Monday, June 23, 2008

Christians, to the Paschal Victim

Today's lectionary reading is John 20: 1-18.  "Christians, to the Paschal Victim" or Victimae Paschali is the sequence for Easter Sunday.  At one time in the Roman Catholic Church, there were many sequences in use, but the Council of Trent abolished all but a few.  Today only five are used:  Victimae Paschali (Easter), Veni Sancte Spiritus (Pentecost), Lauda Sion (Corpus Christi), Stabat Mater (Our Lady of Sorrows) and Dies Irae (Requiem Mass for funerals, All Souls, or other Mass for the Dead).  The first two are obligatory in the Roman Church; the last three are optional.  The sequence was usually placed before the Alleluia:
1.  First Reading
2.  Gradual
3.  Second Reading
4.  Sequence
5.  Alleluia
6.  Holy Gospel.
In recent years, the sequence is sometimes placed after the Alleluia.
Victimae Paschali is attributed to Wipo of Burgandy (1039), chaplain of the German Emperor Conrad II in the 11th century.  In Lutheran Service Book, only the text is given for the Victimae Paschali and the hymn "Christ Is Arisen" is sung between the verses of "Christians, to the Paschal Victim," which may be sung by the choir.

Christians, to the Paschal Victim      Victimae Paschali
Offer your thankful praises!              laudes immolent Christiani.
The Lamb the sheep has ransomed: Agnus redemit oves:
Christ, who only is sinless,               Christus innocens Patri
Reconciling sinners to the Father.    reconciliavit peccatores.
Death and life have contended         Mors et vita duello
In that combat stupendous:              conflixere mirando:
The Prince of life, who died,             dux vitae mortuus,
Reigns immortal.                             regnat vivus.
        sing LSB 459, stanza 1
"Speak, Mary, declaring                   Dic nobis Maria,
What you saw when wayfaring."       Quid vidisti in via?
"The tomb of Christ, who is living,   Sepulchrum Christi viventis,
The glory of Jesus' resurrection;      et gloriam vidi resurgentis:
Bright angels attesting,                    Angelicos testes,
The shroud and napkin resting.       sudarium et vestes.
My Lord, my hope, is arisen;           Surrexit Christus spes mea:
To Galilee He goes before you."      praecedet suos in Galilaeam.
       sing LSB 459, stanza 2
Christ indeed from death is risen,           Scimus Christum surrexisse
Our new life obtaining.                            a mortuis vere:
Have mercy, victor King, ever reigning!  Tu nobis, victor Rex miserere.
Amen.  Alleluia.                                      Amen.  Alleluia.
       sing LSB 459, stanza 3

1 comment:

Orianna Laun said...

It's too bad that more churches don't use this sequence. It tells the story of Easter so beautifully and has a wonderful melody.