18 - Feast of the Resurrection
Albair Gamal Mikhail
December 25, 2003
The rite of the Feast of the Resurrection.
The Lord of glory rose from the dead by Himself on Sunday of the Resurrection, after He died on Friday, the Friday of the Crucifixion, on the wood of the Holy Cross. He rose for us, just as He died for us, so that we may obtain the blessings of the resurrection and the strength to defeat sin. For by the death of Christ we put away our old self and buried it with Christ, and by His resurrection from the dead, we clothed ourselves with the new man, which has the power to live with Christ once more. The hymns of the Feast of the Resurrection reflect the joy of the Church for the resurrection of the Lord of glory from among the dead, for the Divine Liturgy is prayed in a joyful tune, and the rite witnesses the joy of the Church because it received the blessings of the Resurrection.
In the Prime Raising of Incense after the Prayer of Thanksgiving, the verses Tenouwst are chanted followed by the Verses of the Cymbals for the Resurrection, which are chanted in a joyous tune. Then, the Litany of the Sick is prayed, followed by the hymn of the Seven Way, which begins with the verse Piouwini until the end of the verse qen han’almoc . The remaining verses are continued in a recitative tune, which is concluded by the Adam Theotokias and the hymn `Pouro . After that, the Litany of the Oblations is prayed, followed by the Doxologies, which begins with the Doxology of the Resurrection, and they are all chanted in a joyful tune. Then, some spiritual songs for the Feast of the Resurrection are chanted, followed by the Conclusion of the Doxologies. After `V] nai nan , the congregation responds with Kuri`e `eleycon three times in the melismatic tune. The Litany of the Gospel is prayed, and the Psalm is read in a joyful tune, followed by the Psalm Response. The Gospel is read and the Gospel Response specifically for the feast is chanted. The prayer concludes with the Concluding Canon of the Prime Prayer for the Feast of the glorious Resurrection. It is important to notice that the Vespers Raising of Incense is not prayed, and the reason for that is because the Divine Liturgy of Bright Saturday was completed before Vespers immediately.
As for the rite of the Divine Liturgy of the Feast of the Resurrection, the Lamb is offered without the prayers of the Agpeya, but an procession is made with the hymn `Pouro , and during the offering of the Lamb the Offering’s Alleluia hymn (Alle-el-qorban) is chanted. After the Servantís Absolution, the hymn Tai soury is chanted, followed by the Hiten , which is organized in the following way: the first is for the Virgin Lady; the second is for the Archangel Michael, which is specifically for the Feast of the Resurrection; the third is for the seven Archangels; the fourth is for the Apostles and Disciples; the fifth is for Saint Mark; the sixth is for Joseph, Nicodemus, and Mary Magdalene, which is also specifically for the Feast of the Resurrection; then the rest of the verses are chanted, beginning with Saint George, up to the end, as usual. The Pauline is chanted in the joyous tune, and after the Catholic Epistle, the Praxis Response specifically for the feast is chanted. The Praxis is read, but the Synexarium is not read, as the whole focus of the Church during the feast and the following Holy Fifty Days is on the resurrection of the Lord of glory from among the dead, rather than on any other saint or martyr. Then, the melismatic hymn, Kata ni,oroc , is chanted, and it is also called the ìveilî because it is chanted beside the altar while the veil is closed. Since this hymn is long, it is possible to chant its last part, which is `w nimnai . Then the anthem, “ya kol al-sefoof” is chanted. After that, the lights are turned off and the Resurrection Play is enacted. The veil of the altar is opened and the lights are turned on, as a sign of the Resurrection of the Lord of Glory from among the dead. The priests and the deacons proceed around the altar three times, then they proceed around the nave three times, and then they return to proceed around the altar once. All of this is done while they chant the hymns of the Resurrection Procession. Later, they chant the mohayar hymn of Pa[oic , followed by the Trisagion in a joyful tune, and then the Gospel Litany. The Psalm is read out in the melismatic Singary tune, then the Psalm Response is chanted. The Gospel is read, which is followed by the exposition [iowini chanted in the fe’lla exposition tune. After the sermon, the Gospel Response specifically for the feast is chanted. The Divine Liturgy continues normally, including what is necessary for the feast, such as the Adam Espasmos and Watos Espasmos. During communion, Psalm 150 is chanted in a joyful tune, and after it the hymn Kata ni,oroc is chanted, followed by any spiritual songs for the Feast of the Resurrection. At the end, the Concluding Canon for the Feast of the Resurrection is chanted.
As for the period between the second day of the feast to the thirty-ninth day of the feast, its rite is as follows: During the Vespers and Prime Raising of Incense, the Verses of the Cymbals are chanted in a joyful tune, and it begins with the verses specifically for the Feast of the Resurrection. The Doxologies are also chanted in a joyful tune, and it begins with the Doxology of the Feast of the Resurrection. The Psalm and Gospel Responses are those of the feast as well, and the Concluding Canon of prayer is the same as that chanted on the Feast of the Resurrection. As for the rite of the Divine Liturgy, the Agpeya prayers of the Third and Sixth Hours are prayed. Then, the Lamb is offered, and the Liturgy continues as in the Feast of the Resurrection, except that the Resurrection Play is not enacted, since the rite of the Resurrection Play is only for the night of the Feast of the glorious Resurrection.
May the blessings of these holy days be with us all. Amen.
Mikhail, Deacon Albair Gamal, The Essentials in the Deacon’s Service, (Shobra, Egypt: Shikolani, 2002), p.706, 707. Translated from Arabic by Bishoy K. R. Dawood, edited by Alexander A-Malek.