The Easter Vigil is my FAVORITE Mass of the year! And it is the central Mass of the year, as well. I’ve been told that the early Church believed that Christ would return in Glory at the Easter Vigil Mass, so they would spend the entire night (sunset to sunrise) in prayer, reading Scripture (our Salvation history) and celebrating the Risen Lord.
The Charcoal Fire has a top-ten list for the Easter Vigil, including the following (which are two of my favorite things, as well):
4. 17 (yes 17) Sacred Scripture Readings – with 7 Old Testament readings, 8 responsorial Psalms, and 2 New Testament readings, we are soaked in Scripture, remembering God’s saving deeds for his people.
2. New Catholics, Their First Sacraments, and Our Renewal of Baptismal Vows! – God’s work of sending the graces of conversion through the Holy Spirit is manifested throughout the whole world on this night in the newly baptized. For so many converts, this is the commemoration of their entrance into the Body of Christ through the baptismal font, the womb of the Church, and a remembrance of all, as we renew with our hearts our own vows of our baptism, that we are members of Christ. This is an amazing moment in the lives of all these people. They receive three sacraments before our eyes! The universal dimension of the Church is so tangible here. We have new brothers and sisters in Christ all over the world. I rejoice with all our newly baptized and our newly confirmed all over the world.
If you’ve never been to an Easter Vigil, especially if you’re not Catholic, I would highly recommend attending next year. Naturally, if you’re not Catholic, you won’t receive Holy Communion at the time, but if you want to see how the Church celebrates the highest of Holy Days, show up for the Easter Vigil. From bonfires outside to candlelit readings to bells and alleluias, it is the most beautiful Mass of the year.
And no one who attends one can ever claim that Catholics have no love of Scripture. 😉
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