(Taken from Notes Made at the Conferences of Dom Prosper Guéranger).
Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum: I expect the resurrection of the dead. The Church does not tell us to say merely: I believe the resurrection of the dead, but I expect. We ought, indeed, to be impatient to see the coming of that moment of the resurrection, for the union of the body with the soul is necessary to the perfection of beatitude. The pagans had great difficulty in accepting this Truth, because death seems to be a condition of our very nature; our nature being composed indeed of body and soul, seeing that these elements can be separated, death maintains a certain empire over us. But for us, Christians, the Resurrection of the Dead is a fundamental Dogma. Our Lord Himself, rising again, on the Third Day after His death, confirms this Dogma in a most striking manner; for, says St. Paul, He is the first to come forth from amongst the Dead: primogenitus ex mortuis; as we are all to imitate Him, we too must all rise again.
Et vitam venturi saeculi. I expect, likewise, the Life of the World to come, which knoweth not death. On earth, we live by the Life of Grace, we are supported by Faith, Hope, and Charity; but we do not see God. In glory, on the contrary, we shall fully enjoy the sight of Him, we shall see Him Face to Face, as Saint Paul tells us: We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face (1 Cor. xiii. 12). Moreover, during the days of our earthly pilgrimage, we are exposed to the danger of losing grace; whereas, in Heaven, no further fear of this kind can exist any longer, and we are put in possession there, of that which alone can fully satiate the boundless cravings of the heart of man; we are put in possession of God Himself, who alone is the End of man. With good reason, then, does Holy Church bid us say: Et exspecto vitam venturi saeculi.
Such is the magnificent confession of Faith, put by Holy Church into the mouth of her children. There is yet another formula of our Creed, which was composed by Pius IV, after the Council of Trent. This, which we have just been explaining, is included in it, but with several other articles directed against Protestants, who, when they wish to make their abjuration, are required to read it aloud; without this condition being fulfilled, they could not receive absolution. In like manner, all holders of benefices, before taking possession thereof most pronounce this formula of Faith; for this reason, a Bishop does so, on arriving in his Diocese.
[note: A "benefice" was something that was formerly required for any major cleric, as a guaranteed means for his financial support. This took many forms, either productive land, some endowment, or in some cases, the cleric's own patrimony.]