The Song of Moses and the Lamb

Zubaran agnus dei

They were holding God’s harps, and they sang the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb. (Revelation 15:3)

First of all, we know what St. John means by a ‘harp,’ right? A ten-stringed lyre? Correct: Living according to the Ten Commandments.

They sang the song of Moses. Remember how we discussed the relationship between the Lamb of God and the ancient Passover? The song of Moses celebrates what event? Horse and chariot He has cast into the sea. Exodus 15. The crossing of the Red Sea. The liberation of Israel.

The Israelites marched dry-shod through the sea, with the water piled up like a mound, with the floodwaters congealed to their right and to their left. God works His miracles of deliverance.

Where were they headed? To quote the song of Moses: To the mountain of God’s inheritance, to the sanctuary which the Lord’s hands established.

The song of the Lamb resounds in the eternal sanctuary: God is just; God is wonderful. Who will not glorify the Almighty? Who has done such deeds of loving kindness, redeeming the human race by the blood of the innocent Christ!

In every tabernacle in every parish church or chapel all over the world, the Lamb resides. He dwells with us, and He works His miracles of deliverance.

Song of Moses in Eternal Context

They were holding God’s harps, and they sang the song of Moses. (Revelation 15:2-3)

The chapters of the book of Revelation which precede the passage read at today’s Mass narrate the struggle between the evil forces marked with the sign of the beast and the chaste legions marked with the name of the Lamb. In these chapters, the last book of the Bible’s mystical account of the great drama of salvation nears its climax.

The Man comes around.
Now, when we keep the Vigil of Easter in the springtime, we generally sing a good number of psalms and canticles. But let’s just say we couldn’t sing all those psalms, for some reason. Let’s say we had to celebrate the Easter Vigil quickly, because we were on a battlefield, or in jail.

There is one of the Vigil canticles that we absolutely, positively have to sing, no matter what. Without this one particular Old Testament canticle, it is impossible to grasp the full meaning of the holy night of Easter.

Here’s a hint: Sing to the Lord! He has covered Himself in glory!

Who sang this? Moses and the people with him. They sang it because God had covered Himself in glory by doing what?

Casting Pharaoh’s horses and chariots into the sea. Delivering the Israelites from slavery. Leading them forward to the Promised Land.

The Sacred Scriptures make clear the full meaning of the ancient Passover of the Israelites. We read from the book of Revelation: The harpists standing on the sea of glass, who had won victory over the beast: They sang the song of Moses. Great and wonderful are your works, Lord God Almighty!

Faith turns the strife and drama of life on earth into a hopeful pilgrimage. Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us. He has risen and has ascended on high, to the pinnacle of the heavenly Mt. Zion. When Moses sang, he really sang about us; he sang about the chosen ones who believe in the victory of the Son of God. The Lord will deliver us from all evil, and the eternal Promised Land awaits. Therefore we keep the feast.