Today, a friend sent me a link to this YouTube video (scroll down for the insanity), asking me to comment on its veracity. Under the title, “Pope Francis Declares Lucifer As God” (sic), an anti-Catholic deceiver (probably lying, but at least deceived himself) has mistranslated the Exultet and turned it into a prayer of adoration directed to Satan.
What is the Exultet? Here’s what the Catholic Encyclopedia says, in part:
The hymn in praise of the paschal candle sung by the deacon, in the liturgy of Holy Saturday. In the missal the title of the hymn is “Praeconium”, as appears from the formula used at the blessing of the deacon: “ut digne et competenter annunties suum Paschale praeconium . Outside Rome, the use of the paschal candle appears to have been very ancient in Italy, Gaul, Spain, and perhaps, from the reference by St. Augustine (City of God XV.22), in Africa. The Liber Pontificalis attributes its introduction in the local Roman Church to Pope Zosimus. The formula used for the “Praeconium” was not always the “Exultet”, though it is perhaps true to say that this formula has survived, where other contemporary formulae have disappeared. In the “Liber Ordinum”, for instance, the formula is of the nature of a benediction, and the Gelasian Sacramentary has the prayer “Deus mundi conditor”, not found elsewhere, but containing the remarkable “praise of the bee — possibly a Vergilian reminiscence — which is found with more or less modification in all the texts of the “Praeconium” down to the present day. The regularity of the metrical cursus of the “Exultet” would lead us to place the date of its composition perhaps as early as the fifth century, and not later than the seventh. The earliest manuscript in which it appears are those of the three Gallican Sacramentaries: — the Bobbio Missal (seventh century), the Missale Gothicum and the Missale Gallicanum Vetus (both of the eighth century). The earliest manuscript of the Gregorian Sacramentary(Vat. Reg. 337) does not contain the “Exultet”, but it was added in the supplement to what has been loosely called the Sacramentary of Adrian, and probably drawn up under the direction of Alcuin.
One of the more famous lines in the Exultet is,“O Happy Fault that merited such and so great a Redeemer!” The phrase “O happy fault” is of common use among educated Catholics.
One can find translations of the piece in several places online: here, here (with the Latin text side-by-side), and here (also with the Latin), for example. Needless to say, the references to Lucifer are not references to Satan — who should no longer be called that after his fall, for reasons which will soon be made obvious.
Lucifer etymologically means the “bringer or light,” or “bringer of the dawn.” It is often translated as “morning star,” and as such refers to Venus, Sirius, and sometimes Mercury in Astronomy (vide). (WikiPedia has a discussion of this in its entry, Lucifer.) The “morning star” also refers to Jesus Christ in the Bible, both in Catholic and Protestant translations. It also is used to refer, in Catholic piety (e.g., in the Litany of Loreto), to the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is like the morning star heralding the Sun of Justice, Jesus Christ. The Litany in Latin uses the words Stella Matutina (literally, “Morning Star”) in reference to Her; it does not call Our Lady Lucifer.
The fact that the Latin Bible uses the word Lucifer not in reference to Satan is easily established by a search on this Protestant site (click for the search: I did all the work for you!).
The silly video is right below. It is a BIG FAT LIE, and ought to be seen and called out as one. You know what they say about the problem with quotes on the Internet, right? The same things goes for anti-Catholic YouTube videos.