Then we began the Solemn Vigil. A new fire dispelled the darkness. A candle, blessed, lit and set apart, led the people of God into their House to contemplate the mystery of salvation. A great proclamation, the Exultet, spoke of this night in beautiful terms, and of the Happy Fault, the necessary sin of Adam that brought to us so loving of a Redeemer and the fulfillment of a longstanding Promise. The Church then invited us to listen with quiet hearts to the Word of God - elaborated through nine readings with psalms and prayer. After breaking open the Word, we moved into the Baptismal Liturgy.
This year we at the parish had one young man of catechetical age who we shared the gift of Baptism with and then later brought to the Table of the Lord for Eucharist. His name is Conner, and he was ready and willing with his "YES" to his desire to be baptized and his "I DO'S" at the Baptismal Promises. In the newly blessed water he entered into the family of God and all of us, renewing our Promises, were reminded of our baptisms in the Rite of Sprinkling. Conner was welcomed, embraced by the community, prayed over, washed clean in baptism and anointed, entrusted with the Light of Faith, and made ready for the Table.
And then we returned to the Table that we had left on Thursday to celebrate with Easter joy the Eucharist which is our life-blood. Having been inspired, having been renewed, having been nourished, we prepared to go forth and proclaim the Good News. The blessing that sent us forth prayed:
May almighty God bless you
through today's Easter Solemnity
and, in his compassion,
defend you from every assault of sin.
And may he, who restores you to eternal life
in the Resurrection of his Only Begotten,
endow you with the prize of immortality.
Now that the days of the Lord's Passion have drawn to a close,
may you who celebrate the gladness of the Paschal Feast
come with Christ's help, ans exulting in spirit,
to those feasts that are celebrated in eternal joy.
ALLELUIA! ALLELUIA! ALLELUIA!