High Holiday of Easter

resurrection-of-christ-with-angels-orthodox-christian-icon-11

Commemoration of the glorious resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ – the King of kings and Lord of lords – who proclaims victoriously: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. (Rev.1:18)

God’s Holy Word from the first book of Samuel the second chapter: “And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the Lord, mine horn is exalted in the Lord: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation. There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God. he Lord killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory.” (1-2.6-8a)

The Epistle is from the first letter of the holy apostle St. Paul to the Corinthians in the fifteenth chapter: “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed. (1-11)

The holy Gospel is from the evangelist St.Mark the sixteenth chapter: And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they anything to any man; for they were afraid. (1-8)

The Sermon is based on the gospel of the evangelist St. Matthew the twenty-eighth chapter: “In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me. (1-10)

The liturgical colour is white.

Together with the Christian Church we pray a collect for this high Holiday: “Almighty God the Father, through Your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ, You have overcome death and opened the gate of everlasting life to us. Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of our Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by Your life-giving Spirit; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.”

Hymn for this Holiday:

  1. Christ Jesus lay in death’s strong bands
    For our offenses given;
    But now at God’s right hand he stands
    And brings us life from heaven.
    Therefore let us joyful be
    And sing to God right thankfully
    Loud sons of alleluia!
    Alleluia!
  2. It was a strange and dreadful strife
    When life and death contended;
    The victory remained with life,
    The reign of death was ended.
    Holy Scripture plainly says
    That death is swallowed up by death,
    Its sting is lost forever.
    Alleluia!
  3. Here the true Paschal Lamb we see,
    Whom God so freely gave us;
    He died on the accursed tree
    So strong his love to save us.
    See, his blood now marks our door;
    Faith points to it; death passes over,
    And Satan cannot harm us.
    Alleluia!
  4. So let us keep the festival
    To which the Lord invites us;
    Christ is himself the joy of all,
    The sun that warms and lights us.
    Now his grace to us imparts
    Eternal sunshine to our hearts;
    The night of sin is ended.
    Alleluia!
  5. Then let us feast this Easter Day
    On Christ, the bread of heaven;
    The Word of grace has purged away
    The old and evil leaven.
    Christ alone our souls will feed;
    He is our meat and drink indeed;
    Faith lives upon no other!
    Alleluia!
    Hymn # 123 from Lutheran Worship Author: Johann Walter
    Tune: Christ lag in Todesbanden… Martin Luther
    1st Published in: 1854

If you are called to preach this weekend, may the triune God give you joy and strength, enthusiasm and wisdom, knowledge and insight – and the true words and pictures to preach his holy will faithfully according to his most precious revelation of his will and promises in both the Old and New Testament! However if you are not preaching, but listening – then listen as if God is talking to you + His precious gospel is “the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.” (Rom 1:16 NIV)

 

 

About Wilhelm Weber jr

Rector of the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Tshwane
This entry was posted in Eastertide, Lectionary etc, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s