O Filii et Filiae Feels

EmptyTomb2All Christian Feasts are strange–otherworldly. Perhaps no other Christian Feast is as odd as the Resurrection: we celebrate the murder of an innocent man for our sins, then Him rising from the dead and teleporting from His grave… with a super-upgraded body (it’s my theory that this strangeness of the Paschal Feast has largely prevented its commercialization by businesses, Hollywood, and government. Christmas, Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day, St. Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, and more, have their secularized forms… but Easter? Not so much except for the treats and stuffed animals. It just ain’t a money maker.)

Combine all that with this strangest of times in world history (the pandemic quarantine), and we’ll all need a shot of what I think is the greatest of Easter hymns: O Filii et Filiae (pronounced: oh-fee-lee-ee-et-fee-lee-aye).

  1. King’s College’s smashing rendition:
  2. An epic and meditative version by Patrick Lenk:
  3. The hymn in its natural habitat (for Holy Mass)!
  4. Beautiful contemporary rendition:

Finally, here are the lyrics; they speak (sing?) for themselves:

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.
O filii et filiae,

Rex caelestis, Rex gloriae

morte surrexit hodie.

R. Alleluia

Ye sons and daughters of the Lord,

the King of glory, King adored,

this day Himself from death restored.

R. Alleluia

Ex mane prima Sabbati

ad ostium monumenti

accesserunt discipuli.

R. Alleluia

All in the early morning gray

went holy women on their way,

to see the tomb where Jesus lay.

R. Alleluia

Et Maria Magdalene,

et Iacobi, et Salome

Venerunt corpus ungere

R. Alleluia

Of spices pure a precious store

in their pure hands these women bore,

to anoint the sacred Body o’er.

R. Alleluia

In albis sedens angelus

praedixit mulieribus:

In Galilaea est Dominus.

R. Alleluia

The straight’way one in white they see,

who saith, “seek the Lord: but He

is risen and gone to Galilee.”

R. Alleluia

Et Ioannes apostolus

cucurrit Petro citius,

monumento venit prius.

R. Alleluia

This they told Peter, told John;

who forthwith to the tomb are gone,

but Peter is outrun by John.

R. Alleluia

Discipulis astantibus,

in medio stetit Christus,

dicens: Pax vobis omnibus.

R. Alleluia

That self-same night, while out of fear

the doors where shut, their Lord most dear

to His Apostles did appear.

R. Alleluia

Ut intellexit Didymus

quia surrexerat Iesus,

remansit fere dubius.

R. Alleluia

But Thomas, when of this he heard,

was doubtful of his brethren’s word;

wherefore again there comes the Lord.

R. Alleluia

Vide Thoma, vide latus,

vide pedes, vide manus,

noli esse incredulus.

R. Alleluia

“Thomas, behold my side,” saith He;

“My hands, My feet, My body see,

and doubt not, but believe in Me.”

R. Alleluia

Quando Thomas vidit Christum,

pedes, manus, latus suum,

dixit: Tu es Deus meus.

R. Alleluia

When Thomas saw that wounded side,

the truth no longer he denied;

“Thou art my Lord and God!” he cried.

R. Alleluia

Beati qui non viderunt

et firmiter crediderunt;

vitam aeternam habebunt.

R. Alleluia

Oh, blest are they who have not seen

their Lord and yet believe in Him!

eternal life awaitheth them.

R. Alleluia

In hoc festo sanctissimo

sit laus et iubilatio:

benedicamus Domino.

R. Alleluia

Now let us praise the Lord most high,

and strive His name to magnify

on this great day, through earth and sky:

R. Alleluia

Ex quibus nos humillimas

devotas atque debitas

Deo dicamus gratias.

R. Alleluia

Whose mercy ever runneth o’er;

Whom men and Angel hosts adore;

to Him be glory evermore.

R. Alleluia

 

Liturgy and Lethargy

Lethargy is the wrong word: it means weakness and lack of enthusiasm.
Lethargy is the right word: it means weakness and lack of enthusiasm.

Lethargy perfectly represents what I want to describe.

Many Masses in my life always left me confused, especially as I grew in love for the Lord and His Church. If Holy Mass is the most important prayer of Christians, if the Eucharist is truly Christ’s Body and Blood: true Food and true Drink, if this is true, then why have so many Masses been lame? Lethargy.

Ever since learning that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is actually Jesus nailed on the Cross because of your sins, my sins, our sins—that Jesus teleports us to the original moment of His sacrifice—I cannot ignore the jarring clash between crucifixion and birthday-bash trying to show through at the same time. The energy and enthusiasm put into a party-style-Mass means “lethargy” is the wrong word. So much effort wasted on the wrong details.

But don’t take my word for it. Have a look yourself:

Step One: watch this excerpt of Jesus rescuing you and me from Satan and our sins, watch how He is lifted up for us to see what He does for us:

Step Two: watch how this Mass (from 2008) totally matches the theme of Christ’s crucifixion:

Step Three: this 2018 Mass (with German cardinals and bishops) also gets the point across:

And the point is (in case you didn’t catch my sarcasm): how did we get to this mess, instead of Mass? How do we have such a mess in theme? How did such liturgical abuse become a thing?

Mass never was about fun, entertainment, relevance, and needing to be cool or interesting. Sacrifice is never about those things.

Instead, sacrifice is a labor of love. Mass used to be (and can still be) solemn, reverent, powerful, deep, and intense:

Because Jesus is not partying it up on His Cross—He is dying because of my selfish and terrible choices to go to Hell. And I should not act nor expect this moment to be a birthday bash (or a tango dance-off).

And I’m not about to let this end with that tango video *shudder*. Instead, here’s an uplifting and helpful tip how we can start to reclaim our Lord’s Mass, with song and singing:


UPDATE 4/18/2020:

This CCP-virus (Covid-19) survivor is former EWTN President, Catholic-convert, and current spiritual director: Dan Burke. After beating the disease from the point of death, he has choice words about liturgical abuse and enemies of reverence. Hear what he has to say about why/how Jesus is desecrated today in our Church. His witness cuts me to the heart.