My sister came for Easter while John was away with Army life. We attended the Easter Vigil and watched about 25 people be confirmed into the Catholic Church. Among them was a dear friend’s husband who had recently returned from Iraq. Although the Mass was long, the children were able to see the beauty of the Easter vigil Mass unfold.
The Easter Vigil liturgy is the most beautiful liturgy in the Roman Catholic Church. Although celebrated Holy Saturday evening, it is the dramatic Easter vigil liturgy that marks the beginning of Easter. We are awaiting our master’s return with our lamps full and burning, so that he will find us awake and seat us at his table (cf. Luke 12:35ff).
The vigil is divided into four parts: 1) service of light, 2) liturgy of the Word, 3) liturgy of Baptism, and 4) liturgy of the Eucharist.
1) Service of Light The atmosphere in the church is different: the holy water fonts are drained, all the lights are out, the tabernacle is empty. The service begins outside the church. A new fire is lit and blessed.e Eucharist.
2)Liturgy of the Word
During the Easter vigil, nine readings, seven Old Testament and two New Testament, are provided. Not all are required to be read due to time constraints, but at least three Old Testament readings must be read, including Exodus 14. These readings help us meditate on the wonderful works of God for his people since the beginning of time. The readings are 1) the story of creation, Gen 1:1-2; 2; 2) Abraham and Isaac, Gen 22:1-18; 3) Crossing of the Red Sea, Exodus 14:15–15:1; 4) Isaiah 54:5-14; 5) Isaiah 55:1-11; 6) Baruch 3:9-15.32–4:4; 7) Ezekiel 36:16-17.18-28; 8) Romans 6:3-11; and 9) Gospel reading Mark 16:1-7. The Gloria is sung before the reading of the Epistle of the Romans, and the Alleluia is sung before the Gospel.
3) Liturgy of Baptism
During this time the Easter water is blessed, new members are brought into the Church through baptism, and the faithful are blessed with water and renew their baptismal promises.
4)Liturgy of Eucharist
So resumes the Mass, with the special prayers inserted during the Eucharist Prayer. The whole church is called to join at the sacrificial table that Christ prepared for us through his death and resurrection. The Mass ends with the glorious
The church was filled with darkness, one by one, the candles were lit as we watched the church be filled with life! The children noticed the Alleluia had returned to the mass, as did the altar linens and flowers. It was a memorable evening.
On Easter morning our Children found their baskets filled with treasures!
Best of all the Alleluia was back! We found the letters we had put away for Lent and hung them in the window of our kitchen. The pictures of Jesus’ resurrection were all about the room. Here is Moonbeam sharing one now!
We also made resurrection rolls as a nice visual of what happened that morning when the tomb was found empty. We made these by using crescent rolls and rolling a large marshmallow inside sealing the edges. We then rolled it in sugar and cinnamon and then baked them. The marshmallow was “the body of Christ.” When they came out of the oven and opened up, the “body” was gone! It was completely hollow inside. (And absolutely delicious!) Thank you KC for the recipe!