Last night, standing in the darkened sanctuary with my sons each taking part in the gorgeous vigil, singing with my husband and my daughter and my friends, smelling the mixture of incense and lilies that will forever be the smell of Easter to me, (replacing the ham of my childhood!) I thought, "It just doesn't get any better than this."
Then I realized that the beauty of that moment, the thrill of the pealing of the bells while we sang the long-silenced Gloria, and the closeness in the Holy Supper are just a peek, just a hint, of the glories of Heaven.
At the Lamb’s high feast we sing
Praise to our victorious king,
Who has washed us in the tide
Flowing from his pierced side.
Praise we him, whose love divine
Gives his sacred blood for wine,
Gives his body for the feast
Christ the victim, Christ the priest.
Where the paschal blood is poured,
Death’s dread angel sheathes the sword;
Israel’s hosts triumphant go
Through the wave that drowns the foe.
Praise we Christ, whose blood was shed,
Paschal victim, paschal bread;
With sincerity and love
Eat we manna from above.
Mighty Victim from the sky,
Hell’s fierce powers beneath you lie;
You have conquered in the fight
You have brought us life and light.
Now no more can death appall,
Now no more the grave enthrall;
You have opened paradise,
And your saints in you shall rise.
Easter triumph, Easter joy!
This alone can sin destroy;
From sin’s power, Lord, set us free,
Newborn souls in you to be.
Father, who the crown shall give,
Savior, by whose death we live,
Spirit, guide through all our days;
Three in One, Your name we praise.
Hymn # 126 from Lutheran Worship
Author: Bohemian Brethren
Tune: Sonne Der Gerechtigkeit