09 May 2011

This Joyful Eastertide

Not a day but a whole season:  Eastertide, the Feast of Resurrection.  And so we live in the joy of the great 50 Days that will culminate on Pentecost.  We mark these days in several ways at St. Paul's.

1.  We substituted the Kyrie litany (943) for the Kyrie in the Divine Service
2.  We substitute Splendor and Honor (950) as the Hymn of Praise in the Divine Service (mega cool when the bells accompany the organ and the singing!)
3.  We substitute the joyous Celtic Alleluia (951) for the Alleluia in the Divine Service, and the alleluia is lengthened as the gradual is omitted
4.  We stand to receive our Lord's body and blood (we normally kneel for the Eucharist).
5.  We keep singing Easter hymns all through the 50 Days, including our closing hymn:  "He Is Arisen, Glorious Word!"
6.  We bump up the chanting - all collects, the Preface, and the Our Father.
7.  The paschal candle burns like a pillar of fire beside the Altar (until we move it to the Font again at Ascension, but we keep it lit through the day of Pentecost)

All these changes help mark the days as a time of overflowing joy and celebration when the light of a new creation, breaking forth out of the darkness of the grave, beams with gladdening rays into this sad and broken world.  There is a hope beyond all disappointments and grief.  The days of Easter are the days when we feel most at home.  If the joy of Christmas is that God made His home with us; the joy of Easter is that He has opened the way for us to make our home with Him! "When You had overcome the sharpness of death, You opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers."  During these days we bask in the light that streams from that open door. Sins forgiven, death destroyed, fears banished, joys overflowing - who could not love these holy days?


jgernander said...

What is the Celtic Alleluia? Can you tell me the origin of 951?

Also how is it lengthened?

It says "Cantor (Psalms)" toward the end. How does one do that?

Jerry Gernander

Anonymous said...

The early Christian Church chose
Sunday as their day of worship to
honor the Resurrected Christ.
Therefore, every Sunday is a "Little
Easter." As a result every Sunday
should be a day to rejoice as
grateful Christians gather to
celebrate Christ's victory over sin,
death, and the devil. In effect the
entire church year celebrates Easter.

Michael L. Anderson, M.D. said...

Well. yes. The beginning of the week is indeed an oft occurring and blessed reminder of our own new beginning, through the means of our Lord Christ's eternal triumph.

But we can't entirely ignore other God-given cycles which are veritably appreciated amongst us, in body and time, can we? As Pr. Weedon emphasized right from the get-go, we have an entire season which cries out "New birth! New creature! New birth! New creature!" If the Church would refuse to do it, the sparrows and finches would surely shoulder the load. If not the latter beings, then the stones. If they're not too busy, dancing a jig.

In this season, we do have our Mondays of Quasimodo Geniti, our Tuesdays of Misericordias Domini, our Wednesdays of Jubilate and a whole bunch more, actually. Fifty days of this, from the Lord who admired the lilies of the field, the work of His hands.

What a wonderful time to be alive ... forever! Even the names that grace this delightful season, have a rhythm that would make a normal EKG blush.

William Weedon said...

Jerry, sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I do not know the origin of 951, but the people sure do belt it out with joy. The alleluia is lengthened by having the people sing the four-fold alleluia, then the cantor a verse, then the four-fold alleluia again, then the verse again, then the four-fold alleluia again. Normally, the people only sing the alleluia before and after the verse.

Easiest way to use a verse with cantor singing the verse, is to use the "b" option in the LSB's Organist edition, and then to match it with tone E.