Mount Calvary Church


Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter

Thomas Sunday

April 16, 2017


O sons and daughters, let us sing

That Easter day with joy was bright

Christ the Lord is risen today


Quia vidisti me

Regina Coeli, Palestrina


Missa de S. Maria Magdelena, Willan



Opening hymn: O sons and daughters is a translation by John Mason Neale (1818-1866) of the hymn O filii et filiae by the Franciscan Jean Tisserand (died 1494). It recounts the appearance of the Risen Christ to both the women on Easter and to the disciples in the upper room. We are addressed in the stanza How blest are they who have not seen / And yet whose faith has constant been, / For they eternal life shall win. Although we have not seen the Risen Lord with our bodily eyes, we see Him with the eyes of faith, especially in the Eucharist, and are loyal to Him.

Here is the choir of King’s College, Cambridge.

O sons and daughters, let us sing!
The King of heaven, the glorious King,
O’er death today rose triumphing.
That Easter morn, at break of day,
The faithful women went their way
To seek the tomb where Jesus lay.

An angel clad in white they see,
Who sat, and spake unto the three,
“Your Lord doth go to Galilee.”

That night the apostles met in fear;
Amidst them came their Lord most dear,
And said, “My peace be on all here.”

When Thomas first the tidings heard,
How they had seen the risen Lord,
He doubted the disciples’ word.

“My pierced hands, O Thomas, see;
My hands, my feet, I show to thee;
Not faithless, but believing be.”

No longer Thomas then denied,
He saw the feet, the hands, the side;
“Thou art my Lord and God,” he cried.

How blest are they who have not seen,
And yet whose faith has constant been,
For they eternal life shall win.

On this most holy day of days,
To God your hearts and voices raise,
In laud, and jubilee, and praise. Alleluia!

The Latin original with stanzas added to it as various times:

1. O filii et filiae,
Rex caelestis, Rex gloriae,
morte surrexit hodie, alleluia.

2. Et mane prima sabbati,
ad ostium monumenti
accesserunt discipuli, alleluia.

3. Et Maria Magdalene,
et Jacobi, et Salome,
venerunt corpus ungere, alleluia.

4. In albis sedens Angelus,
praedixit mulieribus:
in Galilaea est Dominus, alleluia.

5. Et Joannes Apostolus
cucurrit Petro citius,
monumento venit prius, alleluia.

6. Discipu lis adstantibus,
in medio stetit Christus,
dicens: Pax vobis omnibus, alleluia.

7. Ut intellexit Didymus,
quia surrexerat Jesus,
remansit fere dubius, alleluia.

8. Vide, Thoma, vide latus,
vide pedes, vide manus,
noli esse incredulus, alleluia.

9. Quando Thomas Christi latus,
pedes vidit atque manus,
Dixit: Tu es Deus meus, alleluia.

10. Beati qui non viderunt,
Et firmiter crediderunt,
vitam aeternam habebunt, alleluia.

11. In hoc festo sanctissimo
sit laus et jubilatio,
benedicamus Domino, alleluia.

12.Ex quibus nos humillimas
devotas atque debitas
Deo dicamus gratias.

Here the Latin is sung by the Daughters of Mary.


Offertory hymn: That Easter day with joy was bright is a translation also by John Mason Neale of the Latin hymn Aurora lucis rutilat, probably by St. Ambrose (330-397). Augustine said that Ambrose set popular hymns to the meter of Roman marching songs to propagate orthodox Catholic theology, because the Arians were using hymns to propagate error. Although hymns are poems, their theological content is important, a point overlooked in some modern hymns.

That Easter day with joy was bright,
The sun shone out with fairer ray,
When, to their longing eyes restored,
The apostles saw their risen Lord.

His risen flesh with radiance glowed;
His wounded hands and feet he showed:
Those scars their solemn witness gave
That Christ was risen from the grave.

O Jesus, King of gentleness,
Do thou thyself our hearts possess;
That we may give thee all our days
The willing tribute of our praise.

O Lord of all, with us abide,
In this our joyful Eastertide,
From every weapon death can wield
Thine own redeemed forever shield.

All praise, O risen Lord, we give
To thee, who, dead, again dost live;
To God the Father equal praise,
And God the Holy Ghost, we raise.

Here is the version from the 1982 Hymnal at St. Bartholomew’s. Here is a version for brass and organ. It seems to be favored by hand bell ringers.

The Latin hymn is attributed to St. Ambrose, but hymns modeled after his were classified as Ambrosiani. Here is the Gregorian melody using a slightly different text. Note the lovely  melismas at the end of the second line of each stanza.

AURORA lucis rutilat,
caelum laudibus intonat,
mundus exultans iubilat,
gemens infernus ululat,
LIGHT’S glittering morn bedecks the sky,
heaven thunders forth its victor cry,
the glad earth shouts its triumph high,
and groaning hell makes wild reply:
Cum rex ille fortissimus,
mortis confractis viribus,
pede conculcans tartara
solvit catena miseros !
While he, the King of glorious might,
treads down death’s strength in death’s despite,
and trampling hell by victor’s right,
brings forth his sleeping Saints to light.
Ille, qui clausus lapide
custoditur sub milite,
triumphans pompa nobile
victor surgit de funere.
Fast barred beneath the stone of late
in watch and ward where soldiers wait,
now shining in triumphant state,
He rises Victor from death’s gate.
Solutis iam gemitibus
et inferni doloribus,
<<Quia surrexit Dominus!>>
resplendens clamat angelus.
Hell’s pains are loosed, and tears are fled;
captivity is captive led;
the Angel, crowned with light, hath said,
‘The Lord is risen from the dead.’
TRISTES erant apostoli
de nece sui Domini,
quem poena mortis crudeli
servi damnarant impii.
THE APOSTLES‘ hearts were full of pain
for their dear Lord so lately slain:
that Lord his servants’ wicked train
with bitter scorn had dared arraign.
Sermone blando angelus
praedixit mulieribus,
<<In Galilaea Dominus
videndus est quantocius>>
With gentle voice the Angel gave
the women tidings at the grave;
‘Forthwith your Master shall ye see:
He goes before to Galilee.’
Illae dum pergunt concite
apostolis hoc dicere,
videntes eum vivere
osculant pedes Domini.
And while with fear and joy they pressed
to tell these tidings to the rest,
their Lord, their living Lord, they meet,
and see his form, and kiss his feet.
Quo agnito discipuli
in Galilaeam propere
pergunt videre faciem
desideratam Domini.
The Eleven, when they hear, with speed
to Galilee forthwith proceed:
that there they may behold once more
the Lord’s dear face, as oft before.
sol mundo nitet radio,
cum Christum iam apostoli
visu cernunt corporeo.
IN THIS our bright and Paschal day
the sun shines out with purer ray,
when Christ, to earthly sight made plain,
the glad Apostles see again.
Ostensa sibi vulnera
in Christi carne fulgida,
resurrexisse Dominum
voce fatentur publica.
The wounds, the riven wounds he shows
in that his flesh with light that glows,
in loud accord both far and nigh
ihe Lord’s arising testify.
Rex Christe clementissime,
tu corda nostra posside,
ut tibi laudes debitas
reddamus omni tempore!
O Christ, the King who lovest to bless,
do thou our hearts and souls possess;
to thee our praise that we may pay,
to whom our laud is due for aye.


Closing hymn: Christ the lord is risen today is a translation by Jane Elizabeth Leeson (1807-1882) of the Easter sequence, Victimae paschali laudes, attributed to St. Wipo of Burgundy (c. 1000). The Council of Trent eliminated scores of sequences in the Roman liturgy. This was one of the four that survived.

1 Christ the Lord is risen to-day,
Christians, haste your vows to pay,
Offer ye your praises meet,
At the Paschal Victim’s feet.
For the sheep the Lamb hath bled,
Sinless in the sinner’s stead;
Christ is risen, today we cry;
Now He lives no more to die.

2 Christ, the Victim undefiled,
Man to God hath reconciled,
Whilst in strange and awful strife
Met together Death and Life.
Christians, on this happy day,
Haste with joy your vows to pay:
Christ is risen, to-day we cry;
Now He lives no more to die.

3 Christ, who once for sinners bled,
Now the first-born from the dead,
Throned in endless might and power
Lives and reigns for evermore.
Hail, eternal Hope on high!
Hail, Thou King of victory!
Hail, Thou Prince of Life adored!
Help and save us, gracious Lord!

This is the least objectionable YouTube I could find. It will give a vague idea of the tune.

Here is the Latin original and a translation.

laudes immolent Christiani.
CHRISTIANS, to the Paschal Victim
offer sacrifice and praise.
Agnus redemit oves:
Christus innocens Patri
The sheep are ransomed by the Lamb;
and Christ, the undefiled,
hath sinners
to his Father reconciled.
Mors et vita duello
conflixere mirando:
dux vitae mortuus,
regnat vivus.
Death with life contended:
combat strangely ended!
Life’s own Champion, slain,
yet lives to reign.
Dic nobis Maria,
Quid vidisti in via?
Tell us, Mary:
say what thou didst see upon the way.
Sepulcrum Christi viventis,
et gloriam vidi resurgentis:
The tomb the Living did enclose;
I saw Christ’s glory as He rose!
Angelicos testes,
sudarium et vestes.
The angels there attesting;
shroud with grave-clothes resting.
Surrexit Christus spes mea:
praecedet suos in Galilaeam.
Christ, my hope, has risen:
He goes before you into Galilee.
Scimus Christum surrexisse
a mortuis vere:
Tu nobis, victor Rex miserere.
Amen. Alleluia.
That Christ is truly risen
from the dead we know.
Victorious King, Thy mercy show!
Amen. Alleluia.

Here are Benedictines singing the Gregorian sequence.

Little is known about the translator, Jane Elizabeth (or Eliza) Leeson (1809 – 1881), She was an English hymnist and children’s writer born at Wilford, Nottinghamshire. Late in her life she converted to an unusual form of Catholicism. She died in Leamington, Warwickshire.

According to Sundry Thoughts,

“the christening of Jane Leeson occurred at the (Anglican) Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Nottingham, England, on December 18, 1808, soon after her birth (in 1808) at Wilford, Nottinghamshire.  Eventually she joined the Catholic Apostolic Church (hereafter the CAC in this post).  The CAC started with John MacLeod Campbell, an English Presbyterian minister who, in 1828, began to notice unusual happenings in his congregation.  Some of his parishioners had death-bed conversions, reported heavenly visions, spoke of the imminent return of Christ, and began to prophesy and to speak in tongues.  Edward Irving, another English Presbyterian minister, published approving accounts of the charismata, prompting the Presbyterian Church to defrock him circa 1831 and many to call members of the new CAC “Irvingites.”

The new denomination moved away from its Presbyterian roots quickly.  It agreed with the Church of England doctrinally much of the time, adopted a vernacular-language liturgy with Roman Catholic influences, and affirmed the necessity of all the charismatic gifts.  In 1832, as part of the process of preparing for the supposedly imminent return of Christ, the CAC named twelve apostles.  The death of the last of these apostles in 1901 ended all ordinations in the CAC.  The denomination divided in 1863, resulting in the formation of the New Apostolic Church (hereafter the NAC in this post), which has chosen new apostles to replace deceased ones since its beginning.  The offshoot claims millions of adherents worldwide in 2014, but the parent body is, as far as I can tell, defunct.  Some Internet sources, I think, have confused the NAC for the CAC.  I trust my reference books more than certain websites in this matter.  Also, several extant groups with “Catholic Apostolic Church” in their name have no historical relationship to the Irvingites.

Leeson, a longtime member of the CAC congregation at Gordon Square, London, wrote hymns and published volumes of them.  The main audience for these texts consisted of children.  Our saint, who contributed nine hymns and translations to the CAC hymnal, wrote her hymns in a state of prophetic utterance, consistent with the theology of her chosen denomination.”




REGINA, caeli, laetare, alleluia:
Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia,
Resurrexit sicut dixit, alleluia.
Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.
O QUEEN of heaven rejoice! alleluia:
For He whom thou didst merit to bear, alleluia,
Hath arisen as he said, alleluia.
Pray for us to God, alleluia.
V. Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, alleluia,
R. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.
V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia.
R. Because the Lord is truly risen, alleluia.
Deus, qui per resurrectionem Filii tui, Domini nostri Iesu Christi, mundum laetificare dignatus es: praesta, quaesumus; ut, per eius Genetricem Virginem Mariam, perpetuae capiamus gaudia vitae. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.
Let us pray
O God, who gave joy to the world through the resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ; grant, we beseech Thee, that through His Mother, the Virgin Mary, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Regina coeli is an antiphon for four voices in honour of the Blessed Mary Virgin for the Eastertide, attributed to Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. The hymn goes back to the 12th century; the author is unknown.  It was in Franciscan use, after Compline, in the first half of the following century.

Perhaps the most interesting legend surrounding the prayer has it being composed, in part, by St. Gregory the Great. The legend has it that in the year 596, during Easter time, a pestilence was ravaging Rome. St. Gregory the Great requested a procession be held to pray that the pestilence be stopped. On the appointed day of the procession he assembled with his clergy at dawn at the church of Ara Coeli. Holding in his hand the icon of our Lady that was said to have been painted by St. Luke, he and his clergy started out in procession to St. Peter’s. As he passed the Castle of Hadrian, as it was called in those days, voices were heard from above singing the Regina Caeli. The astonished Pope, enraptured with the angelic singing, replied in a loud voice: “Ora pro nobis Deum. Alleluia!” At that moment an angel appeared in a glorious light, sheathed the sword of pestilence in its scabbard, and from that day the pestilence ceased. In honor of this miraculous event, the name of the castle was then changed to Sant’ Angelo and the words of the angelic hymn were inscribed upon the roof of the Church of Ara Coeli.

Here are the King’s Singers.

The Regina coeli is also sung in Mascagni’s Cavelleria Rusticana.

After mass during Eastertide we will be singing the Gregorian version

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