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Pascal Tide

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According to Paderborn( 1910),Paschal Tide is the period during which every member of the faithful who has attained the year of discretion is bound by the positive law of the Roman Catholic church to receive Holy Communion (Easter duty). During the early Middle Ages from the time of the Synod of Agde (508), it was customary to receive Holy Communion at least three times a year — Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost. A positive precept was issued by the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) and confirmed by the Council of Trent (Sess. XIII, can. ix). According to these decrees the faithful of either sex, after coming to the age of discretion, must receive at least at Easter the Sacrament of the Eucharist (unless by the advice of the parish priest they abstain for a while). Otherwise during life they are to be prevented from entering the church and when dead are to be denied Christian burial. The paschal precept is to be fulfilled in one's parish church. Although the precept of the Fourth Lateran to confess to the parish priest fell into disuse and permission was given to confess anywhere, the precept of receiving Easter Communion in the parish church is still in force where there are canonically-erected parishes. The term Paschal Tide was usually interpreted to mean the two weeks between Palm and Low Sundays (Synod of Avignon, 1337); by St. Antonine of Florence it was restricted to Easter Sunday, Monday and Tuesday by Angelo da Chiavasso it was defined as the period from Maundy Thursday to Low Sunday. Eugene IV, 8 July, 1440, authoritatively interpreted it to mean the two weeks between Palm and Low Sundays [G. Allmang, "Kölner Pastoralblatt" (Nov., 1910) 327 sq.]. In later centuries the time has been variously extended: at Naples from Palm Sunday to Ascension; at Palermo from Ash Wednesday to Low Sunday. In Germany, at an early date, the second Sunday after Easter terminated Paschal Tide, for which reason it was called "Predigerkirchweih", because the hard Easter labour was over, or "Buch Sunday", the obstinate sinners putting off the fulfillment of the precept to the last day. In the United States upon petition of the Fathers of the First Provincial Council of BaltimorePaschal Tide was extended by Pius VIII to the period from the first Sunday in Lent to Trinity Sunday (II Plen. Coun. Balt., n. 257); in England it lasts from Ash Wednesday until Low Sunday; in Ireland from Ash Wednesday until the octave of SS. Peter and Paul, 6 July (O'Kane "Rubrics of the Roman Ritual", n. 737; Slater, "Moral Theology" 578, 599); in Canada the duration of the Paschal Tide is the same as in the United States.


The fifty days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost are called by the older liturgists "Quinquagesima paschalis" or "Quin. laetitiae". The octaveof Easter which closer after Saturday has its own peculiar Office. Since this octave is part and complement of the Easter Solemnity.Paschal Tide in the liturgical books commences with the First Vespers of Low Sunday and ends before the First Vespers of Trinity Sunday. On Easter Sunday the Armenian Church keeps the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed and on Saturday of Easter Week theDecollation of St. John. The Greek Church on Friday of Easter Week celebrates the feast of Our Lady, the Living Fountain (shrine atConstantinople).
The Sundays from Easter to Ascension Day, besides being called the First, Second (etc.) Sunday after Easter, have their own peculiar titles. * The first is the "Dominica in albis", or Low Sunday. In the Dioceses of Portugal and Brazil (also in the province of St. Louis, Mo.) on the Monday after Low Sunday is celebrated the feast of the Joys or Exultation of Mary at the Resurrection of her Son (double of the second class). The Russians, on Tuesday of this week, go in procession to the cemeteries and place Easter eggs on the graves [Maltzew, "Fasten-und Blumen-Triodion" (Berlin, 1899), 791]. * In the Latin Church the second Sunday is called from its Gospel the Sunday of the Good Shepherd and from the Introit "Misericordias Domini"; in many dioceses (Seville, Capuchins) it is called the feast of Our Lady Mother of the Good Shepherd (d. 2nd cl.); atJerusalem and in the churches of the Franciscans it is called the feast of the Holy Sepulchre of Christ; in the Greek Church it is called ion myrophoron (Sunday of the women who brought ointments to the sepulchre of Christ); the Armenians celebrate on thisSunday the dedication of the first Christian church on Mount Sion. * The third Sunday is called from the Introit "Jubilate" and the Latin Church has assigned to it the feast of the Patronage of St. Joseph (d. 2nd cl.); the Greeks call it the Sunday of the Paralytic, from its Gospel. The Oriental Churches on Wednesday after the third Sunday celebrate with a very solemn Office and an octave the Mesopentekoste, the completion of the first half of Paschal Tide; it is the feast of the manifestation of the Messiah, the victory of Christ and the Church over Judaism ["Zeitschrift für katholische Theologie" (1895), 169-177]; the Slav nations in this day have a solemn procession and benediction of their rivers (Nilles, "Kal." II, 361). * The fourth Sunday is called "Cantate"; by the Orientals it is called Sunday of the Samaritan Woman. * The fifth Sunday, "Vocem jucunditatis" in the Orient, Sunday of the Man Born Blind. In the Latin Church follow the Rogation Days; in the Greek Church on Tuesday is kept the apodosis or conclusion of the feast of Easter. The Greeks sing the Canons of Easter up to this Tuesday in the same manner as during Easter Week, whilst in the Latin Church the specific Easter Office terminates onSaturday following the feast. Thursday is the feast of the Ascension. The Friday of this week, in Germany, is called "Witterfreitag"; the fields are blessed against frost and thunderstorms. * Sunday within the octave of Ascension is called "Exaudi" from the Introit; in some dioceses it is called Feast of Our Lady, Queen of the Apostles (double major) or of the Cenacle (Charleston and Savannah, first class); in Rome it was called Sunday of the Roses ("Pascha rosarum" or "rosatum"), since in the Pantheon rose-leaves were thrown from the rotunda into the church; in the Greek andRussian Churches it is the feast of the 318 Fathers of the first Nicene Council; the Armenians call it the "second feast of the flowers", a repetition of Palm Sunday. By older liturgists the week before Pentecost is called "Hebdomada expectationis", week of the expectation of the Holy Ghost. On the Vigil of Pentecost the baptismal water is blessed in the Latin Church; in the Oriental Churches it this Saturday is the psychosabbaton (All Soul's Day); on this day the Greeks bless wheat cakes and have processionsto the cemeteries.
Paschal Tide is a season of joy. The colour for the Office de tempore is white; the Te Deum and Gloria are recited every day even in the ferial Office. On Sundays the "Asperges" is replaced by the "Vidi Aquam" which recalls the solemn baptism of Easter eve. There is no feast day from Easter until Ascension. The Armenians during this period do away even with the abstinence on Fridays. Prayers are said standing, not kneeling. Instead of the "Angelus" the "Regina Caeli" is recited. From Easter to Ascension many churches, about the tenth century, said only one Nocturn at Matins; even some particular churches in the city of Rome adopted this custom from the Teutons(Bäumer, "Gesch. des Breviers", 312). Gregory VII limited this privilege to the week of Easter and of Pentecost. Some dioceses in Germanyhowever, retained it far into the nineteenth century for 40 days after Easter. In every Nocturn the three psalms are said under oneantiphon. The Alleluia appears as an independent antiphon; an Alleluia is also added to all the antiphons, responsories, and versicles, except to the versicles of the preces at Prime and Compline. Instead of the "suffragia sanctorum" in the semidouble and ferial Offices a commemoration of the Holy Cross is used. The iambic hymns have a special Easter doxology. The feasts of the holy Apostles and martyrshave their own commune from Easter to Pentecost. At Mass the Alleluia is added to the Introit, Offertory and Communion; in place of theGradual two Alleluias are sung followed by two verses, each with an Alleluia; there is also a special Preface for Paschal Time.

WHAT IS HOLY SATURDAY? According to Jennifer Gregory Miller , Holy Saturday is the final day of Lent, of Holy Week, and of theEaster Triduum, the three days (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday) immediately preceding Easter, during which Christians commemorate the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ and prepare for His Resurrection.
WHEN IS HOLY SATURDAY? Also known as the Easter Vigil (a name more properly applied to the Mass on Holy Saturday night), Holy Saturday has had a long and varied history. As the Catholic Encyclopedia notes, "in the early Church this was the only Saturday on which fasting was permitted." Fasting is a sign of penance, but on Good Friday, Christ paid with His own Blood the debt of our sins. Thus, for many centuries, Christians regarded both Saturday and Sunday, the day of Christ's Resurrection, as days on which fasting was forbidden. (That practice is still reflected in the Lenten disciplines of the Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches, which lighten their fasts slightly on Saturdays and Sundays.)
By the second century, Christians had begun to observe a total fast (no food of any kind) for 40 hours before Easter, which meant that the entire day of Holy Saturday was a day of fasting.
No Mass for Holy Saturday:
As on Good Friday, there is no Mass offered for Holy Saturday. The Easter Vigil Mass, which takes place after sundown on Holy Saturday, properly belongs to Easter Sunday, since liturgically, each day begins at sundown on the previous day. (That is why Saturday vigil Masses can fulfill our Sunday Duty.) Unlike on Good Friday, when Holy Communion is distributed at the afternoon liturgy commemorating Christ's Passion, on Holy Saturday theEucharist is only given to the faithful as viaticum—that is, only to those in danger of death, to prepare their souls.
In the early Church, Christians gathered on the afternoon of Holy Saturday to pray and to confer the Sacrament of Baptism on catechumens—converts to Christianity who had spent Lent preparing to be received into the Church. (As the Catholic Encyclopedia notes, in the early Church, "Holy Saturday and the vigil of Pentecost were the only days on which baptism was administered.") This vigil lasted through the night until dawn on Easter Sunday, when the Alleluia was sung for the first time since the beginning of Lent, and the faithful—including the newly baptized—broke their 40-hour fast by receiving Communion.
In the Middle Ages, beginning roughly in the eighth century, the ceremonies of the Easter Vigil, especially the blessing of new fire and the lighting of the Easter candle, began to be performed earlier and earlier. Eventually, these ceremonies were performed on Holy Saturday morning. The whole of Holy Saturday, originally a day of mourning for the crucified Christ and of expectation of His Resurrection, now became little more than an anticipation of the Easter Vigil.
With the reform of the liturgies for Holy Week in 1956, those ceremonies were returned to the Easter Vigil itself (that is, to the Mass celebrated after sundown on Holy Saturday), and thus the original character of Holy Saturday was restored.
Until the revision of the rules for fasting and abstinence in 1969 (see "Reader Question: Observing Lent Before Vatican II" for more details), strict fasting and abstinence continued to be practiced on the morning of Holy Saturday, thus reminding the faithful of the sorrowful nature of the day and preparing them for the joy of Easter feast. While fasting and abstinence are no longer required on Holy Saturday morning, practicing these Lenten disciplines is still a good way to observe this sacred day.

THE HOLY VIGIL The Easter Vigil liturgy is the most beautiful liturgy in the Roman Catholic Church. This walks through the Easter Vigil, and includes the words to the Exsultet.
Although celebrated Holy Saturday evening, it is the dramatic Easter vigil liturgy that marks the beginning of Easter. We are awaiting our master's return with our lamps full and burning, so that he will find us awake and seat us at his table (cf. Luke 12:35ff). All Catholics should try to attend this beautiful service. The vigil is divided into four parts: 1) service of light, 2) liturgy of the Word, 3) liturgy of Baptism, and 4) liturgy of the Eucharist.
1) Service of Light The atmosphere in the church is different: the holy water fonts are drained, all the lights are out, the tabernacle is empty. The service begins outside the church. A new fire is lit and blessed.
A Paschal Candle is prepared with these words while the priest marks the candle:
Christ yesterday and today (vertical arm of the cross) the Beginning and the end(horizontal arm of the cross) Alpha (alpha above the cross) and Omega (omega below the cross) all time belongs to him (numeral 2 in upper left corner of cross) and all the ages (numeral 0 in upper right corner of cross) to him be glory and power (numeral 0 in lower left corner) through every age for ever. Amen (numeral 0 in lower right corner)
The priest lights the candle from the new fire, saying:
May the light of Christ, rising in glory, dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds.
The candle is then processed through the church, with the deacon lifting the candle at three different times, singing: Christ our light (Lumen Christi) and the congregation sings in reply: Thanks be to God (Deo gratias). Everyone lights their candle from the Easter candle and continue in procession until the whole church is alight. The Paschal candle symbolizes Christ, the Light of the World.
Next follows the glorious Easter song of the Catholic Church: the Exsultet (Easter proclamation). "This magnificent hymn, which is remarkable for its lyric beauty and profound symbolism, announces the dignity and meaning of the mystery of Easter; it tells of man's sin, of God's mercy, and of the great love of the Redeemer for mankind, admonishing us in turn to thank the Trinity for all the graces that have been lavished upon us" (©1947 With Christ Through the Year, by Bernard Strasser). This is usually sung by the deacon.
Exsultet (excerpts) Rejoice, heavenly powers! Sing choirs of angels! Exult, all creation around God's throne! Jesus Christ, our King is risen! Sound the trumpet of salvation!
Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor, radiant in the brightness of your King! Christ has conquered! Glory fills you! Darkness vanishes for ever!
Rejoice, O Mother Church! Exult in glory! The risen Savior shines upon you! Let this place resound with joy, echoing the mighty song of all God's people!
For Christ has ransomed us with his blood, and paid for us the price of Adam's sin to our eternal Father!
This is night, when Christians everywhere, washed clean of sin and freed from all defilement, are restored to grace and grow together in holiness.
This is the night, when Jesus broke the chains of death and rose triumphant from the grave.
What good would life have been to us, had Christ not come as our Redeemer?
Father, how wonderful your care for us! How boundless your merciful love! To ransom a slave you gave away your Son.
The power of this holy night dispels all evil, washes guilt away, restores lost innocence, brings mourners joy; it casts out hatred, brings us peace, and humbles earthly pride.
Accept this Easter candle, a flame divided but undimmed, a pillar of fire that glows to the honor of God.
Let it mingle with the lights of heaven and continue bravely burning to dispel the darkness of this night!
May the Morning Star which never sets find this flame still burning: Christ, that Morning Star, who came back from the dead, and shed his peaceful light on all mankind, your Son, who lives and reigns for ever and ever. R. Amen.
For more information about this Easter song please see The Exsultant from the Catholic Culture Library.

2) Liturgy of the Word
During the Easter vigil, nine readings, seven Old Testament and two New Testament, are provided. Not all are required to be read due to time constraints, but at least three Old Testament readings must be read, including Exodus 14. These readings help us meditate on the wonderful works of God for his people since the beginning of time. The readings are 1) the story of creation, Gen 1:1-2; 2; 2) Abraham and Isaac, Gen 22:1-18; 3) Crossing of the Red Sea, Exodus 14:15–15:1; 4) Isaiah 54:5-14; 5) Isaiah 55:1-11; 6) Baruch 3:9-15.32–4:4; 7) Ezekiel 36:16-17.18-28; 8) Romans 6:3-11; and 9) Gospel reading Mark 16:1-7. The Gloria is sung before the reading of the Epistle of the Romans, and the Alleluia is sung before the Gospel.
3) Liturgy of Baptism
During this time the Easter water is blessed, new members are brought into the Church through baptism, and the faithful are blessed with water and renew their baptismal promises.
4) Liturgy of Eucharist
So resumes the Mass, with the special prayers inserted during the Eucharist Prayer. The whole church is called to join at the sacrificial table that Christ prepared for us through his death and resurrection. The Mass ends with the glorious
V. The Mass is ended, go in peace, alleluia, alleluia. R. Thanks be to God, alleluia, alleluia.…...

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