Sunday, April 27, 2014

Come Take Light....

Above is a short clip from a ceremony I have been blessed to see twice in my life, a rite called the "Hajmeh" or "Rush" wherein the priest takes the Paschal Candle and the burning Paschal Fire (blessed during the daytime "vigil" vesperal liturgy) and gives the Holy Fire to the faithful who form a procession around the church outside in quiet, as if in search of Christ as Mary Magdalen was. The priest sings "Come ye faithful and take the light from the Light which is never overcome by night, and glorify Christ, Who is risen from the dead." It might be the most hauntingly beautiful and simple thing I have ever seen.

The procession ends at the doors of the church. The priest reads the Resurrection account in St. Mark's gospel and then announces "the King of Glory" at the doors of the church, which represent Hades. The faithful re-enter the church in bright light and sing Paschal Mattins (and Lauds, sort of), which concludes with the Paschal sermon of St. John Chrysostom of Constantinople. The Divine Liturgy follows immediately. In the Slavic tradition the faithful venerate the priest's blessing cross and the empty tomb (the epitaphios) during the last ode of Mattins. The Royal Doors and Deacon Doors between the Holy Place (sanctuary) and the nave are wide open and are left open throughout Paschaltide, because the barrier between God and Man is now finally broken.

In many ways quite similar to what we used to do. A friend who attends a FSSP parish went to the Byzantine Good Friday and Paschal Sunday and said "There's just no goin' back after that."


  1. Sorry for my ignorance (one more time), but I feel this is the equivalent to the ὄρθρος/lucernarium you have talked about some days ago; am I wrong?

    Anyway, just watching the video I agree with you that it is a truly beautiful and spiritual rite. You are lucky for being able to attend to it!

    Kyrie eleison

    1. You are precisely right about the lucernarium!