Christ Our Light

We are in the Octave of Easter – the eight days following Easter, leading up to the First Sunday of Easter. All week we sing/pray the Gospel Alleluia verse: “This is the day the Lord has made; Let us be glad and rejoice in it.”  Let us rejoice and be glad! Certainly, from today’s first reading from Acts, we see that Peter and John, under duress from the leaders in Jerusalem, rejoiced and were glad in the works they were able to perform in the name of Jesus and were strong in proclaiming Jesus as the cornerstone and the true means of salvation.

For those of you who do not attend the Easter Vigil you are missing one of the greatest hymns of praise in Liturgy, only used at the Vigil: The Exsultet: The Proclamation of Easter. It is usually sung, is very long, and follows the entrance procession with the Easter Candle amid proclamations of “Light of Christ – Thanks be to God.” And, it is my favorite part of the Vigil. Because it is sung, it can be hard to catch the words. I am offering you today a very small portion of the Exsultet for your reflection in this Octave of Easter. I hope and pray that you will find inspiration to be at peace, as the Apostles were, in proclaiming Christ as your salvation. Please, light a candle and pray:

“Exult, let them exult, the hosts of heaven, exult, let Angel ministers of God exult, let the trumpet of salvation sound aloud our mighty King’s triumph!

Be glad, let the earth be glad, as glory floods her, ablaze with light from her eternal King, let all corners of the earth be glad, knowing an end to gloom and darkness.

Rejoice, let Mother Church also rejoice, arrayed with the lightning of his glory, let this holy building shake with joy, filled with the mighty voices of the peoples…

This is the night, when once you led our forebears, Israel’s children,
from slavery in Egypt and made them pass dry-shod through the Red Sea.

This is the night that with a pillar of fire banished the darkness of sin.

This is the night that even now, throughout the world, sets Christian believers apart from worldly vices and from the gloom of sin, leading them to grace and joining them to his holy ones.

This is the night when Christ broke the prison-bars of death and rose victorious from the underworld.

Our birth would have been no gain, had we not been redeemed.

O wonder of your humble care for us! O love, O charity beyond all telling, to ransom a slave you gave away your Son!
O truly necessary sin of Adam, destroyed completely by the Death of Christ! O happy fault that earned so great, so glorious a Redeemer!…

The sanctifying power of this night dispels wickedness, washes faults away, restores innocence to the fallen, and joy to mourners, drives out hatred, fosters concord, and brings down the mighty. On this, your night of grace, O holy Father, accept this candle, a solemn offering, the work of bees and of your servants’ hands, an evening sacrifice of praise, this gift from your most holy Church…

Receive it as a pleasing fragrance, and let it mingle with the lights of heaven.

May this flame be found still burning by the Morning Star:
the one Morning Star who never sets, Christ your Son,
who, coming back from death’s domain, has shed his peaceful light on humanity, and lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.”

(Excerpts from the English translation of the Roman Missal © 2010, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation)

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Jeanne Penoyar, an Accounts Manager here at Diocesan, is currently a Lector at St. Anthony of Padua parish in Grand Rapids, MI. While at St. Thomas the Apostle, Grand Rapids, Jeanne was a Lector, Cantor, Coordinator of Special Liturgies, Coordinator of lectors and, at one time, chair of the Liturgy Commission. In a past life, secretary/bookkeeper at the Basilica of St. Adalbert where she ran the RCIA program for the Steepletown parishes. And she loves to write! When relaxing, she likes reading and word puzzles. You can contact her at