Flores for the Immaculate Conception – Victimae Paschali vs O Fortuna edition


After getting the Easter fire started up about 45 minutes before our Vigil began (I like huge Easter Fires) I turned round about and took this picture of brilliantly exploding Forsythia rising to the occasion in the middle of the night right next to the our tiny church. They’re a good replacement for the corpse flowers of yesterday.

It is a time of great joy. Christ Jesus, Mary Immaculate’s dearest Son, the Prince of the Most Profound Peace, is risen from the dead! A most blessed Easter to you all.

At the Easter Vigil, I had the privilege to sing the Exsultet in Latin. On this Easter day, I have the privilege to sing the Easter sequence, Victimae Paschali laudes, also in Latin, at both Masses (and then throughout the octave).

Victimae paschali laudes
immolent Christiani.

Agnus redemit oves:
Christus innocens Patri
reconciliavit peccatores.

Mors et vita duello
conflixere mirando:
dux vitae mortuus,
regnat vivus.

Dic nobis Maria,
quid vidisti in via?

Sepulcrum Christi viventis,
et gloriam vidi resurgentis:

Angelicos testes,
sudarium, et vestes.

Surrexit Christus spes mea:
praecedet suos in Galilaeam.

Scimus Christum surrexisse a mortuis vere: tu nobis, victor Rex, miserere.

Let Christians offer sacrificial
praises to the paschal victim.

The lamb has redeemed the sheep:
The Innocent Christ has reconciled
the sinners to the Father.

Death and life contended
in a spectacular battle:
the Prince of life, who died,
reigns alive.

Tell us, Mary, what did
you see on the road?

“I saw the tomb of the living Christ
and the glory of his rising,

The angelic witnesses, the
clothes and the shroud.”

“Christ my hope is arisen;
into Galilee, he will go before his own.”

We know Christ is truly risen from the dead!To us, victorious King, have mercy!

Sometimes it’s also good to take note of what Jesus saved us from, such as the despair and frustration screamingly evident in “O Fortuna” of Carl Orff. That was used, of course, in The Exorcist, which I saw at 14 years old on a school overnight trip.

Here’s the deal: Jesus, in rising from the dead, utterly changed our ways of hopelessness, should we choose, in His grace, to follow Him. He did this not with the worry and fear-mongering and hopelessness and the violence of the world, but with His goodness and kindness.

And that is precisely the reason why even if someone should rise from the dead, that will not be enough to make people believe (see Luke 16:31), that is, if they are not already following Moses and the prophets. If they go out of their way to reject God’s law written on our hearts (Romans 2:15), they will be too obtuse, too fearful, too self-referential, too self-congratulatory to take note of the evident implications of someone rising from the dead. They simply do not want love for others to be within their field of comprehension.

For them, everything is abstract. Everything is a mind game. Everything is just another occasion to escape further into their own little self-protected worlds.

The way to break through all that is to make it personal. For instance, it’s not about going to Mass after twenty years of being away, and skulking in the back of the Church, not feeling like one really belongs because one knows one shouldn’t be going to Holy Communion. It’s about going to Confession and then going to Mass and Holy Communion, making it personal.

And then comes the challenge (you knew it had to come) of giving some flowers to the Immaculate Conception, you know, Jesus’ mom, because it’s the right thing to do during the Octave of Easter after her hell-week of Holy Week. This makes things super personal. It’s makes us little kids eager to put a smile on mom’s face. It really is far-reaching, as far as bridging two universes, going from the mind-game thing of O Fortuna to that which is ever so personal in meeting up with the risen Jesus. Living in His presence, keeping His commandments, speaks loudly of His resurrection, for it is by His living love alone that we might be able to do that.

Anyway, today is, I think, a good day for about the best interpretation of the Hallelujah Chorus of Handel’s Messiah that I’ve ever heard. It’s from Andre Rieu’s “Live From Radio City Music Hall” in New York City 2004, with the Johann Strauss Orchestra and the Harlem Gospel Choir.

Brisk pace. Well done. It makes me want to ghost direct, as did my dad, especially when his favorite piece was played over his vacuum tube FM radio: die Fledermaus.

A bat? On Easter morning? Hey! It’s O.K. My hermitage, not far from my parish, was (is) in Transylvania County! ;-) I think I have too much fun. Happy Easter.


Filed under Flores

7 responses to “Flores for the Immaculate Conception – Victimae Paschali vs O Fortuna edition

  1. Gary Woodams

    Happy Easter Father

  2. Cathe D.

    Happy Easter! Father George

  3. elizdelphi

    Happy Resurrection Day to all!

    Do I love others? Jesus says how can you love God if you do not love your neighbor whom you can see, and yet I always wonder how I would really know if I love my neighbor. Even the people I do the most for or suffer the most willingly for (not that I usually seem to suffer very willingly), how do I know if I love them? It bothers me sometimes or maybe seems like my best efforts are sort of pretending and I am unsure of the purity of my intentions because I have times of being rather proud of myself or telling people my own “good deeds” and not sure if there is a difference between vainglory and over eagerness to be a visible good example, and I have to suggest to myself that others had a better human formation and a better nature, and grace builds on nature and it has less to build on in me [This sounds good but it is mistaken. I’ll tackle that in a post on its own.], also I do like to blame Adam and Eve. It seems like even my trying is so weak. To me the idea of God’s judgement is really comforting, Someone does know the truth for better or worse. He will know if His grace has been fruitful in me even a little bit, or if I have been a wicked and lazy servant. I don’t think it is inaccurate to say that if His grace is fruitful in me it is a miracle. How about writing this? Am I being fake-wise, wanting to please Father or other people and should shut up and do God’s will? Of course it’s pointless to wonder that and probably I should go on faking it till God makes His grace fruitful in me for real. [Too hard on yourself!]

    The teaching of St Therese of Lisieux is really good, about how St Dismas went to heaven on the merits of Our Lord and not on his own, and how this is a better deal since Jesus has more merits than us. When one has nothing and less than nothing, meeting up with the Resurrection is really something.

    Bats are very good and kind [unless they have rabies, as many do in these parts] compared with brown recluses [Sawyer’s Extractor! (Don’t do this at home!)], perhaps they have a better nature to build on than poisonous spiders. They both praise their Creator and Redeemer on Resurrection Day.

  4. sanfelipe007

    Alleluia, He is risen!

    Can you believe it? Today marks the completion of my first Novena of any kind! Oh, I’ve started many in the past, but never completed one. Patience and perseverance!

  5. Mary E.

    Congratulations, sanfelipe007! I finally finished a novena for the first time, without cheating or skipping a day, about a year or two ago, and I felt like cheering. In our distraction-filled world, it is an accomplishment. Happy Easter to everyone — truly He is risen, alleluia, alleluia.

  6. elizdelphi – I agree with you about God’s judgement.being comforting. Here in the world justice is always tempered with so many distractions. We are left thinking – if only I had a better lawyer, if only I had said more or less, if only the judge wasn’t angered by the fellow before me, if only, if only etc. With God no matter what He determines our fate will be – we will have the relief of knowing that He didn’t get it wrong, wasn’t prejudiced, distracted, or indifferent. For better or worse we will get a square deal. I find that very comforting. I’m with you on that one sister!

  7. elizdelphi

    I imagine you may still have scars from “way too much fun” with Sawyer’s Extractor. At the resurrection they will be glorified wounds, that’s what my bishop said in his Easter morning homily, well he said all our wounds will be glorified like the risen Lord’s.

    Congratulations to those who have finished a novena! I confess that I have never, ever successfully completed a novena. It sounds easy but I have not found it so. Is that part of the point, that you have to really care about it to be able to do it?

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