16 April 2006

Triduum Day 3 - Easter!

After a quiet, in-between sort of day, we participated in the most important Mass of the year - The Easter Vigil. This is full of symbolism and scripture, sights, sounds and smells.
It begins with
everyone gathered around a small fire outside the Church. All are given unlit candles and the priests, brothers and altar boys arrive and we begin with the blessing of the Paschal candle.
This candle is lit and we proceed towards the darkened church led by the words, "The Light of Christ" and response, "Thanks be to God". At the entrance we light our small candles from the Paschal Candle and the darkness recedes with all of our lights, effectively demonstrating the power of all the members of the church working together.
We then hear the chanted Exultet and then up to seven readings from the Old Testament, with a psalm between each, a New Testament reading and the Gospel followed by the homily. Last night the priest based his homily on one preached by St John Chrysostom (a Father of the Church, archbishop of Constantinople around 407 AD) full of glory and praise for the sacrifice Jesus made.
Blessing of the Baptismal waters, litany of the Saints, and finally communion completed this joyous Mass. This Mass can take up to three or more hours depending on the singing and number of readings. We had Clare baptised at the Easter Vigil five years ago and it was such a exciting experience with all the Joy of Easter, the three hours went by very quickly.
Now that we have remembered the Resurrection, and prepared with the fasting of Lent, it is time for compulsory celebrations for this coming week. Woo hoo!

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