Exult, let them exult,the hosts of heaven,exult, let Angel ministers of God exult,let the trumpet of salvationsound aloud our mighty King’s triumph!Be glad, let earth be glad, as glory floods her,ablaze with light from her eternal King,let all corners of the earth be glad,knowing an end to gloom and darkness.Rejoice, let Mother Church also rejoice,arrayed with the lightning of his glory,let this holy building shake with joy,filled with the mighty voices of the peoples.Therefore, dearest friends,standing in the awesome glory of this holy light,invoke with me, I ask you,the mercy of God almighty,that he, who has been pleased to number me,though unworthy, among the Levites,may pour into me his light unshadowed,that I may sing this candle’s perfect praises.It is truly right and just,with ardent love of mind and heartand with devoted service of our voice,to acclaim our God invisible, the almighty Father,and Jesus Christ, our Lord, his Son, his Only Begotten.Who for our sake paid Adam’s debtto the eternal Father,and, pouring out his own dear Blood,wiped clean the record of our ancient sinfulness.These, then, are the feasts of Passover,in which is slain the Lamb, the one true Lamb,whose Blood anoints the doorposts of believers.This is the night,when once you led our forebears, Israel’s children,from slavery in Egyptand made them pass dry-shod through the Red Sea.This is the nightthat with a pillar of firebanished the darkness of sin.This is the nightthat even now, throughout the world,sets Christian believers apart from worldly vicesand from the gloom of sin,leading them to graceand joining them to his holy ones.This is the night,when Christ broke the prison-bars of deathand rose victorious from the underworld.This is the night of which it is written:The night shall be as bright as day,dazzling is the night for me,and full of gladness.
The sanctifying power of this nightdispels all wickedness,washes faults away,restores innocence to the fallen,and joy to mourners,drives out hatred,fosters concord,and brings down the mighty.
On this, your night of grace,O holy Father, accept this candle,a solemn offering,the work of bees and of your servants’ hands,an evening sacrifice of praise,this gift from your most holy Church.
But now we know the praises of this pillar,which glowing fire ignites for God’s honour,a fire into many flames divided,yet never dimmed by sharing of its light,for it is fed by melting wax,drawn out by mother beesto build a torch so precious.
O truly blessed night,when things of heaven are wed to those of earth,and divine to the human.Therefore, O Lord, we pray you that this candle,hallowed to the honour of your name,may persevere undimmed,to overcome the darkness of this night.Receive it as a pleasing fragrance,and let it mingle with the lights of heaven.
May this flamebe found still burning by the Morning Star:the one Morning Star who never sets,Christ your Son,who coming back from death’s domainhas shed his peaceful light on humanityand lives and reigns for ever and ever.Amen
Take a moment to imagine Jesus pointing you out in the crowd, calling you by name, and inviting you to follow.