find myself contemplating the depth of Holy Saturday.

Why have I always rushed past it? Why is it an often forgotten about observation? This is the day we remember Christ being laid in the tomb. Perhaps it is because this is the most painful part. There is no more body for us to see on the cross. No more body to be prepared for burial, wrapped in linens and spices. The body is no longer in our midst. It is buried, sealed away in the tomb…for now.

We all are living in our own versions of Holy Saturday. Personally, I feel a connection with the recent loss of my mother. She died a few months ago, and this time without her is a sort of perpetual Holy Saturday. Her body is no longer with me. She has returned to the earth…for now. She is already living in light perpetual in the presence of God and all the saints, but for me, and my earthly body, I can no longer be with her. Not until I join her in the light of God’s presence.

But this is the hardest time. It is the time between the death and the rising for my eyes that I am living in. It is the hardest time. The time when faith is tried the most. When fears can easily give way to doubt. When the love I once knew so well can turn into remorse or anger. It is through Christ’s example of life, suffering, death, and resurrection that I can rest assured that my mother and I will be reunited someday. On her death bed, I told her that I believe when she awakes in heaven, we will all already be there together, resurrected in the time of eternity in the presence of God. Time has no meaning to God, and I believe that when we die of our earthly bodies, we not only enter our heavenly bodies, but we enter the realm of God’s time, where all earthly boundaries and explanations lose their meaning.

Mom is already with me. But for me, now, in this earthly body, I am living in a sort of ongoing Holy Saturday. We have Christ to thank for unlocking the gates of heaven for all of creation to receive the free gift of salvation into eternal life. Thanks be to God!

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The strife is o’er

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

The strife is o’er, the battle done,
the victory of life is won;
the song of triumph has begun.
Alleluia!

The powers of death have done their worst,
but Christ their legions hath dispersed:
let shout of holy joy outburst.
Alleluia!

The three sad days are quickly sped,
he rises glorious from the dead:
all glory to our risen Head!
Alleluia!

He closed the yawning gates of hell,
the bars from heaven’s high portals fell;
let hymns of praise his triumphs tell!
Alleluia!

Lord! by the stripes which wounded thee,
from death’s dread sting thy servants free,
that we may live and sing to thee.
Alleluia!

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

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St. Mary Magdelene

Mary of Magdala near Capernaum was one of several women who followed Jesus and ministered to him in Galilee. The Gospel according to Luke records that Jesus “went on through cities and villages, preaching and bringing the goods news of the kingdom of God. And the Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out … ” (Luke 8:1-2). The Gospels tell us that Mary was healed by Jesus, followed him, and was one of those who stood near his cross at Calvary.

It is clear that Mary Magdelene’s life was radically changed by Jesus’s healing. Her ministry of service and steadfast companionship, even as a witness to the crucifixion, has, through the centuries, been an example of the faithful ministry of women to Christ. All four Gospels name Mary as one of the women who went to the tomb to mourn and care for Jesus’s body. Her weeping for the loss of her Lord strikes a common chord with the grief of all others over the death of loved ones. Jesus’s tender response to her grief—meeting her in the garden, revealing himself to her by calling her name—makes her the first witness to the risen Lord. She is given the command, “Go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God” (John 20:17). As the first messenger of the resurrection, she tells the disciples, “I have seen the Lord” (John 20:18).

In the tradition of the Eastern Church, Mary is regarded as the equal of an apostle; and she is held in veneration as the patron saint of the great cluster of monasteries on Mount Athos.

Almighty God, whose blessed Son restored Mary Magdalene to health of body and of mind, and called her to be a witness of his resurrection: Mercifully grant that by your grace we may be healed from all our infirmities and know you in the power of his unending life; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

–Excerpted from Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints, copyright 2010 by the Church Pension Fund.

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Lenten Reflection – Day 34

Then he said to me, “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, `Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.’ Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act,” says the Lord. —Ezekiel 37:11-14

This hast to be one of the most fantastical readings in the book of Ezekiel, a book of prophesy and lament written when the Jews were in exile in Babylon. This reading conjures images of resurrection, foretelling the message that is to come in Jesus Christ. These words of Ezekiel still speak to us today, much like the words of the other prophets. They turn our hearts and minds towards the One who came, the One who will rise from the dead in everlasting glory, the One in whom ultimate hope and salvation is found.

dry bones

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