Easter Proclamation

The Easter proclamation is an ancient song of the church, traditionally sung on the great Vigil of Easter. We decided to forego a formal Easter Vigil service at my congregation this year, but the singing of the proclamation is one of my favorite moments in the entire church year, so I decided to sing it and share it with you all from my back yard. As I sang, I was accompanied by lots of chattering birds, accelerating vehicles, and the strains of a neighbor’s lively ranchera music — a lovely reminder that all creation together celebrates the great good news that Christ is risen. He is risen indeed.

Watch the video and read the text of the proclamation below. (Or click here to watch the video on Facebook.)

Easter Proclamation

Rejoice, now, all heav'nly pow'rs!
Sing, choirs of angels!
Exult, all creation around God's throne!
Jesus Christ is risen!
Celebrate the divine mysteries with exultation;
and for so great a victory,
sound the trumpet of salvation.

Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor,
radiant in the brightness of your king!
Christ has conquered!
Glory fills you!
Darkness vanishes forever.

Rejoice, O holy church!
Exult in glory!
The risen Savior shines upon you!
Let this place resound with joy,
echoing the mighty song of all God's people.

The Lord be with you.
(And also with you.)
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
(It is right to give our thanks and praise.)

It is indeed right, our duty and our joy,
that with full devotion of heart and mind and voice
we should praise the invisible God,
and the only Son, Jesus Christ our Lord;
who, by his precious blood, redeemed us
from bondage to the ancient sin.

For this indeed is the Paschal Feast
in which the true Lamb is slain,
by whose blood the doorposts of the faithful
are made holy.

This is the night
(This is the night)
in which, in ancient times, 
you delivered our forebears,
the children of Israel,
and led them, dryshod, through the sea.

This is the night
(This is the night)
in which the darkness of sin
has been purged away by the rising brightness.

This is the night
(This is the night)
in which all who believe in Christ
are rescued from evil and the gloom of sin,
are renewed in grace,
and are restored to holiness.

This is the night
(This is the night)
in which, breaking the chains of death,
Christ arises from hell in triumph.
O night truly blessed
which alone was worthy to know the time and the hour
in which Christ arose again from hell!

This is the night
(This is the night)
of which it is written:
"The night is as clear as the day,"
and, "then shall my night be turned into day."

The holiness of this night 
puts to flight the deeds of wickedness;
washes away sin;
restores innocence to the fallen,
and joy to those who mourn;
casts out hate; brings peace;
and humbles earthly pride.

Therefore, in this night of grace,
receive, O God, our praise and thanksgiving
for the light of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ,
reflected in the burning of this candle.

We sing the glories of this pillar of fire,
the brightness of which is not diminished
even when its light is divided and borrowed.
For it is fed by the melting wax
which the bees, your servants, 
have made for the substance of this candle.

This is the night
(This is the night)
in which heaven and earth are joined --
things human and things divine.

We therefore pray to you, O God,
that this candle, burning to the honor of your name,
will continue to vanquish the darkness of night
and be mingled with the lights of heaven.

May Christ the Morning Star find it burning,
that Morning Star who never sets,
that Morning Star who, rising from the grave,
faithfully sheds light on the whole human race.

And we pray, O God,
rule, govern, and preserve with your continual protection
your whole church,
giving us peace in this time
of our paschal rejoicing;
through the same Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

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