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Catholic Activity: Liturgy of Easter Sunday and the Octave of Easter


An explanation of the liturgy of the Easter Masses.


Easter is the "Feast of feasts", the "Solemnity of solemnities" and the "Great Sunday". Festive solemnity should mark all the Masses celebrated on Easter Sunday, the supreme day of the Christian year. One of the Easter Masses, in addition to the Vigil, should be solemnly sung. There are two exceptions to the usual sections (Liturgy of the Word and the Eucharist) of the Mass. The Sequence is said and instead of the Profession of Faith, the congregation renews their baptismal promises. Throughout the Easter Octave, the sequence may be sung or said before the Gospel.


Before the Gospel is proclaimed, the ancient sequence Victimae Paschali of Easter Sunday is read or sung. The Sequence (Sequentia) is the liturgical hymn of the Mass, which occurs on four feasts: Easter, Pentecost, Corpus Christi and Our Lady of Sorrows. This sequence, Victimae Paschali is attributed to Wipo of Burgundy, who was chaplain of the German Emperor Conrad II during the 11th century.

Christians, to the Paschal Victim Offer your thankful praises!

A Lamb the sheep redeems: Christ, who only is sinless, Reconciles sinners to the Father.

Death and life have contended in that combat stupendous: The Prince of life, who died, reigns immortal.

Speak, Mary, declaring What you saw, wayfaring. "The tomb of Christ, who is living, The glory of Jesus' resurrection;

Bright angels attesting, The shroud and napkin resting. Yes, my Christ my hope is arisen:

To Galilee he goes before you." Christ indeed from death is risen, our new life obtaining. Have mercy, victor King, ever reigning!

Amen. Alleluia.

The Alleluia verse throughout the week is "This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad, Alleluia." There is also a special preface of Easter. And when the Eucharistic Prayer I is used, the special Easter forms of "In union with the whole Church":

In union of the whole Church we celebrate that day (night) when Jesus Christ, our Lord, rose from the dead in his human body.

and "Father, accept this offering" (Hanc Igitur) is used.

Father, accept this offering from your whole family and from those born into the new life of water and the Holy Spirit with all their sins forgiven. Grant us your peace in this life, save us from final damnation, and count us among those you have chosen.

Finally, at the dismissal, the deacon or priest sings or says:

Go in the peace of Christ, alleluia, alleluia. or The Mass is ended, go in peace, alleluia, alleluia. or Go in peace to love and serve the Lord, alleluia, alleluia.

Response: Thanks be to God, alleluia, allleluia.

Jennifer Gregory Miller Jennifer G. Miller

Activity Source: Original Text (JGM) by Jennifer Gregory Miller, © Copyright 2003-2014 by Jennifer Gregory Miller

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