The Exultet is traditionally sung by the deacon after the Paschal candle has been lit and the clergy have processed to the altar. The lighted Paschal candle contains a twofold symbolism. First, it represents the pillar of fire that went before the Israelites during their flight from Egypt. Second, it represents Christ, who is the light of the world.
The procession likewise has a twofold meaning. It symbolizes the journey of the Israelites out of Egypt, and also the arrival of Christ who is the Savior of the world.
The Exsultet sings of this symbolism and recalls for us the history of our salvation; from the fall of Adam, to the events of that first Passover held by Moses and the Israelites, and then finally the events of that last Passover at which Jesus suffered, died, rose from the dead and by which mankind was redeemed. The tone of the hymn is very much one of joy at having received so great a gift as our redemption and eternal life.
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Archival record: Cod. Barb. Lat. 592
Dalla Biblioteca dei Papi i codici facsimili
The Exultet Chant | Cod. Barb. Lat. 592
Francesco di Giorgio Martini (1439-1501) | Cod. Urb. Lat. 1757
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Fifteenth-century manuscript made for Alexander VI | Cod. Borg. Lat. 425
A thirteenth-century manuscript | Cod. Vat. Lat. 39
A manuscript made by Berthaud d'Achy | Cod. Urb. Lat. 376
by Pier Candido Decembrio | Cod. Urb. Lat. 276
Dante’s Divine Comedy illustrated by Botticelli | Cod. Reg. Lat. 1896
The main source of hymns and prayers that spread throughout the Catholic world | Cod. Vat. Lat. 10293
by Claudius Ptolemaeus | Cod. Urb. Lat. 277
Mercoledì 18 Ottobre 2000
New York, United States of America