St.-Gregory-Nazianzen

I will stand upon my watch (Hab. 2:1), saith the venerable Habakkuk; and I will take my post beside him today on the authority and observation which was given me of the Spirit; and I will look forth, and will observe what shall be said to me.

Well, I have taken my stand, and looked forth; and behold a man riding on the clouds and he is very high, and his countenance is as the countenance of Angel (Judg. 13:6), and his vesture as the brightness of piercing lightning; and he lifts his hand toward the East, and cries with a loud voice.

His voice is like the voice of a trumpet; and round about Him is as it were a multitude of the Heavenly Host; and he saith:

Today is salvation come unto the world, to that which is visible, and to that which is invisible.  Christ is risen from the dead, rise ye with Him.  Christ is returned again to Himself, return ye.  Christ is freed from the tomb, be ye freed from the bond of sin.

The gates of hell are opened, and death is destroyed, and the old Adam is put aside, and the New is fulfilled; if any man be in Christ he is a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17); be ye renewed.

Thus he speaks; and the rest sing out, as they did before when Christ was manifested to us by His birth on earth, their glory to God in the highest, on earth, peace, goodwill among men. And with them I also utter the same words among you.

And would that I might receive a voice that should rank with the Angel’s, and should sound through all the ends of the earth. The Lord’s Passover, the Passover, and again I say the Passover to the honour of the Trinity. This is to us a Feast of feasts and a Solemnity of solemnities as far exalted above all others.

[…] Today’s is more beautiful and more illustrious than yesterday’s; inasmuch as yesterday’s light was a forerunner of the rising of the Great Light, and as it were a kind of rejoicing in preparation for the Festival; but today we are celebrating the Resurrection itself, no longer as an object of expectation, but as having already come to pass, and gathering the whole world unto itself.

Let then different persons bring forth different fruits and offer different offerings at this season, smaller or greater…such spiritual offerings as are dear to God…as each may have power.

For scarcely Angels themselves could offer gifts worthy of its rank, those first and intellectual and pure beings, who are also eye-witnesses of the Glory That is on high; if even these can attain the full strain of praise.

Gregory Nazianzen (c.330-390): Oration 45, 1-2.

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