Let the Alleluias ring! Christ who has died has risen from the dead! From darkness to light, from death to life. What better way to celebrate that than with the Easter Vigil?
Starting in darkness and ending with full light to crescendo Alleluias, in between there are Scripture readings, more than a usual Sunday – last night, five of the possible seven were read, so it did take a long time – yet somehow very fitting.
The Gloria resounds for the first time (other than solemnities) in six weeks Baptism, death, and resurrection are in the Epistle reading of Paul’s letter to the Romans. Then comes the Gospel and the beginning of the Resurrection accounts, followed by the homily.
The Litany of the Saints is one of my favorites, not only the rhythm of the chant, but the reminder of all those who preceded us. You could almost call it the history of the Catholic Church in a nutshell. Following the Renunciation of Sin and Profession of Faith, the catechumens and candidates are received into the Church.
Last night, there was one person baptized and six people confirmed. The conferral of a sacrament is a transcendent moment and so it was last night.
From that point, it is “Mass as usual.” But that’s insufficient. If Baptism and Confirmation are transcendent moments, how much more so the Eucharist. In a tweak to the recent translation dust-up, ineffable is the only apt word for the Real Presence. “Heaven on earth” is a phrase often used. It reminds me of Scott Hahn’s book, The Lamb’s Supper,which one review called “An extremely fascinating development of the telationship between the Book of Revelation and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.”
Although I’ve dipped into the book here and there, I’m going to read it this Easter season. It’s particularly apt because after the Easter Octave, the second reading for this year’s Easter season is from the book of Revelation.
A blessed and joyous Easter to all!