Sunday, March 23, 2008


Indeed, He is risen!

What a beautiful holiday Easter is!! We went to the Vigil last night at St. Clement's--it was lovely! I always love to see the church so prettily decorated (one of the reasons we were married during the Easter season), and the priests so finely dressed. Truly, Christ is Risen, just as He said!

Mass was wonderful yesterday evening. The church was dark as we walked in and took our seats. After my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I was able to faintly discern the lilies lining the steps before the altar. I could discern an image of the Risen Christ above the Tabernacle, and the church smelled of incense already.

The liturgy began outside before a small coal fire which was blessed. The Easter candle also was blessed and lighted, and we began our procession into the church as the priest sang, "Christ our Light" to which we responded, "Thanks be to God!" As the congregation filled the holy space, our vigil candles were lit, one by one, from the Easter candle and the church was ablaze with candle light. In this ancient light, the Light of Christ, the Exultet was sung by the main celebrant: This is the night... this is the night. Oh happy fault.. oh necessary sin of Adam, that gained for us so great a Redeemer!

Then the liturgy of the word began--three of the seven readings from the Old Testament were read, with psalms in between--all in darkness. The epistle, too, was read in the dark... Then the lights came on as the Gloria began (a bit out of order, I think) and the Alleluia was sung, and the Resurrection Gospel (the Good News) was proclaimed!! I got goose-bumps as the gospel narrative was read--the earth shook, and an angel from heaven came down, rolled away the stone and sat upon it! I can't imagine being the ointment-bearing women seeing such events. But what I love about those women, is that they believed the message and immediately went to tell the disciples. Almost as a "reward" for their faithful action, Jesus meets them on the way! He is THERE before them: their Risen Lord! For three days their world was shattered, but in a moment it was changed and renewed forever. In one moment, unending joy entered their hearts and the Love from God was present to them in a new, ever-permeating, and everlasting way!

The renewal of baptismal promises: I DO reject satan, and all his works, and all his empty promises. I DO believe in God, in Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit. I DO look for the resurrection of the dead, and life everlasting. Amen.

Communion, as always, is especially moving after the Good Friday communion service, to once again witness the miracle of the Eucharist. To be truly one flesh with God... and be a true member of the Body of Christ, devoutly processing to receive Him into their hearts.

And the closing message: Go in peace, Alleluia! ALLELUIA!
Our response, which should be our response every moment of every day: Thanks be to God, Alleluia! ALLELUIA!!
for Christ is RISEN!

..just as He said.

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