Song of Songs (Week 1)
March 06, 2022
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.



[The Song of Songs, or Canticle of Canticles, is no doubt the most commented on book of the Bible with authors throughout Christian history offering their interpretations.  While its literal meaning as erotic love poetry constructed as a dialogue between a Lover and Beloved, with occasional interjections in the style of a Greek chorus by friends (“the daughters of Jerusalem”) the tradition has overwhelmingly favored an allegorical interpretation, drawing out its fuller meaning.  Here the dialogue is thought to be either between Christ the Bridegroom and the Church his Bride – the latter sometimes seen as the Blessed Virgin Mary in liturgical texts -- or else between Christ and the individual soul (the “anima”) – the latter being understood in the feminine regardless of the gender of the commentator. The translation is in the public domain from the World English Bible.  Two years ago, the meditations were meant for each day of Lent, from its first Sunday through Palm Sunday.  They are represented here for the Easter season, beginning on Easter Sunday through the Vigil of the Ascension.  Three comments from a wide range of authors is presented for each day along with one or more musical selections from composers, classic and contemporary, who have often found inspiration for their works from the Song].

The Canticle of Canticle is not a love poem that found its way into the Bible by mistake;

it is the very heart of the Bible,

it is the marriage song of the covenant between God and his people,

between our soul and the Word.

It is at once the great ecclesiological and cosmic poem of the marriage of humankind with the Word of God,

 and the inner poem singing the union of the Word with each soul,

with all its changing pattern of infidelities and fidelities,

which reaches its culmination in the perfect union we find in the great mystics. – Cardinal Jean Daniélou


First Meditation (First Sunday of Lent or Easter Sunday; Song 1:1-4)

1 The Song of songs, which is Solomon’s.


2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth;
for your love is better than wine.

3 Your oils have a pleasing fragrance.
Your name is oil poured out,
therefore the virgins love you.

4 Take me away with you.
Let us hurry.
The king has brought me into his rooms.


We will be glad and rejoice in you.
We will praise your love more than wine!


They are right to love you.


It is with the kiss that lovers cleave to each other and gain possession of the sweetness of grace that is within, so to speak. Through such a kiss the soul cleaves to God the Word, and through the kiss the spirit of him who kisses is poured into the soul, just as those who kiss are not satisfied to touch lightly with their lips but appear to be pouring their spirit into each other. (St. Ambrose of Milan)

The one who says “draw me” has something in mind that he wants but does not have the ability to obtain it. Human nature wants to follow God, but, overcome by habitual infirmity, as it deserves, it cannot follow. He sees therefore that there is something in himself whereby he yearns, but something else whereby he fails to attain. Rightly, then, does he say “draw me.” (Pope St. Gregory the Great)

Those to whom it is given to utter these words sincerely are comparatively few, but any one who has received this mystical kiss from the mouth of Christ at least once, seeks again that intimate experience, and eagerly looks for its frequent renewal. I think that nobody can grasp what it is except the one who receives it. For it is "a hidden manna," and only he who eats it still hungers for more. It is "a sealed fountain" to which no stranger has access; only he who drinks still thirsts for more. (St. Bernard of Clairvaux)

Musical Selection (Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina)

Trahe me post te, curremus in odorem unguentorum tuorum. Introduxit me rex in cellaria sua. Exsultabimus et laetabimur in te, memores uberum tuorum super vinum. Recti diligunt te.

Draw me along after thee, we will run in the allure of thine ointments. The king has brought me into his chambers. We will be glad and rejoice in thee, remembering thy breasts more than wine. The righteous love thee.

Collect (Easter)

God of undying life,
by your mighty hand
you raised up Jesus from the grave
and appointed him judge of the living and the dead.
Bestow upon those baptised into his death
the power flowing from his resurrection,
that we may proclaim near and far
the pardon and peace you give us.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, firstborn from the dead,
who lives with you now and always in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen.

Collect (Lent)

Lord our God,
you alone do we worship,
only your word gives life.
Sustain your Church on its Lenten journey.
When we walk through the desert of temptation,
strengthen us to renounce the power of evil.
When our faith is tested by doubt,
illumine our hearts with Easter’s bright promise.
We ask this through Christ, our deliverance and hope,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
holy and mighty God for ever and ever. Amen.

(Collects are taken from the 1998 edition of the Roman Missal: Sacramentary prepared by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy)

Second Meditation (Monday of the First Week of Lent or Easter Monday; Song 1:5-6)


5 I am dark, but lovely,
you daughters of Jerusalem,
like Kedar’s tents,
like Solomon’s curtains.
6 Don’t stare at me because I am dark,
because the sun has scorched me.
My mother’s sons were angry with me.
They made me keeper of the vineyards.


[The friends in the Song of Songs] represent different classes of believers inChrist, associated with Him in different relationships; sothat, for instance, taking another figure, we call the whole Church the Body of Christ, as the Apostle does; but in that Body, so he tells us, there are divers members, some of them eyes, some hands, some even feet,and all of them coordinated in the members of this Body according to the merit of their several functions and works....The Bride now plies with questions that she may learn and hear from Him in what pastures He keeps His sheep, and in what pleasant places He keeps Himself during the midday heat. And what she calls "midday" denotes those secret places of the heart in which the soul pursues the dearer light of knowledge from the Word of God; for midday is the time when the sun is at the zenith of its course. So when Christ, the Sun of Justice, shows to His Church the high and lofty secrets of His powers, then He will be teaching her where lie His pleasant pastures and His places of repose at noon. For when she has only begun to learn these things and is receiving from Him the rudiments, so to speak, of knowledge....At this time, however, because she is now seeking things that are more perfect, and desiring higher things, she asks for the noonday light of knowledge.... For this reason, therefore, in the present passage the Bride desires to be enlightened with the full light of knowledge, lest going astray through lack of instruction she may be made in any respect like those schools of teachers which occupy themselves not with the very wisdom of God, but with the wisdom of this world and of the princes thereof.... So, then, the Bride of Christ enquires for His noonday resting-places and asks God for the plenitude of know­ledge, lest she appear to be as one of the schools of the philosophers, which are said to be veiled, because with them the plenitude of truth is hidden and veiled. (Origen of Alexandria)

The Canticle of Canticles sings a sort of spiritual rapture experienced by holy souls contemplating the nuptial relationship between Christ the King and his queen-city, the church. But it is a rapture veiled in allegory to make us yearn for it more ardently and rejoice in the unveiling as the bridegroom comes into view—the bridegroom to whom the canticle sings, “The righteous love you,” and the hearkening bride replies, “There is love in your delights.” (St. Augustine of  Hippo).

It is indeed necessary that we be drawn, because the fire of your love has quickly cooled within us. We cannot run now, because of this cold, as we did in former days. But we shall run again when you restore to us the joy of knowing you are our Savior, when the benign warmth of grace will have returned with the renewed shining of the Sun of Justice.... Therefore when you feel weighed down by apathy, lukewarmness and fatigue, do not yield to cowardice or cease to study spiritual truths, but look for the hand of the one who can help you, begging like the bride, to be drawn, until finally, under the influence of grace, you feel again the vigorous pulse of life. (St. Bernard)

Musical Selection (Palestrina)

Nigra sum sed formosa, filia Jerusalem, sicut tabernacula Cedar, sicut pelles Salomonis. Nolite me considerare quod fusca sim, quia decoloravit me sol. Filii matris meae pugnaverunt contra me, posuerunt me custodem in vineis.

I am black but beautiful, a daughter of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar and the curtains of Solomon. Do not think of me that I am dark, for the sun has changed my colour. My mother's sons have fought against me and put me to mind the vineyards.

Collect (Easter)

Lord God,
you constantly add new children
to the family of your Church.
Grant that all your people may express in their lives
the richness of the sacrament they have received in faith.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen.

Collect (Lent)

Turn back our hearts to you, O God our Saviour,
and instruct our minds in heavenly wisdom,
that through the practices of Lent
we may advance in your love and favour.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen.

Third Meditation (Tuesday of the First Week of Lent or Easter Tuesday; Song 1:7-9)


I haven’t kept my own vineyard.
7 Tell me, you whom my soul loves,
where you graze your flock,
where you rest them at noon;
For why should I be as one who is veiled
beside the flocks of your companions?


8 If you don’t know, most beautiful among women,
follow the tracks of the sheep.
Graze your young goats beside the shepherds’ tents.
9 I have compared you, my love,
to a steed in Pharaoh’s chariots.



Where are you pasturing your flock, O good Shepherd, who carry the whole flock on your shoulders? (For the whole of human nature is one sheep and you have lifted it onto your shoulders). Show me the place of peace, lead me to the good grass that will nourish me, call me by name so that I, your sheep, hear your voice, and by your speech give me eternal life. Answer me, you whom my soul loves. I give you the name ‘you whom my soul loves’ because your name is above every name and above all understanding and there is no rational nature that can utter it or comprehend it. Therefore your name, by which your goodness is known, is simply the love my soul has for you. How could I not love you, when you loved me so much, even though I was black, that you laid down your life for the sheep of your flock? A greater love cannot be imagined, than exchanging your life for my salvation. Show me then (my soul says) where you pasture your flock, so that I can find that saving pasture too, and fill myself with the food of heaven without which no-one can come to eternal life, and run to the spring and fill myself with the drink of God. You give it, as from a spring, to those who thirst – water pouring from your side cut open by the lance, water that, to whoever drinks it, is a spring of water welling up to eternal life. If you lead me to pasture here, you will make me lie down at noon, sleeping at peace and taking my rest in light unstained by any shade. For the noon has no shade and the sun stands far above the mountain peaks. You bring your flock to lie in this light when you bring your children to rest with you in your bed. But no one can be judged worthy of this noonday rest who is not a child of light and a child of the day. Whoever has separated himself equally from the shadows of evening and morning, from where evil begins and evil ends, at noon he will lie down and the sun of righteousness will shine on him. Show me, then (my soul says), how I should sleep and how I should graze, and where the path is to my noonday rest. Do not let me fall away from your flock because of ignorance, and find myself one of a flock of sheep that are not yours.Thus my soul spoke, when she was anxious about the beauty that God’s care had given her and wanted to know how she could keep this good fortune forever. (St. Gregory of Nyssa)

With good reason then to this Shepherd of shepherds, does his beloved, his spouse, his fair one, but by him made fair, before by sin deformed, beautiful afterward through pardon and grace, speak in her love and ardor after him, and say to him, “Where do you feed?” And observe how, by what transport this spiritual love is here animated. And far better are they by this transport delighted who have tasted of the sweetness of this love. They bear this properly who love Christ. For in them, and of them, does the church sing this in the Song of Songs. (St. Augustine)

My opinion is that all those who lack knowledge of God are those who refuse to turn to him. I am certain that they refuse because they imagine this kindly disposed God to be harsh and severe, this merciful God to be callous and inflexible, this lovable God to be cruel and oppressive. So it is that wickedness plays false to itself, setting up for itself an image that does not represent him.... God forbid that we should think the bride has been admonished on the grounds of ignorance of God, for she has been gifted not merely with great knowledge of him who is both her Bridegroom and God, but with his friendship and familiar intercourse.... The bride therefore, progressing on her course with the support of ministering angels, with the aid of the heavenly host, does resemble the horsemen of the Lord that by a stupendous miracle of divine power once triumphed over the chariots of Pharaoh.... Try to identify too if you can, what you savor most in pondering on this sweetest of mysteries: the most benign gesture of the Word, or the unfathomable glory of the soul, or the unpredictable confidence of the sinner. (St. Bernard)

Musical Selection (Palestrina)

Vineam meam non custodivi. Indica mihi quem diligit anima mea, ubi pascas, ubi cubes in meridie, ne vagari incipiam post greges sodalium tuorum.

My vineyard I have not kept. Show me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou liest in the midday, lest I begin to wander after the flocks of thy companions.

Collect (Easter)

Lord God,
through this Easter mystery
you have touched our lives
with the healing power of your grace.
Continue to bless your people,
so that, possessed of perfect freedom,
we may experience in heaven
the joy we now taste on earth.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen.

Collect (Lent)

Look mercifully, Lord, upon your family,
that, as we discipline our desire for earthly things,
a longing for you may grow in our hearts.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen.

Fourth Meditation(Wednesday of the First Week of Lent or Easter Wednesday; Song 1:10-12)


10 Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings,
your neck with strings of jewels.
11 We will make you earrings of gold,
with studs of silver.


12 While the king sat at his table,
my perfume spread its fragrance.


Before the Lord rose again and the gospel shone, the bride had not gold but likenesses of gold. As for the silver, however, which she professes to have at the marriage, she not only had silver ornaments, but she had them in variety—in widows, in the continent and in the married. Then the bridegroom makes answer to the bride and teaches her that the shadow of the old law has passed away and the truth of the gospel has come. (St. Jerome)

There comes about in our case too what follows: “And the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment.” In accord with our capacity will the world be filled with the renown of our devotion, by which we prove that we venerate and love God and our neighbors with a simple and pure heart. There is accomplished what the bride glories of in the canticle of love, “While the king was resting [on his couch], my spikenard gave forth its fragrance.” Here it is clearly shown that what Mary did as a type, the entire church and every perfect soul should do always. (St. Bede the Venerable)

O my Lord, how poorly we profit from the blessing You grant us! You seek ways and means and you devise plans to show Your love for us; we, inexperienced in loving You, esteem this love so poorly that our minds, little exercised in love, go where they always go and cease to think of the great mysteries this language, spoken by the Holy Spirit, contains within itself. What more was necessary than this language in order to enkindle us in His love and make us realize that not without good reason did He choose this style.... And I see clearly that the reason for not understanding is the one I mentioned (that we practice so poorly the love of God), for it doesn’t seem to us possible for a soul to commune in such a way with God.... Being what we are, the love that He had and has for us surprises and bewilders me more; for knowing that He

has such love I already understand that there is no exaggeration in the words by which He reveals it to us, for He has shown this love even more through his deeds. (St. Teresa of Avila)

Musical Selection (Palestrina)

Pulchrae sunt genae tuae sicut turturis, collum tuum sicut monilia. Murenulas aureas faciemus tibi vermiculatas argento. Dum esset rex in accubitu suo, nardus mea dedit odorem suavitatis.

Thy cheeks are beautiful as the turtledove's, thy neck as jewels. We will make thee chains of gold, inlaid with silver. While the king was at his repose, my spikenard sent forth the odour thereof.

Collect (Easter)

God of hope,
each year you gladden our hearts
as we celebrate the mystery of Christ’s resurrection.
Grant in your mercy
that through the joy of this present feast
we may possess one day
the eternal joys of heaven.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen.

Collect (Lent)

Gracious Lord,
look with favour on a people committed to your service,
and make us rich in good works,
that we who practice bodily penance
may also be renewed in spirit.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen.

Fifth Meditation (Thursday of the First Week of Lent or Easter Thursday; Song 1:13-17)


13 My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh,
that lies between my breasts.
14 My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms
from the vineyards of En Gedi.


15 Behold, you are beautiful, my love.
Behold, you are beautiful.
Your eyes are doves.


16 Behold, you are beautiful, my beloved, yes, pleasant;
and our couch is verdant.


17 The beams of our house are cedars.
Our rafters are firs.


Recently he was king, now he is the beloved; recently he was on his royal couch, now he lies between the breasts of the bride. This illustrates the great power of humility, to which the God of majesty will so gladly yield. In a moment reverence has given way to friendship, and he who seemed so distant has been quickly brought close.... That is why she calls him “beloved,” to show that the power of love can prove superior to all the miseries of suffering for “love is strong as death....” And because her life swings between extremes of good fortune and bad, with peril lurking on both sides, she wants to find her beloved midway between these breasts, so that fortified against both by his unceasing protection, she may not be proud in prosperity nor depressed in sorrow. (St. Bernard)

This soul, being overwhelmed with amazement at such unheard-of condescension, exclaimed, with the deepest humility, from her inmost heart: “Ah, Lord! Thou art the Creator, and I am but a creature.” As she uttered these words, her soul was drawn and united to God in a marvellous manner, and enjoyed with Him the sublimest beatitude.  (St. Gertrude of Helfta)

It happens sometimes that a sweet and joyful love is awakened in the heart and swells like a great wave through the soul by itself without any effort at all on our part. One is so powerfully moved by love, so passionately drawn up into love, so strongly taken by love, so tenderly embraced and utterly mastered by love that she surrenders herself entirely to its power. In this embrace the soul experiences directly the radiance of the Divine, a wonderful bliss, pure freedom, ecstatic sweetness, complete overpowering by love, a waterfall of ineffable delight. She feels that all her senses are sacred and she is so totally engulfed by love and so deeply immersed in love that she is one with love, and will never cease to be love. For the beauty of love has clothed her, the power of love has submerged her, the holiness of love has consumed her, the greatness of love has so sublimely drawn her into herself that she will always love and do nothing but acts of love. (Bl. Beatrice of Nazareth)

Musical Selection (Palestrina with vs 2:1)

Fasciculus myrrhae dilectus meus mihi: inter ubera mea commorabitur. Botrus cypri dilectus meus mihi in vineis Engaddi. Ecce tu pulchra es amica mea. Oculi tui columbarum.

A bundle of myrrh is my beloved to me; he shall abide betwixt my breasts. My love is to me a grove of cypress in the vineyards of Engaddi. Behold thou art fair, O my love, behold thou art fair. Thine eyes are those of doves.

Collect (Easter)

Lord God,
who gathered together from the ends of the earth
a diversity of nations
to profess your holy name,
grant that all who have been reborn in the waters of baptism
may be united in faith and in holiness of life.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen.

Collect (Lent)

in your boundless mercy
grant us always the desire to know what is right
and the readiness to do it,
so that we who cannot exist without you
may direct our lives according to your will.
We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen.

Sixth Meditation (Friday of the First Week of Lent or Easter Friday; Song 2:1-3)


1 I am a rose of Sharon,
a lily of the valleys.


2 As a lily among thorns,
so is my love among the daughters.


3 As the apple tree among the trees of the wood,
so is my beloved among the sons.
I sat down under his shadow with great delight,
his fruit was sweet to my taste.


The flower, when cut, keeps its odor, and when bruised increases it, nor if torn off does it lose it. So, too, the Lord Jesus, on the gibbet of the cross, neither failed when bruised nor fainted when torn. And when he was cut by that piercing of the spear, being made more beautiful by the color of the outpoured blood, he, as it were, grew comely again, not able in himself to die, and breathing forth upon the dead the gift of eternal life. (St. Ambrose of Milan)

Now whereas the Bridegroom has suffered shame, hunger, cold, thirst, heat, and bitter pains, for three and thirty years, and at last a bitter death, for the Bride’s sake, out of pure love, is it not just and right that the Bride should venture even her life for the Bridegroom’s sake, out of love, and with all her heart?.... Now when the Bridegroom, in His eternal wisdom, perceives this disposition within His humble Bride, and her thorough earnestness, she begins to grow precious to Him, and from hearty love He giveth her to suffer in all her nature, until the Bride is wholly purified from all faults and stain of sin, and become perfectly fair and unspotted. Then He says, “Now rise up, my beloved, my pleasant, my beautiful Bride, for Thou art pure and without spot, and altogether lovely in my eyes.” Then He looks upon her with infinite, mighty, divine love.... And He sheds forth upon the Bride the torrent of divinelove, and this love flows out unto the Bridegroom, insomuch that the Bride loseth herself, and is intoxicated with love, so that she forgets herself and all creatures, in time or eternity, together with herself.... The joy that the Bride hath with the Bridegroom is so vast that no senses or reason can apprehend or attain unto it. (Johannes Tauler)

THE bride now in possession of the virtues in their perfection, whereby she is ordinarily rejoicing in peace when the Beloved visits her, is now and then in the fruition of the fragrance and sweetness of those virtues in the highest degree, because the Beloved touches them within her, just as the sweetness and beauty of the lilies and other flowers when in their bloom are perceived when we handle them. For in many of these visits the soul discerns within itself all its virtues which God has given it; He shedding light upon them. The soul now, with marvellous joy and sweetness of love, binds them together and presents them to the Beloved as a nosegay of beautiful flowers, and the Beloved in accepting them-- for He truly accepts them then--accepts thereby a great service. All this takes place within the soul, feeling that the Beloved is within it as on His own couch, for the soul presents itself with the virtues which is the greatest service it can render Him, and thus this is one of the greatest joys which in its interior converse with God the soul is wont to receive in presents of this kind made to the Beloved. (St. John of the Cross)

Musical Selection (Claudio Monteverdi)

Ego flos campi et lilium convallium. Sicut lilium inter spinas sic amica mea inter filias. Sicut malus inter ligna silvarum, sic dilectus meus inter filios. Sub umbra illius quem desideraveram sedi, et fructus ejus dulcis gutturi meo.

I am the flower of the field, and the lily of the valleys. As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters. As the apple tree among the trees of the woods, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow, whom I desired: and his fruit was sweet to my palate.

Collect (Easter)

Almighty and eternal God,
in the paschal mystery of Christ your Son
you have established with all peoples
a new covenant of reconciliation and peace.
Grant that we may show forth in our lives
the mystery of faith we so joyfully proclaim.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen.

Collect (Lent)

prepare your people fittingly
for the celebration of Easter,
that the bodily penance we have solemnly begun
may work to the good of our souls.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen.

Seventh Meditation (Saturday of the First Week of Lent or Easter Saturday; Song 2:4-7)


4 He brought me to the banquet hall [wine cellar; Vulgate].
His banner over me is love.
5 Strengthen me with raisins,
refresh me with apples;
For I am faint with love.
6 His left hand is under my head.
His right hand embraces me.
7 I adjure you, daughters of Jerusalem,
by the roes, or by the hinds of the field,
that you not stir up, nor awaken love,
until it so desires.


O love, you who are queen in the court of heaven bring me into your mystic storerooms, and give me to drink of the wine you keep therein. For all the vessels which contain it are filled with God, and the Holy Spirit fills them even to the brim. O that I could obtain even here below my soul's desire, its one most intense longing, that it might at length turn to you alone, and that you might bid it live again with the gentle kiss of your mercy. O my chosen, cherished good, let me clasp you with my soul's very inmost being; let me impress on you my reverent kiss, that so I may be united to you and cleave indissolubly to you. (St. Gertrude of Helfta)

In the inner cellar
Of my Beloved have I drunk; and when I went forth
Over all the plain
I knew nothing,
And lost the flock I followed before.

There He gave me His breasts,
There He taught me the science full of sweetness.
And there I gave to Him
Myself without reserve;
There I promised to be His bride. (St. John of the Cross)

It is the peace-loving and meek King, Christ Jesus, who brings us into that banquet hall to  accomplish in us wonderful and surprising things. He assumes the title of king to signify the  magnificence of his gifts, the extent of his infinite power and, at the same time, wishes to show us his most tender love by which he leads us into this asylum of peace. He will make us rich in merit and virtue, it we only respond to his graces. He uses the image of a banquet hall to remind us of the conduct that we should observe so that we might receive and cherish his heavenly favors by means of a most intimate recollection in prayer. So, ultimately, let us be guided in our approach in order that in his banquet hall the most loving Lord may serve us with substantial food and drink. His nourishment will renew our hearts and fortify our souls unto salutary works for life eternal. (St. Gaspar del Bufalo)

Musical Selections (Palestrina)

 Introduxit me rex in cellam vinariam, ordinavit in me charitatem. Fulcite me floribus, stipate me malis; quia amore langueo.

He brought me into the cellar of wine, he set in order charity in me. Stay me up with flowers, compass me about with apples: because I languish with love.

Collect (Easter)

Ever-faithful God,
by the outpouring of your grace
you increase the number of those who believe in you.
Keep your chosen ones for ever safe,
so that, having been reborn in the waters of baptism,
they may be clothed in the robes of immortal glory.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen.

Collect (Lent)

Eternal Father,
turn our hearts back to you,
that we may commit our lives to your praise and service,
seeking always the one thing necessary
and providing for the needs of others.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen.