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volume for Lent, but which are needed for the Monday after Low Sunday, when Easter falls between March 22 and April 2, which is frequently the case.
I.-The History of Paschal Time
II. The Mystery of Paschal Time
III.-Practice during Paschal Time
V.-On hearing Mass, during Paschal Time
VI.—On Holy Communion, during Paschal
CHAP. VII. Of the Office of Vespers for Sundays
and Feasts, during Paschal Time
CHAP. VIII. Of the Office of Compline, during
CHAPTER THE FIRST.
THE HISTORY OF PASCHAL TIME.
WE give the name of Paschal Time to the period between Easter Sunday and the Saturday following Whit Sunday. It is the most sacred portion of the Liturgical Year, and the one towards which the whole Cycle converges. We shall easily understand how this is, if we reflect upon the greatness of the Easter Feast, which is called the Feast of feasts, and the Solemnity of solemnities, in the same manner, says St. Gregory,1 as the most sacred part of the Temple was called the Holy of holies; and the Book of Sacred Scripture, wherein are described the espousals between Christ and the Church, is called the Canticle of canticles. It is on this day, that the mission of the Word Incarnate attains the object towards which it has hitherto been unceasingly tending: mankind is raised up from his fall, and regains what he had lost by Adam's sin.
Christmas gave us a Man-God; three days have scarcely passed, since we witnessed His infinitely precious Blood shed for our ransom; but now, on the day of Easter, our Jesus is no longer the Victim of death: He is a Conqueror, that destroys death, the child of sin, and proclaims life, that undying life which He has purchased for us. The humiliation of 1 Homilia, xxii.
His swathing-bands, the sufferings of His Agony and Cross, these are passed; all is now glory,-glory for Himself, and glory also for us. On the day of Easter, God regains, by the Resurrection of the Man-God, His creation such as He made it at the beginning; the only vestige now left of death, is that likeness to sin which the Lamb of God deigned to take upon Himself. Neither is it Jesus alone that returns to eternal life; the whole human race also has risen to immortality together with our Jesus. By a man came death,' says the Apostle; and by a Man the Resurrection of the dead: and as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive."1
The anniversary of this Resurrection is, therefore, the great Day, the day of joy, the day by excellence; the day to which the whole year looks forward in expectation, and on which its whole economy is formed. But as it is the holiest of days, since it opens to us the gate of Heaven, into which we shall enter because we have risen together with Christ,-the Church would have us come to it well prepared by bodily mortification and by compunction of heart. It was for this that she instituted the Fast of Lent, and that she bade us, during Septuagesima, look forward to the joy of her Easter, and be filled with sentiments suitable to the approach of so grand a solemnity. We obeyed; we have gone through the period of our preparation; and now the Easter sun has risen upon us!
But it was not enough to solemnize the great Day when Jesus, our Light, rose from the darkness of the tomb: there was another anniversary which claimed our grateful celebration. The Incarnate Word rose on the first day of the week,-that same day, whereon, four thousand years before, He, the Uncreated Word of the Father, had begun the work of the Creation, by calling forth light, and separating it
11 Cor. xv. 21, 22.