THE SACRED PASCHAL TRIDUUM: The Easter Vigil in the Holy Night

“Then they went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce this to his disciples.” (Matthew 28:8.)

Saint Augustine of Hippo comments on this verse from the Gospel proclaimed during tonight’s celebration of the Resurrection of the Lord:

“It may be asked how Mark could say, “And going out, they fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had come upon them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid,” whereas Matthew says, “They departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, running to tell his disciples.” The apparent discrepancy between the two accounts is resolved if we understand that the women dared to say nothing either to the angels (that is, to respond to what they had heard from them) or to the guards whom they had seen lying on the ground. For the joy of which Matthew speaks is not opposed to the fear which Mark recounts. We ought to understand that both fear and joy were at once awakened in their minds, even if Matthew had failed to speak of fear. But the question is settled when he says, “They departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy.” (Harmony of the Gospels, 3.)

O God, who make this most sacred night radiant
with the glory of the Lord’s Resurrection,
stir up in your Church a spirit of adoption,
so that, renewed in body and mind,
we may render you undivided service.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen