As I continue my reflections on the Triduum, we move to Saturday. A long day of relative quiet until the Vigil. A small group of us gathered in the church in the morning to decorate for Easter. At Noon we had the traditional but inappropriately timed blessing of the first foods of Easter. This should be done following the Vigil but is traditionally done around Noon because in the really old days (when I was growing up and before the changes in the liturgy of Vatican II, the Vigil was celebrated early Saturday morning - not sure why?) and Noon was a great "post-vigil" time to bless food. Some traditions even I am reluctant to tackle. One great thing about the blessing in church is the smell of ham, kielbasa, paska and all the rich foods - truly worthy of "fast breaking".
Our Easter Vigil began at 8:30 pm. Again, about 300 people, among them a young six year old boy - Owen Benjamin Orth - who was baptized during our liturgy. The weather cooperated for the new fire outside (no wind, rain, snow, etc), the procession and Exultet by candlelight was striking, the story of salvation told through the nine reading was calming and uplifting, and the Gloria triumphant. Welcoming Owen was a blessing ... he was cute - he stayed awake, was attentive, and when I asked him the questions of his baptismal promises and profession of Faith, without hesitation and in a loud, clear voice he said "I DO". Everyone smiled, then they shared in the renewal of those same promises in their own lives. We were reminded of our baptism through the Rite of Sprinkling with the newly blessed water. And as always, Eucharist brought our celebration to completion. With deep prayer, with much song, with patient endurance we celebrated the great Vigil and ended with a joyous ALLELUIA!