REJOICE now, all ye heavenly legions of Angels: and celebrate the divine mysteries with exultation: and for the King that cometh with victory, let the trumpet proclaim salvation. Sing with joy, O earth, illumined with this celestial radiancy: and enlightened by the King eternal, thy Glory, believe and know that thou hast put away the darkness of all mankind. So likewise let his holy Church, our Mother, welcome the bright beams of light shed upon her: and let his holy courts be filled with the praises of his people. I pray and beseech you, therefore, dearly beloved, that all ye, who here are present seeking this heavenly brightness, make your supplication with me to God the Almighty, that he would shew forth his mercy toward me. That he who in my unworthiness numbered me among his Ministers and called me to do him service: so also may vouchsafe to lighten my darkness, making me meet to praise this gift of light with thankfulness. Through his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord and Redeemer: who liveth and reigneth with him in the unity of the Holy Ghost. World without end. R. Amen.
V. The Lord be with you:
R. And with thy spirit.
V. Lift up your hearts.
R. We lift them up unto the Lord.
V. Let us give thanks unto our Lord God.
R. It is meet and right so to do.
It is very meet, right and our bounden duty, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks unto thee, O Lord, holy Father Almighty, Everlasting God. And that with the service of our lips we should glorify thee, and with heart and soul should praise thee, O God the Invisible and Almighty, and likewise thy only begotten Son, Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Who paid for us to thee, O Eternal Father, the debt of Adam's transgression: and with his dear Blood wiped away the reproach of our former offences. Now therefore we sacrifice our Passover, wherein for us the very Lamb of God is slain, by whose Blood even the doors of his faithful people are made holy. Now is come the night, wherein, when our fathers the children of Israel were led forth out of Egypt, thou dividest the sea and madest them to go on dry land in the midst of the waters. Yea, now is come the night, that with the fiery pillar hath taken away the darkness of our condemnation. Now is come the night, whereby all that believe in Christ upon the face of the earth, delivered from this naughty world, and out of the shadow of death, are unto grace renewed, and made partakers of eternal life. Now is come the night, wherein the bonds of death were loosed, and Christ harrowing hell rose again in triumph. For wherefore should man be born into this world, save that being born he might be redeemed? O how wonderful is thy loving kindness unto us thy children! O how unspeakable is the love that thou hast bestowed on us: who to redeem a servant, delivered up thine only Son! O how great is thy providence in man's necessity, to make by the Blood of Christ from Adam's sin our salvation! O blessed iniquity, for whose redemption such a price was paid by such a Saviour! O night verily blessed, to thee alone that time and hour were made manifest, when our Saviour Christ rose again from death unto life! Now is come the night whereof David said: Behold, the night is as clear as the day: then shall my night be turned into day. The holy mystery therefore of this night putteth to flight the deeds of darkness, purgeth away sin, restoreth innocence to the fallen, and gladness to them that mourn: casteth out hatred, bringeth peace to all mankind and boweth down mighty princes.
THEREFORE, in this night of grace, accept, O holy Father, this our sacrifice of incense: which thy holy Church by the hands of thy servants doth offer thee, wherein this Candle of wax which by thy creatures the bees did gather, is made a solemn oblation. Ye hear, brethren, the meaning of this pillar we have set up, which in God's honour the bright flame of fire doth set alight.
WHICH though it be never so much divided, yet knoweth not variableness, nor loseth ought of its splendour. For wax that melteth doth but feed the flame, for thereunto have God's creatures the bees brought it forth, that it should give light in darkness.
O NIGHT verily blessed, which did spoil the people of Egypt and enrich the Hebrews! O night, wherein heaven and earth are joined, and man is brought close to God. We pray thee, therefore, O Lord most merciful: that this Candle, which we have lighted and consecrated before thee in thine own Name, may continue to shine forth without ceasing, and may vanquish all the shades of darkness. That being accepted before thee as a sweet savour, it may be numbered with the lights that thou hast kindled. May the Day Star find it burning when he dawneth into day: the Day Star that riseth and knoweth not his going down: but coming forth from the places of darkness gladly giveth forth light unto all creation. We beseech thee, therefore, O Lord most merciful: that thou wouldest direct and guide us thy servants, and the hearts of all thy faithful family: and all those also that minister in thy service: especially Benedict our Pope, and thy servant Gustavo our own Bishop, so helping us with continual grace, that we may pass our time in rest and quietness, in the glad solemnity of our Redemption. Through the same thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord and Redeemer: who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost ever one God, world without end. Amen.