Monday, February 22, 2016

Vigal Mass of Easter: The Blessing of the Font and Communion Propers

The Blessing of the Font

After the last reading, canticle and prayer or after the sermon, the clergy shall process to the baptismal font. During the procession may be sung the Great Litany.  Then the celebrant shall say.

             The Lord be with you. 
Reply    And with thy spirit. 
Priest    Let us pray. 
Almighty, everlasting God, be present at the mysteries of Thy exceeding goodness, be present at the sacraments, and for the regenerating of the new people which the font of Baptism bringeth forth for Thee send out the Spirit of Adoption, that whatsoever is here done by our humble ministry may be fulfilled by the effectual working of Thy virtue, 
Let him proceed to chant as follows —
Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, Who liveth and  reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, World without end.  Amen. 
Priest     The Lord be with you, 
Reply    And with thy spirit. 
Priest     Lift up your hearts. 
Reply    We lift them up unto the Lord. 
Priest    Let us give thanks unto our Lord God.                 
Reply:  It is meet and right so to do.

It is very meet, right, and our bounden duty that we should  at all times and in all places give thanks unto Thee, O Lord, Holy Father, Almighty, everlasting God, Who dost most wonderfully and effectually work in the invisible power of Thy sacraments. And though we are unworthy to discharge so great mysteries, yet do Thou not leave us destitute of Thy gifts of grace, and incline Thy merciful ears to our prayers.

O God, Whose Spirit moved upon the face of the waters amidst the very first elements of the world, that even then nature might take into herself the sanctification of the waters.

O God, Who by washing away the crimes of the guilty world in water didst shadow forth the figure of regeneration in the very out-pour of the Deluge, that the mystery of one and the same element might be both the end of vice and the source of virtue ; look down, we beseech Thee, O Lord, on the face of Thy Church, and increase and multiply in her Thy regenerated people.  Thou Who by the mighty power of Thy abundant grace dost gladden Thy city, And openest the font of Baptism for the calling of the Gentiles throughout the whole world, that at the command of Thy Majesty it may receive the grace of Thy Only begotten of the Holy Ghost.

Here- let him divide the water with his hand in the form of a Cross, saying,

May He fertilize this water prepared for the regeneration of man by the hidden intermixture of His light, that by a holy conception a heavenly offspring may rise up out of the spotless womb of the divine font, into a new-born creature. And let all who differ in sex. or age be brought forth by parent grace unto the same infancy. Wherefore at Thy command, O Lord, let every unclean spirit depart far hence ; let the whole malice and fraud of the devil stand afar off. Let no power of the enemy intrude and find place here, nor haunt or lie in wait around, nor creep in surreptitiously, nor infect with poison.

Let this creature be holy and innocent, free from all assault of the adversary, and purified by the abolishing of all wickedness. Let it be a living + font, a regenerating + water, a purifying + stream ; that all those that are to be washed in this laver of salvation, through the operation in them of the Holy Ghost, may obtain the favour of perfect purification.

Wherefore I bless thee, O creature of water, by the living God, by the true + God, by the holy + God, by + God Who in the beginning did divide thee by His word from the dry land, Whose Spirit moved upon thee, Who caused thee to flow out of Paradise, and commanded thee to water the earth in four rivers.

Here let the Priest throws water out of the font with his hand, in the form of the Cross into the four quarters.

Who, when thou wast bitter in the desert, poured sweetness into thee and made thee fit to drink; and brought thee forth out of the rock for the people that were athirst.

I bl + ess thee by Jesus Christ His only Son our Lord, Who in Cana of Galilee did turn thee into wine by His powerful sign and miracle ; Who did walk upon thee with His feet, and was by John baptized in thee in Jordan ; Who did bring thee forth out of His side together with blood, and commanded His disciples in thee to baptize believers, saying, Go ye, teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

Here let him change his voice, and read.

Do Thou, O God, almighty and merciful, be present with us who keep these commandments; do Thou graciously breathe upon us.

Here let him breathe three times upon the font in the form of the Cross.

Do Thou bl + ess these pure waters with Thy mouth -, that, over and above the natural cleansing power they may exercise over bodies washed therein, they may be effectual to the purifying of souls.

Here he shall let fall drops of (wax from the candle) into the font in the form of a Cross, and then say, chanting again

Let the power of the Holy Ghost descend into this font and the fullness thereof, and make the whole body of this water fruitful in regenerating power.

Here let him dip the candle into the middle of the font, making a Cross , and then go on

Here let the stains of all sin be done away : here let nature, formed after Thine image, and reformed for the honour of its Author, be cleansed from all the filthiness of the old man.

Here let the candle be taken out of the font, with these words

That every man that approacheth this sacrament of regeneration may be born again into the new infancy of true innocency, through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son. Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost one God unto the ages of ages.

Then shall be baptized those who are to receive the Sacrament of new birth, following the form on page XXX. If a bishop be present, Confirmation may be administered to those desirous and ready to receive it.
This shall be concluded with the following prayer
May Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hast given us a new birth by water and the Holy Ghost, and bestowed upon us the forgiveness of sins, keep us in eternal life, in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Amen.

At Holy Communion
The candles at the Altar may now be lighted from the Paschal Candle. Then the Celebrant says,

Alleluia.! Christ is risen!
People           The Lord is risen indeed!  Alleluia!

Then shall be sung or said the Gloria in excelsis, Te Deum Laudamus or Pascha Nostrum. The Celebrant then says.
                      The Lord be with you.
People           And with thy spirit.
Celebrant     Let us pray.

O God, Who dost enlighten this most holy night with the glory of the Lord's Resurrection, Stir up in your Church we beseech Thee that Spirit of adoption which Thou gave to us in Baptism , that we, being renewed  in body and mind, may worship you in sincerity and truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end.  Amen.

The Epistle  Col 3:1-4

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

Then shall be sung the Alleluia!

The Gospel  Matt 28:1-7 
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.
If a sermon or homily was not preached earlier, it follows here. The Nicene Creed is not used at this service. The celebration continues with the Prayer for the Church Militant.

After the Holy Communion, may follow the first Evensong of Easter.

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