Almighty God, who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life: Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of the Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by your life-giving Spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. (BCP 222)
Mark 16:1-8 (NRSV)
When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back.
As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.”
So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
All ye that seek the Lord who died,
Your GOD for sinners crucified,
Prevent the earliest dawn, and come
To worship at his sacred tomb.
Bring the sweet spices of your sighs,
Your contrite hearts, and streaming eyes,
Your sad complaints, and humble fears;
Come, and embalm Him with your tears.
While thus ye love your souls t’ employ,
Your sorrow shall be turn’d to Joy:
Now, let all your grief be o’er!
Believe; and ye shall weep no more.
An earthquake hath the cavern shook,
And burst the door, and rent the rock,
The Lord hath sent his angel down,
And he hath roll’d away the stone.
As snow behold his garment white,
His countenance as lightning bright:
He sits, and waves a flaming sword,
And waits upon his rising Lord.
The third auspicious morn is come,
And calls your Saviour from the tomb,
The bands of death are torn away,
The yawning tomb gives back its prey.
Could neither seal nor stone secure,
Nor men, nor devils make it sure?
The seal is broke, the stone cast by,
And all the pow’rs of darkness fly.
The body breathes, and lifts his head,
The keepers sink, and fall as dead;
The dead restor’d to life appear,
The living quake, and die for fear.
No power a band of soldiers have
To keep one body in its grave:
Surely it no dead body was
That could the Roman eagles chase.
The Lord of Life is ris’n indeed,
To death deliver’d in your stead;
His rise proclaims your sins forgiven,
And shows the living way to heaven.
Haste then, ye souls that first believe,
Who dare the Gospel-Word receive,
Your faith with joyful hearts confess,
Be bold, be JESUS’ witnesses.
Go tell the followers of your Lord
Their JESUS is to life restor’d;
He lives, that they his life may find;
He lives, to quicken all mankind.
—Charles Wesley, 1707-1788, Hymns for our Lord’s Resurrection, #1