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Easter Vigil | Mary Biever | One Writing Mother

Easter Vigil

Easter Vigil at Immaculate Conception, Faribaultphoto © 2006 Steve Moses | more info (via: Wylio)
Tonight is one of my favorite nights of the year – Easter Vigil. We begin outside the Church with a bonfire, remembering the first time St. Patrick lit an Easter bonfire in Ireland centuries ago. From the bonfire, the Easter (Paschal) candle is lit, and we each light our own candles from that fire, spreading the light of Christ. Our responses in song include “Christ our light” and “Thanks be to God.” In the early Church, St. Cyril of Jerusalem said this night was as bright as day.

Then we process into the darkened church as the Exsultant, or Easter proclamation of man’s sin, God’s mercy, and our Redeemer is sung. Then the lights turn in the Church, we see the beautiful Easter decorations, and we begin our Easter celebration. Constantine introduced the lighting of lights to represent the light of Christ. As the lights turn on and dispel the darkness, our grief of Good Friday turns to joy at the celebration of the Resurrection.

The Old Testament readings (at least three will be read) share Salvation history – these include readings from Genesis and Exodus 14. Before an excerpt from Romans is read, we will sing a Gloria as bells are rung in celebration, and we will sing Alleluia before the gospel reading.

After the homily, we celebrate baptism and welcome new members to the Church. Another reason I love tonight is because 14 years ago, I was one of those who was welcomed, and I celebrated my first communion in the Liturgy of the Eucharist. We will all renew our baptismal vows and resolve to follow Christ.

Each reading, song, response, and gesture is full of meaning and has been repeated throughout centuries of tradition. Our celebration crosses languages, border, and time as we rejoice and sing Alleluia.

It reminds me of the final scene in a Star Wars movie, where the great battle is won, and everyone rejoices.

Whenever there is a great celebration, there is also a feast. And as a cook, that means lots of kitchen prep time.

I have many dumplings to make, eggs to dye, and desserts to bake before I sleep, so this blog must end!

Wow. It's Quiet Here...

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