In medieval England, before Mattins on Easter morning, the Host and Crucifix which on Good Friday had been 'buried' in the 'Easter Sepulchre' were taken in procession, the former to the High Altar, the latter to a side altar. Antiphons were sung; the versicle and response
V The Lord hath risen from the grave
R Who hung for us upon the Cross.
were followed by a collect.
Around 1000ish, on Easter morning, the Roman Pontiff entered his Cathedral and opened the silver doors which gave access to the ancient Resurrection Ikon. He kissed the Lord's feet three times and then chanted the same versicle, to which the response was given. He then venerated the Cross, and his household did the same. The Pope then gave the Peace to each of them, with the words
V The Lord hath risen indeed; to which each replied
R And hath appeared unto Simon.
In recent years, a form of this rite, with the same verses (although no longer in V and R form) being used, has been restored as a preliminary to Easter morning Mass at S Peter's. It is now seen as an expression of the tradition that it was to S Peter that the Lord first appeared; so that when the Pontiff, in whom Peter lives and witnesses, venerates the ikon, that Meeting is re-enacted.
Two interesting points. (1) The Vatican introduction to the rite says that "the Icon of Christ is the 'sacramental presence' of the one who is ...Risen ..." I wonder what exactly the words 'sacramental' and 'presence' mean here.
(2) Cranmer, when translating these texts, replaced the first versicle and response with
V Show forth to all nations the glory of God.
R And among all people his wonderful works.
This strikes me as the elimination of the idea of a Mystery experienced and presently relived, and its replacement by the scaled-down notion of remembering and proclaiming his past wonders.
Or is my understanding of the significance of liturgical commemoration rather too 'Odo Casels'?