Saturday, April 6, 2013
Easter Vigil is Not for Wimps (But You Should Go Anyway!)
I can't believe I've never been to an Easter Vigil Mass before. This is not just a Saturday Mass, which isn't a vigil regardless of what your parish bulletin says. The Easter Vigil Mass is a beautiful journey through salvation history, and at three hours long, it's not for wimps. So far, I had been a wimp, but this year, the hubby and I committed to going.
It began with a darkened church, lit only by candlelight. For almost an hour, we took a journey with Abraham, Moses, and Isiah and more, with readings and the singing of psalms which laid out the road that led to the coming of the Messiah. Then the lights went up with startling brightness as we sung the Gloria with joy, and we celebrated the Light of the World, Jesus, our risen Savior. The transition from darkness to light emphasized with brilliant clarity the difference in a world with and without Christ.
Then it was time to welcome new Christians into the Church--those who needed to be baptized. The rest would enter in a week or two.
Our baptismal font is huge, and it never occurred to me there might be a reason for this other than it was pretty and we have a lot of parishioners who use the water to cross themselves as a sign of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In preparation for the baptisms of new Catholics, Father Dave removed his vestments down to his alb, but I couldn't see why he was fussing with his feet. All became clear when he sat on the edge of the font, swung his bare feet over, and stood in the water. Full...immersion...baptism. Unbelievably cool. The snark in me had been wondering why the candidates were dressed somewhat casually. Because they were going to kneel in the water and get doused, that's why! One by one, they entered the water. Their godparents received them with towels and led them to change into dry clothes and white robes.
The entire congregation rejoiced as the Church gained seven new Soldiers for Christ. Seven new faces that would reflect His light into a world darkened with sin. Hurrah!
Then we moved on to the part of the Mass that every Catholic would recognize. The Mass lasted from 7:30 - 10:30, and by the time we left, we had that Easter morning glow. It was odd, feeling this way before Easter morning. Odd and wonderful.
Even the hubby said, "I could do this again next year." And we will.