Easter – Victimae Paschali

Victimae Paschali is the Sequence for Easter Sunday. At one time there were many sequences in use, but the Council of Trent abolished all but a few. Today only four are used: Victimae Paschali (Easter), Veni, Sancte Spiritus (Pentecost), Lauda Sion (Corpus Christi), and Stabat Mater (Our Lady of Sorrows), of which the first two are obligatory and the later two are optional. Victimae Paschali is usually attributed to Wipo of Burgundy (1039), chaplain of the German Emperor Conrad II in the 11th century. It has also been attributed to Notker Balbulus (10th century) and Adam of St. Victor (13th century). (quoted from Thesaurus Precum Latinarum)


Victimae Paschali laudes
Immolent Christiani.

Agnus redemit oves:
Christus innocens Patri
Reconciliavit peccatores.

Mors et vita duello
Conflixere mirando:
Dux vitae mortuus,
Regnat vivus.

Dic nobis Maria,
Quid vidisti in via?
Sepulcrum Christi viventis,
Et gloriam vidi resurgentis:

Angelicos testes,
Sudarium et vestes.
Surrexit Christus spes mea:
Praecedet suos in Galilaeam.

Scimus Christum surrexisse
A mortuis vere:
Tu nobis, victor Rex miserere,
Amen. Alleluia.


Christians, to the Paschal Victim
Offer sacrifice and praise.

The sheep are ransomed by the Lamb;
And Christ, the undefiled,
Hath sinners to His Father reconciled.

Death with life contended;
Combat strangely ended!
Life’s own Champion, slain,
Yet lives to reign.

Tell us, Mary,
Say what thou didst see upon the way.
The tomb the Living did enclose;
I saw Christ’s glory as He rose!

The angels there attesting,
Shroud with graveclothes resting.
Christ, my hope, has risen:
He goes before you into Galilee.

That Christ is truly risen
From the dead we know.
Victorious King, thy mercy show!
Amen. Alleluia.

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