This traditional Orthodox hymn is tied with the Regina Coeli as my favorite Easter hymn. It references an Orthodox tradition in which the Angel of the Resurrection visits the Blessed Mother before meeting the other disciples at the tomb, thus making her (fittingly) the first person to hear the news of her Son’s resurrection. Beautiful! A blessed Easter season to all!
The angel cried to the Lady full of grace:
Rejoice, rejoice, O pure Virgin!
Again, I say: rejoice! Your Son is risen
from His three days in the tomb.
With Himself He has raised all the dead.
Rejoice, rejoice, O ye people!
Shine, shine! Shine, O new Jerusalem!
The glory of the Lord has shown on you.
Exult now, exult, and be glad, O Zion!
Be radiant, O pure Theotokos, in the Resurrection,
the Resurrection of your Son!
Unknown Artist, Mary Magdalene at the Tomb, 1927
Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
Every time I hear this Gospel read, and I hear Jesus say her name – “Mary,” just that one word – my heart skips a beat. I just know how much love there was in the way He said her name, and I know He calls me by name with that same love!
Bouguereau, The Holy Women at the Sepulchre, 1890
“Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here; see the place where they laid him.”
May the joy of the Lord’s Resurrection fill your hearts to overflowing! A blessed Easter to you all –