Richard Rohr: Ancient prayer of hope for Resurrection

CLICK THE BOOK COVER to visit its Amazon page.IN RICHARD ROHR’S new book Immortal Diamond, he ends with a prayer from an ancient liturgy used by Christians on the eve of Easter—the church’s great celebration of resurrection.

Rohr introduces the final prayer this way:

Many Christians begin Lent on Ash Wednesday with the signing of ashes on their forehead and the words from Genesis 3:19, which is just the first shocking part of the message: “Dust you are, and unto dust you shall return.”

But then we should be anointed (“Christed”) with a holy oil on Easter morning with the other half of the message: “Love is always stronger than death, and unto the love you have now returned.”

Then, Rohr adds these ancient lines, which are spoken as if God is calling the dead to new life:

O Sleeper,
to Awake!

“I ORDER YOU, O SLEEPER, to awake!
I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell.
Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead.
Rise up, work of my hands, you were created in my image.
Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you.
Together we form only one person and we cannot be separated!”

Care to read more?

READ OUR INTERVIEW WITH RICHARD ROHR: This prayer’s theme is central to Richard Rohr’s newest book—and you can learn much more about Immortal Diamond in our inteview with him.

READ THE ENTIRE ANCIENT TEXT: The Vatican website publishes the entire much-longer reading in a slightly different English translation, that traditionally is used on Holy Saturday. The portion Richard Rohr excerpts appears as the fifth paragraph of the longer Vatican text.

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