Saturday, April 4, 2015, 8:30 PM
We keep vigil, we lives as the Gospels command, with "lamps buring ready...like those awaiting their master's return, so that when he arrives he will find them awake and will seat them at the table" (
Luke 12:35) So we wait, and everyting begins again, all new, at the Resurrections of Our Lord. The Liturgy of the Great Vigil oof Easter begins with the Lighting of the Paschal Candle. Outside the church, new fire is kindled in the darkness, and its flame lights the Paschal Candle representing the light of the Risen Christ. The deacon chants the
Exsultet, that ancient hymn of praise and the first joyous acclamation of the resurrected Lord. Next we hear the story of salvation, as told from the Hebrew Scriptures, a tale of types and shadows finding their fulfullment in Christ, the very Paschal Lamb of God. Then comes the Liturgy of Christan Initiation where the saints are invoked and the priest blesses the font, the candidates are baptized, and we all renew our baptismal vow before being sprinkled with the newly blessed "lustral" water. The Sacraments of Confirmation is now administered to those who have been prepared. On this occasion pastors are given faculties from their bishops (or, in the case of the Personal Ordinariate of the Cahir of St. Peter, from the Ordinary) to confirm. Finally the first Mass of Easter begins to the joyous intoning of Alleluia! Christ is Risen!, the candles at the altar are lit from the Paschal Candle, and the bells ring out during the Gloria as we begin the first Masss of the Resurrection. So ends the three days of the Triduum. They present us with the story of God's love and our redemption, the great mystery of our deliverance from sin and death, filling us with an incomparable joy which the Church continues to celebrate during the whole of the Easter season as the paschal candle burns at every Mass for fifty days until the Solemnity of Pentecost.