Friday, April 13, 2012

The Octave of Easter: Each Day a "Day of Resurrection"

Just like Christmas, Easter is not just a day--it is a season of the Church's Liturgical Year. There are forty days between Easter and the Ascension and ten more until Pentecost. Liturgically, each day in the Octave of Easter is Easter Sunday, and so the hymnology of the Easter Season warrants some posts. And just as I did last Christmas, I'll focus on John Mason Neale's hymns and translations. He translated this hymn from the Greek by Saint John of Damascus, the great defender of Icons:

The day of resurrection! Earth, tell it out abroad;
The Passover of gladness, the Passover of God.
From death to life eternal, from earth unto the sky,
Our Christ hath brought us over, with hymns of victory.

Our hearts be pure from evil, that we may see aright
The Lord in rays eternal of resurrection light;
And listening to His accents, may hear, so calm and plain,
His own “All hail!” and, hearing, may raise the victor strain.

Now let the heavens be joyful! Let earth the song begin!
Let the round world keep triumph, and all that is therein!
Let all things seen and unseen their notes in gladness blend,
For Christ the Lord hath risen, our joy that hath no end.

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