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death itself. More injuries to limbs are of more common occurrence. The Greeks and Armenians, headed by their bishops, three times compass the sepulchre ; towards the end of their circuit a dove is loosed, and descends fluttering upon the holy place—a sight which produces long and sustained shouts and acclamation, as though it were the visible symbol of the Holy Spirit. All the lights and candles within the sepulchre are then extinguished, and the bishops cut the string that hitherto fastened the door which they close after them as they enter. The people press to the spot, expecting the fire from heaven, from which every pilgrim considers himself bound to light his taper; and those who kindle it first are considered the most fortunate and most favoured in the sight of heaven. At last, some of the foremost among the wild and frantic mass of stragglers detect the first rays of the sacred flame glimmering through the chinks of the door. While the whole multitude is transported with eager haste, thrusting on each other, surging and pressing forward with irrepressible ardour, two priests appear with blazing torches in their hands, which they elevate in the doorway. Those who reach the fire apply it to their beards, faces, and breasts, pretending that it would not burn like an earthly flame. Every hand is employed, and innumerable tapers are immediately lighted, so that the whole church, the galleries and every remote corner seem instantaneously to burst into brilliant illumination. This part of the ceremony is the only part which survives of the ancient practice, and unites it with the mediæval custom of hallowing the fire. The less educated people afterwards cluster round the stone of unction, and having collected a store of candles lighted from the sacred fire, daub pieces of linen with the wax and wicks in order to form winding-sheets and shrouds, which they believe will prove an amulet against eternal fire. In the islands of the Archipelago there is a procession at midnight, at Easter eve, with lighted tapers and a monotonous chant, to the church, in front of which they fire pistols, explode crackers, and scream discordantly, as a feu de joie. The priest then comes round with an icon of the risen Saviour, which is devoutly kissed in succession, and an offering made.
At Rome the solemnities of Easter eve are ordinations, at St. John Lateran the baptism of Jews in the baptistery of Constantine, and the blessing of candles early in the morning. The less objectionable portions of the Easter ceremonial may be indicated, but the symbolical rites which border on the profane must be omitted from notice. The daybreak of Easter is announced by salvocs from the cannon of St. Angelo. Between nine and ten o'clock the Pope, seated in his gorgeous chair of state, supported by eight bearers, is carried into St. Peter's; seven candelabra are carried by acolytes; fans of ostrich, set with the eyes of peacock's feathers, wave on each side of him; incense is thrown up from countless censers, as he passes, bestowing his benediction to the right and left; and a silken canopy is held above his bead; this, one of the most brilliant processions which the world can produce, moves to the sound of martial music stationed under the portico ; the floor and pillars of the nave are concealed by crimson cloth; and pontifical guards and the flower of the French garrison, two deep, and people making universal obeisance, line the entire way. After a series of disrobings and revestings, of presentations, and of homage paid by kneeling cardinals, the Pope proceeds from his throne (which is surrounded by bishops, splendidly-attired dignitaries, representatives of every state, and chief nobility) to the high altar under the dome, blazing and glittering with tapers and exquisite works of art—the tiara, the mitre, and Greek pontifical cap being conspicuous objects. The Mass is sung to the 'severe strains of Palestrina; and at the moment of elevation the silver trumpets placed high up in the dome blow an imposing blast; all the troops, from the noble guard at the entrance of the tribune to the French soldiers at the west door, present arms with a loud crash of steel, and the bells are loudly sounded. Pomp and pageantry cannot further go. At this portion of the ceremonial only the otherwise uninterrupted whispering and restless movements of the dense crowd of spectators are quieted. The Pope, who is presented with a purse of white velvet, containing an offering for his good singing of that mass, finally, from the outer balcony, at noon, pronounces the benediction to the crowds assembled in the immense area below; in the evening, about eight o'clock, the dome and outlines of the church are brilliantly illuminated with innumerable lamps.
But far more beautiful is the simple“ pomp decent and unreproved" of our own church-the merry music of the bells, heard only in Eng. land, the pealing organ, the surpliced priest in his white robes of joy; the comely apparelled table, ready for the banquet of the Lamb; tho joyous anthem proclaiming the risen Christ, the appropriate psalms, and that most beautiful of hymns with its old familiar tune, in which join the trebles of boyhood and the faltering song of age, proclaiming that
“ Jesus Christ is risen to-day,
Our triumphant holiday!"