Easter Thursday Vespers

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us

Holy God, Holy and mighty, Holy immortal one,
Have mercy on us. (3x)
Latin. Sanctus Deus, Sanctus Fortis, Sanctus immortalis,
Miserere nobis.
Greek. Agios o theos, Agios ischyros, Agios athanatos,
Eleison imas.

Alleluia! Christ is Risen! The Lord is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!.

Rejoice now, heavenly hosts and choirs of angels,
and let your trumpets shout Salvation
for the victory of our mighty King.

Rejoice and sing now, all the round earth,
bright with a glorious splendour,
for darkness has been vanquished by our eternal King.

Rejoice and be glad now, Mother Church,
and let your holy courts, in radiant light,
resound with the praises of your people.

Alleluia! Christ is Risen! The Lord is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!.

Opening Verse
Christ himself, innocent though he was, had died once for sins, died for the guilty, to lead us to God. In the body he was put to death, in the spirit he was raised to life, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has entered heaven and is at God's right hand, now that he has made the angels and Dominations and Powers his subjects. - 1 Peter 3:18 - 22


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 praise the Father thankfully
With songs of alleluia.

How long and bitter was the strife
when life and death contended;
the victory remained with life,
the reign of death was ended;
stripped of power, no more it reigns,
an empty form alone remains;
death's sting is lost for ever!

So let us keep this festival
To which our Lord invites us;
The Savior who is joy of all,
the sun that warms and lights us;
by his grace he shall impart
eternal sunshine to the heart;
the night of sin is ended.


Praise the LORD from the heavens; *
     praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you angels of his; *
     praise him, all his host.
Praise him, sun and moon; *
     praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, heaven of heavens, *
     and you waters above the heavens.
Let them praise the Name of the LORD; *
     for he commanded, and they were created.
He made them stand fast for ever and ever; *
     he gave them a law which shall not pass away.
Praise the LORD from the earth, *
     you sea-monsters and all deeps;
Fire and hail, snow and fog, *
     tempestuous wind, doing his will;
Mountains and all hills, *
     fruit trees and all cedars;
Wild beasts and all cattle, *
     creeping things and winge!d birds;
Kings of the earth and all peoples, *
     princes and all rulers of the world;
Young men and maidens, *
     old and young together.
Let them praise the Name of the LORD, *
     for his Name only is exalted,
     his splendor is over earth and heaven.
He has raised up strength for his people
and praise for all his loyal servants, *
     the children of Israel, a people who are near him.
Sing to the LORD a new song; *
     sing his praise in the congregation of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in his Maker; *
     let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.
Let them praise his Name in the dance; *
     let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
For the LORD takes pleasure in his people *
     and adorns the poor with victory.
Let the faithful rejoice in triumph; *
     let them be joyful on their beds.
Let the praises of God be in their throat *
     and a two-edged sword in their hand;
To wreak vengeance on the nations *
     and punishment on the peoples;
To bind their kings in chains *
     and their nobles with links of iron;
To inflict on them the judgment decreed; *
     this is glory for all his faithful people.

First Reading

Exodus 13:1-10

The Lord said to Moses: Consecrate to me all the firstborn; whatever is the first to open the womb among the Israelites, of human beings and animals, is mine.

Moses said to the people, ‘Remember this day on which you came out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, because the Lord brought you out from there by strength of hand; no leavened bread shall be eaten. Today, in the month of Abib, you are going out. When the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which he swore to your ancestors to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, you shall keep this observance in this month. For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a festival to the Lord. Unleavened bread shall be eaten for seven days; no leavened bread shall be seen in your possession, and no leaven shall be seen among you in all your territory. You shall tell your child on that day, “It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.” It shall serve for you as a sign on your hand and as a reminder on your forehead, so that the teaching of the Lord may be on your lips; for with a strong hand the Lord brought you out of Egypt. You shall keep this ordinance at its proper time from year to year.


A Song of Faith
1 Peter 1:3-4, 18-21
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, *
by divine mercy we have a new birth into a living hope;
Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, *
we have an inheritance that is imperishable in heaven.
The ransom that was paid to free us *
was not paid in silver or gold,
But in the precious blood of Christ, *
the Lamb without spot or stain.
God raised Jesus from the dead and gave him glory *
so that we might have faith and hope in God.

Second Reading

1 Corinthians 15:41-50

There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; indeed, star differs from star in glory.

So it is with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body. Thus it is written, ‘The first man, Adam, became a living being’; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first, but the physical, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so are those who are of the dust; and as is the man of heaven, so are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we will also bear the image of the man of heaven.

What I am saying, brothers and sisters, is this: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

Jesus asked, why do questionings arise in your minds?/ Look at my hands and feet; it is I myself, alleluia.

Jesus asked, why do questionings arise in your minds?/ Look at my hands and feet; it is I myself, alleluia.

Collect of the Day

Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ's Body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Personal Prayers and Thanksgivings

Christ rose from the dead, the first-fruits of all who slept. Let us rejoice and give him praise, saying:
- You rose from the dead: hear our prayer.
Remember, Christ, your holy Church. You founded it on the Apostles and spread it throughout the world:
  -  give your blessing to all who believe in you. (R.)
Healer of our souls and our bodies,
  -  come to our aid and bring us to safety. (R.)
Help the sick and give them strength:
  -  free them from their weakness. (R.)
Help those who are weighed down with pain and oppression;
  -  in your mercy, sustain the the poor. (R.)
Through your cross and resurrection, you opened up for all the road to eternal life:
  -  grant that our brethren who have died may share in the joy of your kingdom. (R.)

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
 hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
 thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
 and forgive us our trespasses
 as we forgive those that trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
 but deliver us from evil.

O God, you have brought together many races in one single acknowledgement of your name.
May those who have been reborn in baptism
 be one in belief
 and one in holy living.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
 who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
 God for ever and ever.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

May the risen Lord Jesus bless us. May he watch over us and renew us as he renews the whole of creation. May our hearts and lives echo his love. Amen


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