Easter Day
Augustine on Psalm CXIII
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CHRIST our Passover is sacrificed for us: * therefore let us keep the feast, Not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; * but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 1 Cor. v. 7.

CHRIST being raised from the dead dieth no more; * death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: * but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, * but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom. vi. 9.

CHRIST is risen from the dead, * and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, * by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, * even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 1 Cor. xv. 20

ALMIGHTY God, who through thine only-begotten Son Jesus Christ hast overcome death, and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life; We humbly beseech thee that, as by thy special grace preventing us thou dost put into our minds good desires, so by thy continual help we may bring the same to good effect; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

Source of Collect: Sacramentary of Gelasius [ca 494 AD]. This was changed to reflect the church's fight against the teachings of Pelagain, and English monk who traveled and taught that people could do good without God's help.

I Sam ii. 6, Psalm 2, 57, 111 | 113, 116, 117, Colossians iii. 1. St. John xx. 1.
Homily of Augustine on Psalm CXIII

He taketh up the simple out of the dust, and lifteth the poor out of the mire; That he may set him with the princes, even with the princes of his people


I Sam ii. 6-10

The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD'S, and he hath set the world upon them. He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail. The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.

Psalms for Morning 2, 57, 111 | Evening 113, 116, 117

Colossians iii. 1.

IF ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

St. John xx. 1.

THE first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, and the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.



1. ...When ye hear sung in the Psalms, "Praise the Lord, ye children" (ver. 1); imagine not that that exhortation pertaineth not unto you, because having already passed the youth of the body, ye are either blooming in the prime of manhood, or growing gray with the honours of old age: for unto all of you the Apostle saith, "Brethren, be not children in understanding; howbeit, in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men." [5031] What malice in particular, save pride? For it is pride that, presuming in false greatness, suffereth not man to walk along the narrow path, and to enter by the narrow gate; but the child easily entereth through the narrow entrance; and thus no man, save as a child, entereth into the kingdom of heaven. "Praise the Name of the Lord."...Let Him therefore be alway proclaimed: "Blessed be the Name of the Lord, from this time forth for evermore" (ver. 2). Let Him be proclaimed everywhere: "From the rising up of the sun unto the going down of the same, praise ye the Name of the Lord" (ver. 3).

2. If any of the holy children who praise the Name of the Lord were to ask of me and say to me, "for evermore" I understand to mean unto all eternity: but why "from this," and why is not the Name of the Lord blessed before this, and before all ages? I will answer the infant, who asketh not in contumacy. Unto you it is said, masters and children, unto you it is said, "Praise the Name of the Lord; blessed be the Name of the Lord:" let the Name of the Lord be blessed, "from this," that is, from the moment ye speak these words. For ye begin to praise, but praise ye without end....Or, since in this passage he seemeth to signify rather humility than childhood, the contrary of which is the vain and false greatness of pride; and for this reason none but children praise the Lord, since the proud know not how to praise Him; let old age be childlike, and your childhood like old age; that is, that neither may your wisdom be with pride, nor your humility without wisdom, that ye may "praise the Lord from this for evermore." Wherever the Church of Christ is diffused in her childlike saints, "Praise ye the Name of the Lord;" that is, "from the rising up of the sun unto the going down of the same."

3. "The Lord is high above all heathen" (ver. 4). The heathen are men: what wonder if the Lord be above all men? They see with their eyes those whom they worship high above themselves to shine in heaven, the sun and moon and stars, creatures which they serve while they neglect the Creator. But not only "is the Lord high above all heathen;" but "His glory" also "is above the heavens." The heavens look up unto Him above themselves; and the humble have Him together with them, who do not worship the heavens instead of Him, though placed in the flesh beneath the heavens.

4. "Who is like unto the Lord our God, that hath His dwelling so high; and yet beholdeth the humble?" (ver. 5). Any one would think that He dwelleth in the lofty heavens, whence He may behold the humble things on earth; but "He beholdeth the humble things that are in heaven and earth" (ver. 6): what then is His high dwelling, whence He beholdeth the humble things that are in heaven and earth? Are the humble things He beholdeth His own high dwelling itself? For He thus exalteth the humble, so as not to make them proud. He therefore both dwelleth in those whom He raiseth high, and maketh them heaven for Himself, that is, His own abode; and by seeing them not proud, but constantly subject to Himself, He beholdeth even in heaven itself these very humble things, in whom raised on high He dwelleth. For the Spirit thus speaketh through Isaiah: "Thus saith the Highest that dwelleth on high, that inhabiteth eternity; the Lord Most High, dwelling in the holy." He hath expounded what He meant by dwelling on high, by the more full expression, "dwelling in the holy."...

5. And he hath moved us also to enquire whether the Lord our God beholdeth the same humble things in heaven and in earth: or different humble things in heaven to what He beholdeth on earth....But if the Lord our God beholdeth other humble things in heaven to what He doth on earth; I suppose that He already beholdeth in heaven those whom He hath called, and in whom He dwelleth; while on earth He beholdeth those whom He is now calling, that He may dwell in them. For He hath the one with Him musing on heavenly things, the others He is waking, while they yet dream things earthly. But since it is difficult to call even those humble, who have not as yet submitted their necks in piety to the gracious yoke of Christ, since the divine writings throughout the whole Psalm warn us to understand holy by the word humble; there is also another interpretation, which, Beloved, ye may consider with me. I believe that those are now meant by heavens who shall sit upon twelve thrones, and shall judge with the Lord; [5032] and under the name of the earth, the rest of the multitude of the blessed, who shall be set on the right hand, that through works of mercy they may be praised and received into everlasting habitations by those whom they have made friends to themselves from the mammon of unrighteousness in this mortal life. [5033] ...

6. "He taketh up the destitute out of the dust, and lifteth the poor out of the mire" (ver. 7); "that He may set Him with the princes, even with the princes of His people" (ver. 8). Let not then the heads of the exalted disdain to be humble, beneath the Lord's right hand. For though the faithful steward of the Lord's money be placed together with the princes of the people of God, although he be destined to sit on the twelve seats, and even to judge angels; [5034] yet he is taken up destitute from the dust, and lifted from out of the mire. Was not he possibly lifted up from the mire, who "served divers lusts and pleasures"?...

7. What then, brethren, if we have already heard of those humble things which are in heaven, lifted up from the mire, that they might be set with the princes of the people; have we by consequence heard nothing of the humble things which the Lord beholdeth on the earth? For those friends who will judge with their Lord are fewer, while those whom they receive into everlasting habitations are more in number. For although the whole of a heap of corn compared with the separate chaff may seem to contain few in number; yet considered by itself, it is abundant....The Church then speaketh thus in that sense, wherein she seemeth to bear no offspring among those crowds who have not given up all things, that they might follow the Lord, and might sit upon the twelve thrones. [5035] But how many in the same crowd, who make unto themselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness, [5036] shall stand on the right hand through works of mercy? He not only then lifteth up from the mire him whom He is to place with the princes of His people; but also, "Maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children" (ver. 9): He who dwelleth on high, and beholdeth the humble things that are in heaven and earth, the seed of Abraham like the stars of heaven, holiness set on high in heavenly habitations; and like the sand on the sea shore, a merciful and countless multitude gathered together from the harmful waves, and the bitterness of impiety.

Let us pray in the words of Augustine.

Turn we to the Lord God, the Father Almighty, and with pure hearts offer to him, so far as our meanness can, great and true thanks, with all our hearts praying his exceeding kindness, that of his good pleasure he would deign to hear our prayers, that by his Power he would drive out the enemy from our deeds and thoughts, that he would increase our faith, guide our understandings, give us spiritual thoughts, and lead us to his bliss, through Jesus Christ his Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with him, in the Unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
[A prayer which he was wont to use after his Sermons and Lectures.]

NPNF (V1-08) St. Augustine


[5030] Lat. CXII. A discourse to the people. [5031] 1 Cor. xiv. 20; Matt. xviii. 3. [5032] Matt. xix. 28. [5033] Luke xvi. 9. [5034] Matt. xix. 28. [5035] Matt. xix. 28. [5036] Luke xvi. 9.