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Who is the Morning Star?

Venus at sunrise: Photo 85864986 | Black © Yaroslav Veretin |

[Originally published as The Bright Morning Star]

A few days ago, I saw a post on Facebook that was entitled “Full Blown Lucifer Worship At The Catholic Vatican.” It linked to a YouTube video with the same title. The video has more than 110,000 views, so while it is not as popular as a lot of cat videos, it does have at least some level of influence. The problem, of course, is that it is dead wrong. The central piece of evidence it shows for the “full blown devil worship” is a deacon singing the Easter Proclamation during the Easter Vigil in the Roman Rite of Mass. The song, of course, is in Latin, and the video “helpfully” translates the Latin for you.

Here is what the video claims the deacon is singing:

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Flaming Lucifer finds Mankind,
I say: Oh Lucifer who will never be defeated,
who came back from hell,
shed his peaceful light and is alive
and reigns in the world without end.

Now I don’t know Latin, but I figured anything which is sung during the Easter Vigil is probably well known and rather old. So I looked for it, and not surprisingly, I found it on Wikipedia. It is called “The Exsultet,” and Wikipedia helpfully has both the Latin and its English Translation. Here is how Wikipedia translates the same passage:

May this flame be found still burning
by the Morning Star:
the one Morning Star who never sets,
Christ your Son,
who, coming back from death’s domain,
has shed his peaceful light on humanity,
and lives and reigns for ever and ever.

Obviously, the video and Wikipedia disagree. Notice that “Lucifer” is not mentioned by Wikipedia at all. Instead, it is “Morning Star.” Of course, you might not trust Wikipedia. That’s fine. Do a Google translate, and you will find it translates those same Latin words into “star morning.” Either way, then, the deacon isn’t singing about Satan. He is singing about the Morning Star.

Who is this Morning Star? This is probably where the author of the video is a bit confused (or hoping that you will be confused). We get the name “Lucifer” from the King James Version’s translation of Isaiah 14:12–15:

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

Most modern translations don’t use the term “Lucifer.” They use the more correct translation, which is “morning star” or “star of the morning.” But doesn’t that mean “morning star” refers to Satan? Not necessarily. Look at the passage quoted in the picture at the top of the post (Revelation 22:16). In that passage Jesus uses the term “bright morning star” to refer to Himself! So while the passage in Isaiah refers to Satan as the “morning star,” Jesus refers to Himself as the “bright morning star.”

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So to which “morning star” does The Exsultet refer? It is clearly referring to Jesus. If you look at the first part of the passage (left out of the video), it starts off saying:

Therefore, O Lord,
we pray you that this candle,
hallowed to the honour of your name,
may persevere undimmed,
to overcome the darkness of this night.
Receive it as a pleasing fragrance,
and let it mingle with the lights of heaven.

So The Exsultet is singing to God, asking that the candle which is being lit will continue to burn until His Son comes to reign for eternity. It uses the same term for Christ that He uses for Himself in Revelation 22:16.

Please note that I am a Protestant. There are a lot of things in the Roman Catholic church with which I strongly disagree. However, I also disagree with using falsehoods to defame any organization. That’s why I posted this article.

Dr. Jay Wile

Written by Jay Wile

As a scientist, it is hard for me to fathom anyone who has scientific training and does not believe in God. Indeed, it was science that brought me not only to a belief in God, but also to faith in Christianity. I have an earned Ph.D. from the University of Rochester in nuclear chemistry and a B.S. in chemistry from the same institution.

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