‘On this day, when “Christ our paschal lamb was sacrificed”, what had long been promised in signs and figures was at last revealed and brought to fulfilment. The true lamb replaced the symbolic lamb, and the many offerings of the past gave way to the single sacrifice of Christ.
The wonderful works of God among the people of the Old Testament were a prelude to the work of Christ the Lord. He achieved his task of redeeming humanity and giving perfect glory to God, principally by the paschal mystery of his blessed Passion, resurrection from the dead and glorious ascension, whereby dying he destroyed our death and rising he restored our life (Preface of Easter). For it was from the side of Christ as he slept the sleep of death upon the Cross that there came forth the sublime sacrament of the whole Church.
In contemplating the Cross of its Lord and Bridegroom, the Church commemorates its own origin and its mission to extend to all people the blessed effects of Christ’s Passion that it celebrates on this day in a spirit of thanksgiving for his marvellous gift.’
(Ceremonial of Bishops, 312)