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“Egeria - The Pilgrimage of - Holy Week and Easter in Jerusalem”

Egeria describes the Easter observances in Jerusalem, around the late 4th century. Original Latin text with English translation (chapters 29 - 40)

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Click here to read at earlychurchtexts.com in the original Latin (with dictionary lookup links). There are more extracts available through the link than given below. The English translation is by McClure and Feltoe.

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George E. Gingras

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And at the end of the weeks’ fast the vigil is kept in the Anastasis from the hour of lucernare on the sixth weekday, when the people come with psalms from Sion, to the morning of the Sabbath, when the oblation is made in the Anastasis. And the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth weeks in Quadragesima are kept as the first.
HOLY WEEK AND THE FESTIVALS AT EASTER
1. Saturday before Palm Sunday.—Station at Bethany.
Now when the seventh week has come, that is, when two weeks, including the seventh, are left before Easter, everything is done on each day as in the weeks that are past, except that the vigils of the sixth weekday, which were kept in the Anastasis during the first six weeks, are, in the seventh week, kept in Sion, and with the same customs that obtained during the six weeks in the Anastasis. For throughout the whole vigil psalms and antiphons are said appropriate both to the place and to the day.
And when the morning of the Sabbath begins to dawn, the bishop offers the oblation. And at the dismissal the archdeacon lifts his voice and says: “Let us all be ready to-day at the seventh hour in the Lazarium.” And so, as the seventh hour approaches, all go to the Lazarium, that is, Bethany, situated at about the second milestone from the city.
And as they go from Jerusalem to the Lazarium, there is, about five hundred paces from the latter place, a church in the street on that spot where Mary the sister of Lazarus met with the Lord. Here, when the bishop arrives, all the monks meet him, and the people enter the church, and one hymn and one antiphon are said, and that passage is read in the Gospel where the sister of Lazarus meets the Lord. Then, after prayer has been made, and when all have been blessed, they go thence with hymns to the Lazarium.
And on arriving at the Lazarium, so great a multitude assembles that not only the place itself, but also the fields around, are full of people. Hymns and antiphons suitable to the day and to the place are said, and likewise all the lessons are read. Then, before the dismissal, notice is given of Easter, that is, the priest ascends to a higher place and reads the passage that is written in the Gospel: When Jesus six days before the Passover had come to Bethany, and the rest. So, that passage having been read and notice given of Easter, the dismissal is made.
This is done on that day because, as it is written in the Gospel, these events took place in Bethany six days before the Passover; there being six days from the Sabbath to the fifth weekday on which, after supper, the Lord was taken by night. Then all return to the city direct to the Anastasis, and lucernare takes place according to custom.

 



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Egeria
Etheria
Aetheria
The Pilgrimage of
The Pilgrimage of Egeria
Holy Week
Easter
Jerusalem
Liturgy
Observance and Celebration of Easter
Silviae Vel Potius Aetheriae Peregrinatio Ad Loca Sancta
Early Christian Woman Writer
Early Christian Women Writers
McClure and Feltoe
Heraeus

 

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