In the classical Roman Rite, from today onwards until the Ascension the rubrics sometimes ordered that a commemoration at Mattins and Evensong be made of the Holy Cross. I find this wholly edifying, as a reminder that Cross and Resurrection are two sides of the same redemptive coin. Although divided chronologically, they are inseparable doctrinally; so that it is bad method to forget the Resurrection when concentrating on the Lord's Passion, or the Cross when glorying in his Resurrection. Thus in the Western Rites the triumphalist hymns Pange lingua and Vexilla Regis are sung during Holy Week and even on Good Friday. A somewhat eccentric biblical exegete of my acquaintance takes the view that the original text of S John's Gospel ended with the cry of victory tetelestai: "It is finished!", which thus counts as the Johannine Resurrection. I have often explained to him the many reasons why I consider this to be barking mad; but theologically there is a valid point tucked away somewhere in his madness.
Antiphon The Crucified hath risen from the dead and hath redeemed us, alleluia, alleluia.
V Tell it among the nations, alleluia.
R That the Lord hath reigned from the Tree, alleluia.
Let us pray.
God, didst will that for us thy Son should undergo the suffering of the Cross that he might drive out from among us the power of the Enemy: grant to us thy servants; that we may attain unto the grace of the Resurrection. Through the same.
The Response (" ... YHWH hath reigned from the Tree") comes from a version of Psalm 95 (aka 96) verse 10. This was how it read in early Latin translations of the Psalter, and it is known that the reading goes back at least to S Justin. It is found in many later Latin Fathers, and in Venantius Fortunatus' original text of Vexilla regis.The admirable (Anglican Patrimony) translator of Latin hymnology, John Mason Neale, renders Venantius thus:
Fulfilled is all that David told
In true prophetic song of old;
Amidst the nations, God, saith he,
Hath reigned and triumphed from the Tree.
The history of this stanza is interesting. The first (1968) draft of the hymns for the new breviary finds Dom Anselmo Lentini explaining the venerable history of this reading; he concludes by observing "So we do not dare to suppress the stanza or change the line". But, before the Liturgia horarum saw the light of day, that stanza had bitten the dust. Somebody had 'dared'.
Easy to see why. It alleges that King David, regarded as the composer of the psalms, had written the words about God having reigned "from the tree". Pedantic 'Enlightenment' readers of the Hebrew Massoretic Text will speedily if ponderously point out that they are absent from it*. Indeed, even in the Greek Septuagint only the bilingual 'Verona' psalter, I think, gives this reading (apo xulou).
But this demonstrates exactly what is wrong with that sort of approach to the august interwoven synthesis of littera scripta and Tradition which is at the heart of our Faith. And even some secular literary critics would remind the Bugninitendenz that Reception is part of Text.
This reminds me of a point made by Bishop Andrew Burnham in his splendid new book on Liturgy: that, for the Orthodox, the Septuagint is a divinely inspired correction of the Hebrew Old Testament.
I'm not quite sure I'd put it quite that way. But I would assert that the Hebrew Bible (of the pre-Christian millennium), the Septuagint, Vetus Latina, and Vulgate, all go to make up the supernatural totality of what I call Scripture.
*Just as experts will, upon very good evidential grounds, assure you that the Pericope about the Woman caught in Adultery is not part of the 'authentic' text of S John's Gospel. But how many preachers and lectionary-makers exclude it?