EASTER MONDAY: POPE URGES CHRISTIANS TO BUILD FRATERNITY – THE REGINA COELI PRAYER

As promised by the weatherman, it snowed today, Easter Monday, in New York City – beautiful but not lasting or treacherous. The temp really dropped overnight for this to happen but it seems we have been promised slightly warmer days ahead, though probably some rain. I have been here since Holy Thursday and we’ve had everything except a heat wave! Maybe I should be careful what I write!

My days have been filled with liturgies of the Easter Triduum at St. Patrick’s cathedral, as well as lovely visits and shared meals with a handful of the many friends I have in NYC.

Easter Mass at St, Patrick’s was splendid, as the Mass of the Resurrection should be! Two of my best friends, Peter and Blanche, had tickets for the 10:15 Mass with Cardinal Timothy Dolan, a man we have all known for a number of years. Sitting in the front row was quiet special, as was being welcomed into the cardinal’s home with a number of other close friends after the Eucharistic celebration.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral –

I was very privileged later to share Easter lunch with Cardinal Dolan, five priests from the archdiocese, including his secretary (another longtime friend) Sr. Rosaria, a delightful Irish nun and luncheon companion who has known the cardinal for decades, Fr. Jonathan Morris (whom many of you might know from his appearances on FoxNews) and Bill Hemmer of FoxNews. A scrumptious meal but the best food was that for the soul – the conversation and gales of laughter!

Easter Sunday Mass –

Note that the ushers wear tails (on special days, I presume) –

AFTER MASS – So, Your Eminence, I have a question….

EASTER MONDAY: POPE URGES CHRISTIANS TO BUILD FRATERNITY

By Robin Gomes (vaticannews.va)

Pope Francis on Monday urged Christians to build fraternity, saying only fraternity can guarantee lasting peace, defeat poverty, extinguish tensions and wars, and eradicate corruption and crime. Speaking to thousands of pilgrims and faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the noon Regina Coeli prayer, the Pope said fraternity lived by the first Christians is also needed today.

“He is risen” – shocking

Easter Monday, which is celebrated as ‘Pasquetta’ or ‘Little Easter’ holiday in Italy, is also called “Monday of the Angel,” after the Gospel episode of the angel in the empty tomb of Jesus. The Pope said that the words “He is risen,” spoken by the angel to the women, could be uttered only by “a superior being to communicate a reality so shocking, so incredible, that perhaps no man would dare to pronounce it.” The community of disciples later began to repeat it.

Fraternity builds common good, social justice

Pope Francis noted that after Easter, on Monday of the Angel, we feel the need to reunite and celebrate with our loved ones and friends. By rising again from death, the Pope explained, Jesus broke down the wall of division between men, restored peace, and began weaving the fabric of a new fraternity. The Holy Father underscored the importance of rediscovering fraternity in our time, just as it was lived in the early Christian communities.

The Pope said, “There cannot be a true communion and a commitment to the common good and social justice without fraternity and sharing.” “Without fraternal sharing, an authentic ecclesial or civil community cannot be created: there can only be a group of individuals motivated by their own interests,” the Pope warned.

Dialogue and relationship

The Resurrection of Christ, the Pope said, has made the novelty of dialogue and of the relationship explode in the world, a novelty that has become “a responsibility for Christians”. He recalled Jesus telling that the world would come know they were his disciples from their love for one another.

This is why, the Pope explained, we cannot close ourselves in our privacy, in our group, but we are called to take care of the common good, to take care of our brothers, especially the weakest and most marginalized. Only fraternity, the Pope stressed, can guarantee lasting peace, defeat poverty, extinguish tensions and wars, and can eradicate corruption and crime.

The Pope concluded urging all to implore the Virgin Mary help all make fraternity and communion their lifestyle and the soul of their relationships.

Witnesses of peace

After reciting the Regina Coeli prayer and imparting his blessing, Pope Francis greeted various groups from Italy and around the world present in the square. He exhorted them to be witnesses of the peace of the risen Lord especially to the “most fragile and disadvantaged” people. In this regard, he reminded them about the World Autism Awareness Day observed on April 2.

The Holy Father also invoked peace on the entire world, especially on populations suffering because of ongoing conflicts. He renewed his appeal for those kidnapped or unjustly denied their liberty, that they be released and be allowed to return to their homes.

THE REGINA COELI PRAYER

The Easter prayer Regina Coeli (“Queen of Heaven” in Latin) is a tribute to the Lord’s resurrection and to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Authorship of the prayer is unknown but it can be traced back to the 12th century and was used by Franciscans after Compline (night prayer) in the first half of the 13th century. The prayer is one of four antiphons (short liturgical texts sung or chanted dedicated to the Mother of the Lord. It is often sung as a hymn and has had numerous musical settings in its original Latin text, including several by Mozart. Traditionally, it is prayed standing, often at noon, in place of the Angelus during the Easter Season from Holy Saturday until Pentecost. For that reason, the Pope’s window addresses during the Easter Season are referred to as “Regina Coeli” Addresses.

Latin Text:

℣. Regina cæli, lætare, alleluia:
℟. Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia,
℣. Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia,
℟. Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.
℣. Gaude et lætare, Virgo Maria, alleluia.
℟. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.

℣. Oremus:
Deus, qui per resurrectionem Filii tui, Domini nostri Iesu Christi,
mundum lætificare dignatus es:
præsta, quæsumus, ut per eius Genitricem Virginem Mariam,
perpetuæ capiamus gaudia vitæ.
Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum.
℟. Amen.

English version:

Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia.
For He whom you did merit to bear, alleluia.
Has risen, as he said, alleluia.
Pray for us to God, alleluia.
Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia.
For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

Let us pray.
O God, who gave joy to the world through the resurrection
of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
grant we beseech you,
that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother,
we may obtain the joys of everlasting life.
Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

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EASTER MONDAY OF THE ANGEL – “NEVER TIRE OF REPEATING, CHRIST IS RISEN!” – HAPPY EASTER FROM……VIENNA!

EASTER MONDAY OF THE ANGEL

Today is Easter Monday – Little Easter or Pasquetta – and is also known here as Monday of the Angel, a big holiday throughout much of Europe. Today is also the penultimate day of vacation time for Vatican and Roman Curia staff. The Easter holidays start Holy Thursday and go through the Tuesday after Easter for most people at the Vatican. However, the various Vatican media offices and the Secretariat of State have at least a skeleton crew on hand over the holidays, whereas the office of the liturgical ceremonies of the Supreme Pontiff was kept quite busy throughout Holy Week and Easter Sunday.

On April 9, 2012, Easter Monday, Pope Benedict recited the Regina Coeli, the prayer that takes the place of the Angelus during Eastertime, from the apostolic palace in Castelgandolfo.  He reflected on the Resurraction and why this day is known Monday of the Angel.

The weather three years ago was much as it is today, a clear sunny day that brought considerably cooler temperatures and a brisk breeze to central Italy. And three years ago, thousands of faithful joined the Pope in the palace’s inner courtyard as well as in the town’s main square, just outside the palace main entrance. Italians typically dedicate Easter Monday to family outings, most often celebrating a picnic meal at midday.

Recalling that the real reason for this holiday is the Resurrection of Our Lord, Pope Benedict began his reflections by noting that the Gospel writers do not describe the Resurrection itself. “That event remains mysterious – not as something unreal, but as something beyond the reach of our knowledge – as a light so bright the eyes cannot bear it.”

He explained that the Gospel narration begins with the morning after the sabbath when the women run to the sepulchre, find it empty and hear an angel tell them the Lord has risen. As they run in turn to tell the disciples, they meet Jesus.

The Holy Father went on to note that, “In those days, in Israel, women’s testimony could have no official legal value.” Nevertheless, “women have experienced a special bond with the Lord, that is fundamental to the day-to-day life of the Christian community, and this is always true, in every age, not only at the beginning of the Church’s pilgrim journey.” Benedict XVI stressed how, “in all the Gospels, women play a big role in the stories of the appearance of the resurrected Jesus, like the rest, and also in the passion and death of Jesus.”

“NEVER TIRE OF REPEATING, CHRIST IS RISEN!”

Easter Monday at noon, Pope Francis appeared at the window of his study to recite the Regina Coeli. He told the pilgrims that, “Faith in the resurrection of Jesus and the hope He has brought to us is the most beautiful gift that a Christian can and must offer his brothers and sisters.”

EASTER MONDAY

“To one and all,” he said, “never tire of repeating: Christ is risen.” He then urged the crowd – three times . to reèpeat that phtrase with him – which they did with great gusto! he urged the crowd, inviting them to repeat the phrase with him three times in the Square.

Pope Francis said, the Good News of the Resurrection should “shine on our face, in our feelings and in our behaviour, in the way in which we treat others. We proclaim the Resurrection of Christ when his light illuminates the dark moments of our existence, and we are able share it with others; when we know when to smile with those who smile, and weep with those who weep; when we accompany those who are sad and at risk of losing hope; when we recount our experience of Faith to those who are searching for meaning and happiness,”

He also mentioned what he called the “curious truth” that the Liturgy treats the entire Octave – eight days – of Easter as one day, to “help us enter into the mystery” of the feast. “Let our lives be conquered and transformed by the Resurrection,” he said.

After praying the Regina Coeli, in greetings to the Shalom Community, the Holy Father expressed his hope that the international community does not look on, “silent and inactive,” in the face of the “unacceptable crime” of the persecution of Christians around the world.

He told the group who had organized a relay in Rome of solidarity with persecuted Christians.  “Your itinerary on the streets is over, but what must continue on the part of all is the spiritual journey of prayer, intense prayer; the concrete participation and tangible help in the defense and protection of our brothers and sisters, who are persecuted, exiled, killed, beheaded, for the sole reason of being a Christian. They are our martyrs today and they are many; we are able to say that they are more numerous than in the first centuries.”

“I sincerely hope that the international community does not look the other way,” he added.

HAPPY EASTER FROM……VIENNA!

No, I’m not in Vienna but a good friend of mine, Isabella, lives there and several days  ago she sent me some great photos taken with her cell phone as she was strolling through Austria’s historic and magnificent capital with its festive and colorful Easter markets.  I never knew of this splendid custom and am delighted to share her pictures.

Easter Vienna 10 Easter Vienna 6

I wanted to know more about Vienna’s Easter markets so I naturally went on line. I found the following at http://www.wien.info/en/shopping-wining-dining/markets/easter-markets

Traditional Easter decorations and artfully decorated eggs, culinary treats and a program of music await you at Vienna’s Easter markets in March and April. There’s all sorts of entertainment for young visitors to the markets.

Easter Vienna 5 Easter Vienna 1

The Easter market in front of Schönbrunn Palace is considered to be one of the most romantic Easter markets. In front of the backdrop of the palace, 60 exhibitors offer all sorts of culinary pleasures as well as decorative Easter decorations and handicrafts from Austria. Children have fun in the Easter Bunny workshop, where they shape marzipan bunnies and make Easter flower arrangements, in the Easter nest hunt and in the Kindermuseum, while the adults enjoy the entertainment at “Jazz at the Easter Market”.

Easter Vienna  7 Easter Vienna  6

Every year, the Old Viennese Easter market on Freyung, a pretty old square in the Old City, builds the biggest tower of eggs in Europe, with around 40,000 painted Easter eggs. There are also numerous Easter specialties ranging from the Osterpinze Easter bread to the roast Easter lamb, handicrafts, floristry and for the very little ones a creative Easter workshop, puppet games and a rabbit hutch.

Easter Vienna   4 Easter Vienna   2

The handicraft market on Am Hof square is also fully given over to Easter customs with skilfully decorated eggs and flower arrangements and also offers pretty handicrafts.

Easter-Vienna 9 Easter Vienna 8

An entertaining Easter party awaits visitors young and old on Easter Sunday on 5 April in the Prater. There’s live music, an Easter parade and a colorful children’s program with theater and a thrilling magic show.