Victimae Paschali Laudes
May you praise the Paschal Victim,
immolated for Christians.
The Lamb redeemed the sheep:
Christ, the innocent one,
has reconciled sinners to the Father.
A wonderful duel to behold,
as death and life struggle:
The Prince of life dead,
now reigns alive.
Tell us, Mary Magdalen,
what did you see in the way?
I saw the sepulchre of the living Christ,
and I saw the glory of the Resurrected one:
The Angelic witnesses,
the winding cloth, and His garments.
The risen Christ is my hope:
He will go before His own into Galilee.
We know Christ to have risen
truly from the dead:
And thou, victorious King,
have mercy on us.
Click here for the Latin lyrics.
This is beautiful sequence used by the Catholic Church, written in 1048. Sublime, poetic, and beautiful, this hymn is considered extremely precious by the Church. She only makes use of it once a year, during the greatest feast of her liturgical year! This hymn expresses a simple, living and childlike faith that the Saints were known to have. How beautiful it is, to see that the same things were believed at the beginning of the second millenium! This hymn is almost a thousand years old, yet our Faith is the same today as it was then. How marvellous is the Catholic Faith, which doesn't change with the times, but always remains the same - "Jesus Christ yesterday, today, and tomorrow". The essentials of our Faith must never change, as there is no change with God or Jesus Christ. God is the Unchanging One.
Easter is indeed the greatest feast, even greater than Christmas. There is at least 40 days preparation for Easter, but only 4 weeks for Christmas. Furthermore, Our Lord was born in order to redeeem us -- so the feast celebrating his life's mission (the Redemption) must be the most important.
This sequence is sung during the Day Mass of Easter Sunday (after the Alleluia). It is sung acapella, but can also be used during Benediction as a hymn. The version on Compendium 1 does have organ accompaniment, since it was recorded during Benediction.
This is found on the following CD(s):
Chant Compendium 1.
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