Your Easter Sunday sermon notes

I am sure that you have good points to share from the sermon you heard for the Easter Vigil and for Easter Sunday Mass.

Let’s bring out those good points and share them around.

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  1. Risus Paschalis

    We have the Easter custom of the “Risus Paschalis”, “das Osterlachen”, “Easter laughter”. It has been part of traditions in Bavaria since the Middle Ages.

    That is, the priest would tell a humorous story during the Easter sermon to make the congregation laugh, mocking death, expressing the joy of Easter, the victory over death.

    Protestants fiercely fought this custom, not surprising.

    So, for your enjoyment, the RISUS PASCHALIS of Fr. Wolfgang Öxler, Archabbot of the Missionary Benedictines of St. Ottilien: You should really listen to himself telling the story, even if you don’t understand German. His simple, caring, loving tone moves the heart, especially when you hear the rising laughter among the congregation, the commotion of all of us (and yes, there were tears as well.).

    (at 01h 20min 05 sec):

    Transcript and translation to follow…

    (The first words of the sermon were “Christ is Risen!”)

  2. Risus Paschalis

    The RISUS PASCHALIS of Fr. Wolfgang Öxler, Archabbot of the Missionary Benedictines of St. Ottilien:

    (at 01h 20min 05 sec):
    (easiest if you save it – be patient – and use your favorite player: there are those beautiful Latin chants and very moving hymns sung by the crowd as well… and much silence)

    my German transcript:

    Ich möchte die Osterfreude mit einer netten Geschichte abschließen. Es gibt ja den “risus paschalis”, das Osterlachen. Es symbolisiert die Überlegenheit und den Sieg über den Tod, der der Lächerlichkeit preisgegeben ist. Vielleicht ist es auch eine Geschichte vom “Leben danach”.

    Ein Ehepaar entschließt sich, in einem Hotel in der Karibik Urlaub zu machen, in welchem sie vor 20 Jahren ihre Flitterwochen verbrachten. Und der Mann fliegt zunächst ohne seine Frau. Diese kann berufsbedingt erst einige Tage später nachkommen.

    Gerade angekommen findet er ein Internetcafe und beschließt, seiner Frau eine E-Mail zu senden. Er vertippt sich jedoch bei der Adresse, so dass die Nachricht eine Witwe erreicht, die gerade von der Beerdigung ihres Mannes nach Hause kommt, um die Kondolenznachrichten abrufen. Kurze Zeit später kommt der Sohn nach Hause und findet die Witwe ohnmächtig vor dem Computer. Er liest die folgende Nachricht:

    Meine liebe Frau!

    Ich bin gerade angekommen, und es geht mir gut. Du bist sicher überrascht, auf diesem Wege von mir zu hören, aber mittlerweile haben sie hier auch Internet, damit man mit seinen Nächsten in Kontakt bleiben kann. Gleich als ich hier angekommen bin, habe ich mich vergewissert, dass alles in Ordnung ist, wenn du am nächsten Freitag kommst.

    Ich habe Sehnsucht nach dir, freue mich, Dich bald zu sehen und hoffe dass deine Reise so unbeschwert ist wie meine.

    PS: Du brauchst nicht so viele Klamotten mitzubringen, hier ist es höllisch heiß!!

    Bewahren Sie sich dieses Lachen, das Lachen der Auferstehung.

    My translation:

    A married couple decided to have a holiday in a hotel in the Caribbean, where they spent their honeymoon 20 years ago. Because of their work schedules the husband flies first without his wife who will fly some days later and join him.

    Just arrived he found an internet cafe and decided to send his wife an e-mail. However, due to a typo in the address the message reaches a widow who just came home from the funeral of her husband to retrieve the condolence letters. A short time later, the son comes home and finds the widow fainted in front of the computer. He reads the following message:

    My dear wife!

    I just got here, and I’m fine. You are certainly surprised to hear from me in this way, but they have internet here now, so you can stay in touch with your loved ones. As soon as I arrived here, I made sure everything is okay when you arrive next Friday.

    I long for you, am delighted to see you soon! Hope that your journey is as uneventful as mine was.

    P.S. You won’t need so many clothes, sure it is hot down here!

    Please keep this laughter, the laughter of the resurrection!

  3. benedetta says:

    In the light of the Resurrection, “the ardent light of our Faith”, we need not fear death or any worldly thing, and we may live each and every new day, saying our morning offerings, with this confidence, no matter what may come, as an infinite number in varied circumstances have done before us, even in an age lately where some profess to be “nones” and cannot tolerate Christianity. We remember our baptisms and know that for the Christian everything is changed.

  4. majuscule says:

    All humans, rich or poor, share the fact that we die. But Jesus, by his death and resurrection has made it possible for all of us to live again. Father said it much better and in both English and Spanish because it was a bilingual service. At least it was supposed to be bilingual. There was a little surprise waiting…

    The Blessing of the Fire was in Spanish. Father chanted the Exultet in English. Read the Roman Canon in Spanish. Gave the homily in both languages. And added a bit of trilingual surprise by having us sing the Gloria in Latin as well as the Sanctus, Agnus Dei and a few other prayers.

    I’ll be at the English service this morning so I may check back later with a report on that.

  5. (X)MCCLXIII says:

    Confitemini Domino reminds me of a quip from the late, great, Willy Rushton: “What would we be without a sense of humour?”…

  6. Wiktor says:

    “Today’s popular culture has nothing to do with Christianity. So it is our enemy.”
    This said by bishop ordinary.

  7. OrthodoxChick says:

    The Resurrection fills us with hope. This hope can be our consolation if we had moments during lent when we fell short or even gave into temptation. Rather than despair over our failings, lean on the hope of Christ’s Resurrection to strengthen us and encourage us to persevere in the discipline we were trying to practice during lent, the virtues we were hoping to acquire. Ultimately, hope is love and Love Himself is Easter.

  8. (X)MCCLXIII says:

    Dear Wiktor,

    Wow! Can you tell us where you live? Who is this man?

  9. TraditionalCatholicGirl says:

    Went to the Easter Vigil last night, which was beautiful, but was stuck singing for a local Methodist service as a favor for my Methodist mother, who is in the choir there. Took the opportunity to evangelize a bit, and explain why I became a Catholic. In all honesty, that service made me feel the absence of Christ in the Eucharist. I felt like my heart was breaking for our seperated bretheren of the Protestant stance.

    [And…. good point from sermon?]

  10. APX says:

    For some odd reason this year we didn’t have a sermon during our Easter Vigil (EF).

    However the Easter Sunday sermon basically said that Christ actually resurrected, contrary to what the “modernist theologians” and that we should have an abundant joy at Easter and be prepared to tell people why we’re so joyful.

  11. TraditionalCatholicGirl says:

    Sorry, posted my comment by accident before I could finish. GOOD part of the sermon: joy in the resurrection, because it is through the sacrifice of the cross that we have our salvation. Without Good Friday, there would be no Easter.

  12. bkerns07 says:

    Just a few phrases from the Carmelite pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle in Hyde Park, Chicago, where dozens of religious of all varieties were present:

    “For all of us who receive [the Eucharist], it is life who invades us. He heals our dry bones. He brings order to our disordered lives.”

    “Christ is risen and strangers are made one by bonds of love.”

  13. Mike says:

    We fear change, as did Jesus’ disciples. Our growth as Christians depends on overcoming, as they did, our fear of the implications of Jesus’ resurrection for our world and our lives.

  14. Fuquay Steve says:

    Easter Vigil….excellent sermon on being redeemed vs. being saved. Christ’s sacrifice redeemed us and provided us a way to salvation (through His Church, His Bride). Beautiful sacred music and Liturgy throughout Holy Week. Somewhat distracted by the priests facial hair but nonetheless…: ).

  15. HyacinthClare says:

    One person, and one group, believed the resurrection was possible: the Blessed Mother, and the Pharisees. The Pharisees crawled hat-in-hand to Pilate to get a guard to keep it from happening (good luck on that!) but of course they could do nothing but lie about it afterwards. Father mentions every year the character of absolute human reliability of the Roman soldiers who were assigned that impossible task… they had done many seemingly impossible things before! But not this one. Blessed be God, not this one.

  16. LorrieRob says:

    Attended the entire Triduum at Our Lady of Lourdes in Dunedin, Fl. Wonderful reverent Priest! Great music, e.g Pie Jesu from Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Requiem…and the Hallelujah chorus…and powerful heart felt spirit filled homily. Fr. Gary spoke of the recent martyrdom of the Jesuit Priest in Syria and how the resurrection actually did occur and that nothing can separate us from the love of God…it is this belief that sustains us and only this belief that can sustain us in times such as that faced by the Jesuit priest. He implored the 30 people coming into the church through RCIA(ranging from infants to the elderly) to never lose the light and fire of Christ they felt within them this night..Jesus really did rise from the dead! Nothing can separate us from His love!

  17. lana says:

    Confitemini, Thank you!!!!!!

  18. Grateful to be Catholic says:

    At Old St. Mary’s in Washington, DC, a Solemn High EF: Fr. Harris, the pastor, had two points: the tremendous love of God for us as shown in the Passion and Death of Jesus and the Resurrection as the essence of our Faith. Can’t ask for much more. (He also offered some sympathy but no apology to the inevitable tourists who thought they were coming to a quick 9 am Mass; sadly, some of them left after the Credo, by which time is was 10 am.) The propers and other parts were beautifully sung by the choir and the people joined in chanting Credo III and singing the processional and recessional: Jesus Christ Is Risen Today and Ye Sons and Daughters of the Lord. It is such a gift to be able to attend this parish. I am made more aware of it whenever commenters here talk about the problems or impossibility of finding something similar.

  19. Lepidus says:

    Ordinary Form: Our (Indian) priest made a talked about meeting the risen Christ in the the Eucharist at Mass…and then put in a few zingers about doing so “every Sunday” and how that will help preserve us for Heaven. Hope the Easter Lilies caught those remarks.

    Off topic, but the Father then prayed the Roman Canon. I think this is the first time I heard it since the corrected translation went into place. I was amazed at how closely it now matches that translation in the book for Extraordinary Form!

  20. BLB Oregon says:

    The homilist opened with the story of Anna Pavlova, the famous ballerina who died shortly before she was to have performed her signature piece, The Dying Swan. On the day she was to have next performed this piece, a solo choreographed specifically for her, the show went on as scheduled. A single spotlight circling an empty stage where she would have been while the orchestra played her music (Le cygne from The Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saëns, incidentally). Her admirers not only came to the show and watched the light play on the stage where she would have been, but also greeted her “performance,” as it played in their memories, with thunderous applause.

    His point was that Anna Pavlova’s story is not the Easter story. We are not witnesses to an empty stage, the rememberance of someone who inspires us after death. Rather, we are witnesses to an empty tomb, to a Lord who is really alive and with us in reality, who gives us life in reality with him.

  21. JMody says:

    Several points from our sermon — focusing around the Paschal Candle and the Light of Christ. The candles we WOULD hold represent us bring our light to the world, to show them Christ’s light. We Would have had candles, but our insurer doesn’t like them you know (carpeted auditorium church).

    And as we go forth from tonight, we are called to bring our light to the world, so that the world can be brought to Christ’s Light. Next week, Bl John XXIII and Bl John Paul THE GREAT (avert eyes in reverence) will be canonized. They each brought their lights, John XXIII by shaking up the Church for the good, and John Paul THE GREAT (avert your eyes) by his orthodox teaching and witness. “You know, he’s the reason for my vocation, because after the installation Mass, he took that large crucifix out to St. Peter’s Square and swung it like a battle axe – and I thought ‘Now this is a guy I can get into.’ A lot of silly monsignors were very busy talking, and he ignored them.” And Francis will probably join them, because his light is a light of simplicity, and he makes a lot of silly monsignors very upset, too.

    I found the whole thing quite disturbing, as it seemed to say that “our light” is something other than the light of Christ, which really is at odds with almost anything the Church teaches. I found the blase references to John XXIII and the calling of Vatican II and the teaching and witness of John Paul II to be at odds with the facts — John XXIII was actually quite orthodox AND CONCISE, and his consistory notes for the Council were pitched, so it’d be hard to say the Council really followed the plan he had for it, and John Paul II covered everything, but was not very concise, and was, like Francis, sometimes unthinking in his casual words and actions (let’s hope kissing the Koran was his eminent goodwill and not a pre-meditated act of regard for its teachings).

    But the Church today seems to be not our aid, but our Cross …

  22. VARoman says:

    EF Mass. Really well attended (300+)

    First, we now have no reason to fear death. Christ has opened the Kingdom of Heaven.

    Second, Father thanked all the Faithful who sought Reconciliation over the past two days (the Church offered 6 hours for Confession since Holy Thursday!)

    Finally, Father made a point, “Today is a good day. I had bacon this morning.”

  23. Fr Quoted from the sermon on Easter by St John Chrysostom. and that we should try to set one soul alight for the Lord, as well as us sharing our Easter joy…it was midnight, so all the wonderful points that were made, I’ll probably remember tomorrow. Blessed Easter!

  24. Netmilsmom says:

    OF- In our little parish (which is very much in need of a young traditional Croatian/English speaking Priest-please pray for us) our very Holy (but old and tired) Priest told us that so many Catholics today do not believe that Jesus is truly there and that the miracle of the consecration is true.
    Then he said that showing up twice a year does not a Catholic make.
    He said that both he and Christ would be very happy to see everyone back next week.

  25. Quanah says:

    Father gave a great call to everyone to come join in the joy of the Resurrection and victory over death. He called on the young and the old, those who kept the fast and those who did not, etc. etc. etc. then ended by saying he still has never written a better Pascha sermon than St. John Chrysostom. The point I took away is that Pascha is a new beginning for all, a call of hope and joy in new life and the power and grace of Jesus Christ, crucified and risen. All should hear and accept that Christ who died for our sins has risen victorious over all those sins and death.

  26. I had mostly the same homily for the Vigil Mass and for two Masses today. While I had texts for Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday and Good Friday, by yesterday I was pretty tired and distracted, so I formed some thoughts but never got them organized in writing.

    My points were something like the following:

    > The Cross is the heart of our Faith — my theme for Palm Sunday and Holy Week, particularly Friday.

    > In that case, then, the Resurrection is the ‘heart of the heart,’ because what is the Cross without the Resurrection?

    > We often speak of mystery, but we mean something different, in the context of faith, from the common usage of the word. A mystery is a divine reality that we need God’s help to penetrate.

    > A good image is the darkened church for the Vigil. We can’t see in the darkness, and we wouldn’t want to go in. But what leads the way? The light of Christ (i.e., the deacon carrying the candle); and then our lights too, combine to cast a good deal of light. We can look forward to a fullness in eternity; yet Christ helps us see what would otherwise be dark to us. Moreover, we not only see, we enter into the mystery by the Holy Spirit, who we receive in baptism. Partakers of divine nature, and so forth.

    > I talked about my recent travels to the Holy Land, and visiting Calvary and the tomb, and how powerful that was. Even so, we could wonder, is that really the tomb, and we can’t know for certain. The proof of our Faith isn’t that particular tomb, but the testimony of witnesses, as we heard in the readings.

    > Moreover, the proof that convinces is the conviction, and changed lives, of those witnesses, particularly the Eleven Apostles, who faced death rather than deny the resurrection.

    > Then I talked about the tomb of Saint Peter, in Rome, where his bones remain to this day. And I explained why, for me, I have not the slightest doubt those are Peter’s bones (there’s a tremendous story about it all, too long to go into) — and for me, the existence of that grave proves the whole thing for me. Because what was a fisherman from Galilee doing in Rome, a world away from his home? Why did he go there? The evidence of his bones (his feet are missing) shows that the tradition that he was crucified upside-down is true; why did this happen? And why was there a Christian community there to honor his grave — all within 30 years of the crucifixion? None of it makes any sense unless it’s all true!

    > I returned again to the power of conviction and changed lives, and how that remains the enduring proof — now, manifest in all that have come since. Including us. Do you believe, I asked? And I said their opportunity to answer would come, in a moment, when we renewed our baptismal promises.

  27. Lucchesi says:

    The silence of the sepulcher is the silence of the seed that sprouts, of the flower that blossoms.

    Nobody saw the Resurrection, and this shows God’s way of doing things, humbly, without imposing Himself.

    Even though we may be discouraged by the evil we see in the world everyday, and even more with the evil we see in ourselves, our egoism, etc, this evil has not the last word. Christ is risen, goodness wins in the end.

  28. mburn16 says:

    Father uses the same homily for the Easter Vigil that he uses for Easter Sunday, so I was able to hear this twice to try and parse it a little more fully. Overall, two very good points:

    1) Things rarely seem to happen how we expect them to, even when we are told how they will unfold. The Pharisees feared that Jesus’ body would be stolen, instead an angel appears and rolls back the stone. The women should have expected all along that Jesus would rise, and yet they are nonetheless astonished to see the Angel and meet Christ himself.

    2) The resurrection is not simply something that was, or will be, but something that is.

  29. tmitchell says:

    The vigil homily was a shirt reflection on stewardship, whichbis our parish theme for the year. It was nice.

    At the Mass during the day (easily 700 people), the deacon preached, and started off by welcoming all those who had been travelling since Christmas. It was well done; how often do you have people laughing at themselves being chastised?
    He then told the story of Jeremy and the Easter egg(too long to post but a simple google search will turn up many results), which I thought would come across as trite, but instead was well delivered and well recived. There was an audible gasp at the climax of the story, and a good number of parishioners had tears in their eyes. He thenb

  30. PhilipNeri says:

    His resurrection from an ignominious death gathers us all up and treats us to the possibility, the promise of deathless lives lived in the unfiltered presence of God the Father Himself. And so, Paul declares, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above. . .Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.” Seek what is above, and ask yourself: where have I put Christ?

    Fr. Philip Neri, OP

  31. tmitchell says:

    Sorry, I posted too soon. He used that to talk about the tomb and the triumph over death. It was veryw ell done.

  32. Torpedo1 says:

    a beautiful 8:30 morning Mass at St. Agnes. Father spoke about fear stopping our actions, paralyzing our thoughts and keeping us from taking the road God might want us to take. He said we shouldn’t let any sort of fear stop us because Christ has risen and is with us. Also, it was sunny and 74 degrees today… I had a wonderful Easter dinner with my family. Amazing pork roast and home made sides, and the key lime pie for dessert was awesome. I called the rest of it and it’s in my fridge now. Perhaps I’ll get another piece later tonight? A blessed and happy Easter to everyone here. Especially our gracious host.

  33. KylieP says:

    Fr.’s homily (TLM) today was absolutely amazing, and so inspiring! He really got the message across that our Church knows Jesus, was founded by Him, and /has/ Jesus, and we need to be excited about it and bring it out into the world! We need to not be afraid of persecution, or hatred, and we need to boldly proclaim Jesus Crucified and Jesus Resurrected!

  34. The priest in Hartford, Connecticut this morning recalled the lighting of candles one by one at the Easter Vigil and said that our mission is to take our light of faith and use it to light someone else’s faith that is or has become darkened and snuffed out– we have to spead our faith.

  35. frjim4321 says:

    Focused on the baptismal promises and our renewal of them.

  36. iPadre says:

    I focused on the women who went to the tomb. They were told to go “quickly” to tell the apostles & disciples the good news. The Church is a sleeping giant that needs the zeal of the women, the “church ladies” who followed our Lord in life and death to the resurrection. Like them, we need to go out with zeal and tell the Good News of the Sacraments, graces, Liturgy. My Easter Vigil homily is on the latest episode of my podcast for anyone interested.

  37. lana says:

    frjim, that is great! I never hear about baptismal promises. It seems to me absolutely central.

  38. robtbrown says:

    Fr Martin Fox

    Have you been on the scavi tour?

  39. Robt Brown:

    Yes, I was alluding to that.

  40. Sonshine135 says:

    Father was in excellent spirits this morning, but as good as his homily was, it was not what I will remember most. Father had not shaved since December 26th until last night. At the end of Mass, he asked the assembled, WITHOUT a show of hands, how many of them had seen him with his beard? He said that this would be a great time for everyone to start coming back weekly, and he was very kind to say, “For those who have not seen me with my beard, welcome home. Do not let the next words you her coming out of my mouth be Merry Christmas.” I loved it. He was very kind and compassionate to the C&E Catholics, and if it helped but one lost sheep to find his or her way home, it was well worth it.

  41. can our priest sing!! the choir…beautiful. Music.Definitely part of the liturgy. Even the responses.

  42. thefeds says:

    Our priest preached about our relationship to the Father. It should be like the relationship between a Father and his adopted children, and not like the relationship between a doctor and a patient, ie: only talking to them when something is wrong. Without a doubt, the best Easter homily I have ever heard. Thank you Fr. Alfred!
    Deacon Rob

  43. Sonshine135 says:

    Oh, and Father’s homily focused on the bridge characters of the Old and New Testament- how Mary Magdalene had the jar of nard, and Jesus told her to use it at his burial. He mentioned how Judas, in his condescension of Mary, knew the price of everything, and the value of nothing. This is similar to how people today believe money shouldn’t be spent on the church, but all money should go to the poor. He stated that those who think that way are actually the ones who care the least about the poor (very bold and correct). Jesus wanted Mary to be at the resurrection and she was there that morning with the nard in hand, yet she was never had the chance to use it. She was, however, present at the defining moment of human history.

    Father also discussed Abraham and Issac, and though Abraham had been tasked by God to sacrifice his own son, Abraham still mentions to the servants that THEY will return. This is a reflection of Abraham’s complete faith in God, and something I had never noticed before in the scripture.

    This has just been an absolutely amazing past four days. Priestly awesomeness- mostly from our great High Priest, Christ Jesus, but also the great threesome that I have at the church I attend. I am so absolutely blessed.

  44. pannw says:

    Faith… The Gospel according to John speaks of the disciple seeing not the Resurrected Christ, but the empty tomb and the discarded linens and face cloth and yet when he looks in after Peter, he sees the empty tomb and believes. Father pointed out that as evidence goes, that was not exactly ‘slam dunk’ proof that Jesus had risen, and yet John saw the empty tomb and believed. Faith… It is so important for our free will that God gives us a little wiggle room to chose whether we will believe or not and Faith is no less a reason to believe than anything else. Some in our culture will argue against us and say, “You believe based on Faith!” as if that isn’t a good reason. We should answer, “YES! I do!” Faith is good evidence.

    To demonstrate, Father told a story about a small village in Siberia shortly after the Communist takeover. There were highly educated young Marxists that were sent to argue with the priests in the rural communities in order to try and squash the Faith of the Christians. Many of the priests were simple men and not highly educated in the arguments against Marxism, etc. and sometimes found themselves embarrassed at the debates when they tried to argue with the highly trained Communists. When it was time for one small parish to attend the debate with their pastor, the Communist didn’t realize it was Easter Vigil, but the parish and priest were ordered to attend and so they all showed up when they would have been at Easter Vigil Mass. The Communist gave all of his slick arguments against faith and God, and then it was the priest’s turn to rebut. He did so by standing up and saying, “Christ is risen!” And his parishioners responded by standing and saying, “He is risen indeed! Alleluia!” and then they all left, just as they would have done if it had been the end of Easter Vigil Mass. They were not impressed with fancy arguments. Their Faith was enough to refute them. I loved that story!

    I also got to sing two of my three favorite hymns of all. Jesus My Lord, My God, My All was the offertory hymn and Jesus Christ is Risen Today was the recessional. It was a glorious Easter Sunday Mass.

    Deo gratias!

  45. vetusta ecclesia says:

    At the Easter vigil in Chelmsford (UK), a parish in the care of the Premonstratensian canons, we heard the Exsultet in the text and chant of that order’s rite, probably the first time it had been heard in the county of Essex since the suppression of Beeleigh Abbey in the 1530s.

  46. Beautiful story of the unborn twins retold by Fr. Wolfgang.
    I transcribed it here:
    He continued:

    For the faithful, death is like a second birth. When a child is born, it has to leave the familiar , dark habitat. Through pain and cry it is separated from its previous existence in order to be born into a new world.
    I think it will be like that when God’s eternity breaks into our time. When we are raised from the earthly life to the Eternal Life.
    And we may rejoice that at the end of our lives there is not death but the life that God has promised us. And this certainty is to let us live right now. It should revive us in joy. we wish all of us an Easter faith that breaks the shells of skepticism [editor’s note: he had previously spoken of the Easter customs concerning eggs…], opens to the benefits of the Risen One.

    Dear Brothers and Sisters, we always want to know ahead of time what is to come. We want to be resurrected, but we don’t want to die.
    I will only know that death does not kill me after I have died.

    The light of Easter enlightens the horror of the women, when the angel rolls back the stone of the grave. So the no longer need to look for the living among the dead. In the light of Easter there is new hope in which we do not see death, but eternity.

  47. JonPatrick says:

    Attended both Easter Vigil (OF) and the EF Mass on Easter Sunday and both had the same homily, which helped in remembering the good points. What happened with the resurrection is truly amazing – until this event, nobody had ever come back permanently from the dead. Even Lazarus and Jairus’ daughter, although they came back from the dead, they still would have eventually died in the normal way. Because of Jesus’ resurrection we now have the possibility of eternal life and we no longer have to fear death.

    I would have to add that the whole Triduum and Easter was beautiful at our parish (Prince of Peace Lewiston ME) . Unfortunately I missed Holy Thursday but I got reports that it was beautiful and reverent. The Good Friday liturgy had Gradual and Tract in Latin in place of the responsorial psalm, and the Mass of the Presanctified was said Ad Orientam. Choir sang a beautiful rendition of Crux Fidelis as the sacraments were bought to the altar.

  48. vetusta ecclesia says:

    The celebrant spoke of visiting family graves in a cemetery dominated by a monument inscribed with the words “Death is the end”. But the last time he went there this monument, now in disrepair, had a rose tree growing through it. Life will always triumph over death which is not the end.

  49. Gregg the Obscure says:

    Attended Easter Vigil at the Cathedral. Major focus on the imminent renewal of our baptismal promises, though his excellency didn’t mention the indulgence associated with the same. Also a request that each of us in the week ahead slowly and prayerfully read over the resurrection accounts in each of the four gospels.

  50. robtbrown says:

    Fr Martin Fox,

    I knew you were referring to the tomb but didn’t know whether you had taken the tour.

    Most of the guides on the tour are by rep excellent. Ours must have had an off day. Luckily, I had already read the Walsh book.

  51. RobtBrown:

    This last time, we had a seminarian guide our group of priests. He was very good. And funny: he’d start to explain something, then stop and say, “you are all priests, you don’t need me to explain that” — i.e., some point of Catholic teaching that he was accustomed to spelling out for most folks. It happened several times.

  52. NancyP says:

    I’ve never, ever heard zombies mentioned in a homily before…but it happened yesterday. And it worked.

    Father contrasted the Resurrection (Jesus alive, body and soul) with pop culture’s obsession with zombies (no soul present). He said that he feared that some of us are “zombie-like,” either in our obsession with our physical bodies or in our complacency about the true Resurrection. Father reminded us that the early Christians risked physical death when they professed their faith in Christ, and yet they became Christian anyway. Today, it’s easy to profess faith in Christ in most parts of the world, but we do have martyrs in our modern world. Father then mentioned several examples of people who give up much for their faith, including couples who choose openness to life, parents who sacrifice to bring their children up as faithful Catholics and holy priests who endure loneliness and scorn (and sometimes take physical risks) so that we have access to the Sacraments that give us the best possible pathway to eternal life.

    Side note – Father also deftly reminded us that “members of other congregations and Catholics not properly disposed to receive Communion” (his words) should not receive the Eucharist. He was kind, but matter-of-fact, about this.

  53. The Masked Chicken says:

    Dear Confitemini Domino,

    May I use your comment on, “Risus Paschalis”, “das Osterlachen”, if I write a book on the theology of humor?

    Our homily mentioned that the scar of the earth, Christ’s empty tomb, will forever be the balm that heals our wounds.

    The Chicken

  54. a good point? How blessed we are to be Catholic. to have 2k yr of tradition,the rituals and the beautiful liturgy we have. To be part of a community that goes back 2k yrs and all those that went before us (our family members who have passed)and those in our parish now. He was trying to show us how we are a community and why that is important to be tied into it.He also said for those that are ill (ie husband and self )at least TRY to make it to Mass. Agree :) when we’re able.

  55. @The Masked Chicken Certainly, yes. Feel free to use it.

  56. Gaetano says:

    Our Pastor spoke on faith in the Resurrection, the popularity of Pope Francis and his letter “Lumen Fidei”. Then he explicitly said that Pope Francis quoted Pope Benedict and that there was continuity between the two Pontiffs. He further noted that Benedict was poorly caricatured as a judgmental unemotional man, when nothing was further from the truth.

    I’m pretty sure he’s been cribbing notes from your blog, Fr. Z. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that).

  57. pinoytraddie says:

    Morning Easter Vigil: Father talked about how the disciples were told to meet the Risen Christ in Galliee,because That is how their Journey began.

    Intrestingly,He even claims that the Easter Vigil is Chosen for the Day of Judgement.

  58. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:


    The Gospel accounts of the women on Easter day show us that they left their homes while it was still dark. It has been a dark week in so many ways: parents whose children die in a ferry sinking …. [and a long list of other things]… but somehow many people prefer the darkness, and don’t want to let the light of Christ shine in their hearts and in their souls. ( I don’t know if his target audience was the C and E crowd, but this section of the sermon could very well have served to remind us that we need to NOT assume that our world wants or cares the resurrection, preferring the darkness).

    It has been a very busy, exhausting week, but I had cause to reflect on this a bit: if we think it took much energy for us to walk through our Holy Week, imagine how much energy it took the first time? Father managed to give a catechism class on the Shroud of Turin on the Saturday before Palm Sunday.

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