Sunday, April 11, 2010

Pascha nostrum


Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us, *
    therefore let us keep the feast,
Not with old leaven,
neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness, *
    but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. Alleluia.

Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; *
    death hath no more dominion over him.
For in that he died, he died unto sin once; *
    but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, *
    but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Alleluia.

Christ is risen from the dead, *
    and become the first fruits of them that slept.
For since by man came death, *
    by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
For as in Adam all die, *
    even so in Christ shall all be made alive. Alleluia.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

From the 1979 Book of Common Prayer, Morning Prayer I, this canticle, which is taken from 1 Corinthians 5:7-8; Romans 6:9-11; and 1 Corinthians 15:20-22, is the one we use during Morning Prayers on Sundays when we've had to miss church for some reason (except during Lent, of course). It can be sung or spoken. The 1980 Episcopal hymnal has several musical settings for it but we haven't learned any of them. When it's spoken, the leader reads up to the asterisk and the congregation reads all the indented lines.

I can't tell you how beautiful it is to read Scriptures responsively during prayers -- there's a different quality to it than when you read things in unison, as with the Lord's Prayer and the Apostles' Creed. I think it's because it's more like a conversation -- encouraging each other with God's word. If your family doesn't normally do this, I'd suggest adding a Psalm a day to your family's prayer time, reading responsively by the verse or the half verse, and ending with the Gloria Patri.

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