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the eleven Apostles, the Virgin Mary, her sister Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene, who were with her at the Crucifixion ; the white candle at the top is to represent Christ.
EASTER-EVE. The making and watching of the sepulchre was a practice founded upon an ancient
coming of Christ would be on Easter-eve. Its ceremonies varied in different places, but the watching of the sepulchre, during the Watching the Sepulchre. whole day and two nights between Good-Friday and Easter-day, was invariable. The small low window which is frequently found on the south side of the Chancel under another window, is supposed by some to have been for the purpose of watching the light in the sepulchre, but this theory is not applicable to a large number of instances in which these windows occur d.
EASTER-Day. This is the highest of all feasts, says Epiphanius. This day Jesus Christ opened to
for He rose again for our justification. The word Easter is probably derived from the Saxon “Oster,”
d See Arohæological Journal, iv. 314. e Sparrow's Rationale, p. 130.
which signifies “to rise?."Easter-day is always the first Sunday after the full moon which happens upon or next after the 21st of March, and if the full moon happens upon a Sunday, Easter-day is the Sunday after.
fifth Sunday after Easter, so The Resurrection. called from the Latin rogare, to beseech. The Gospel for this day is concerning Rogations, teaching us how to ask of God, so as we may obtain, and withal foretells Christ's approaching ascension. The service formerly appointed in the Rogation-days of procession, was Psalm ciii. and civ., with the Litany and suffrages, and homily of thanks
to be said at convenient places, in the common perambulation, the people thus giving thanks to God in the beholding God's be. nefits, the increase and abun. dance of His fruits upon the earth. At their return to the Church, they were to say the rest of the service mentioned 8. The Alphington, Devon. customary places for the processions to stop at were 1 Wheatly, c. V. sect. 17.
& Sparrow, p. 148.
the crosses by the road side, and especially where four ways met; these processions are still continued in many parts of the country, and a halt is still made at the accustomed spot, though every vestige of the cross may have disappeared.
ASCENSION-Day. This day was Christ's perfect triumph over the devil, leading “captivity captive." This day He opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers, as we say daily in the Te Deum. Those things, saith S. Augustine, Epist. 54, which are not written, but we keep them by tradition, if they be observed, all the world over, are to be understood to be commended to us, and commanded either by general councils, (whose authority in the Church is most safe,) or else by the Apostles; as, for example, that the Passion of our Lord, His Resurrection, and Ascension into heaven, and the coming of the Holy Ghost, should be observed by an anniversary solemnity. The feast of the Ascension is celebrated throughout Christendom forty
passed by our blessed Saviour upon earth after His
now named in honour of this holy festival, that of West Lydford, Somersetshire.
Whit-Sunday, or the Feast of Pentecost. The great festival of Whitsuntide is celebrated seven weeks after Easter, to commemorate the Descent of the Holy Ghost on the Apostles after the Ascension of our Lord. It is also called Pentecost, because it is fifty days from Easter. In the middle ages a great wax candle was usually blessed on this day, to represent the light of faith shining forth to the world. Numerous other ceremonies were used on this and the two following days. The Whitsun-ales were derived from the Agapæ, or love-feasts of the early Christians. The Holy Ghost was represented in the likeness of a Dove descending from heaven ; it was often introduced over an image of the Father seated in His glory, embracing the crucifix, the whole forming an emblem of the Blessed Trinity.
Trinity SUNDAY. On this festival the Church commemorates the mystery of the Holy Trinity. Christ our Lord, before His ascension into heaven, commissioned His Apostles to go and preach to all nations the adorable mystery of the Blessed Trinity, and to baptize those who should believe in Him, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” The dedication of a Church in the name of the most holy and undivided Trinity, was very general in medieval times, there being about