Easter Saturday Vigil 2012

There is no liturgy on Holy Saturday until the Evening Vigil.

We are recommended to "spend the day reflecting upon the powerful reality of Jesus' death." 

What is important is that we try and keep this day holy, and let our "sense" of the mystery of death shape our reflection, and our longing to celebrate the Easter gift of Jesus alive, for us and with us.

For you have died , and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with Him in glory.

Colossians 3 : 3-4

 A heart surgeon once got into an argument with his gardener on the questions of souls.

" I have cut open hundreds of hearts," he said, " but I have never seen a soul inside them."

The gardener replied, " I have accidentally sliced through many daffodil bulbs with my spade, and I have never seen a daffodil inside them."

What is to be is hidden deeply within us and will be revealed only in God's time and through Gods' power.

Taken from 2012 , A Book of Grace Filled Days by Margaret Silf. Loyola Press

The Easter Vigil Service 
                                                          Paschal Candle image source
The Paschal Candle will be lit from the fire


The Light of Christ: 

The church is in complete darkness. 
The Paschal candle lit from the new fire outside is then processed into the community, via individual small candles lit from it, and we receive its light and experience the power of that light as it grows in community and gradually the church fills with light. 

Then all the electrical lights in the church are switched on too !

As the candle is brought to the front and centre of the altar, the beautiful Easter Proclamation, or Exultet is sung, getting louder as it progresses.

The full text can be found here 

This is the sung new revised translation of the Exultet

Gospel from Saturday Vigil Mass Mk 16:1-7

                           "Women Arriving at the Tomb" by contemporary Chinese artist He Qi

When the sabbath was over,
Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome
bought spices so that they might go and anoint him.

 Very early when the sun had risen,
on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb.

They were saying to one another,
"Who will roll back the stone for us
from the entrance to the tomb?"

When they looked up,
they saw that the stone had been rolled back;
it was very large.

On entering the tomb they saw a young man
sitting on the right side, clothed in a white robe,
and they were utterly amazed.

He said to them, "Do not be amazed!
You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified.

He has been raised; he is not here.
Behold the place where they laid him.

But go and tell his disciples and Peter,
'He is going before you to Galilee;
there you will see him, as he told you.'"

By John Updike

Make no mistake: if He rose at all
it was as His body;
if the cells' dissolution did not reverse, the molecules
reknit, the amino acids rekindle,
the Church will fall.

It was not as the flowers,
each soft Spring recurrent;
it was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled
eyes of the eleven apostles;
it was as His Flesh: ours.

The same hinged thumbs and toes,
the same valved heart
that — pierced — died, withered, paused, and then
regathered out of enduring Might
new strength to enclose.

Let us not mock God with metaphor,
analogy, sidestepping transcendence;
making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the
faded credulity of earlier ages:
let us walk through the door.

The stone is rolled back, not papier-mache,
not a stone in a story,
but the vast rock of materiality that in the slow
grinding of time will eclipse for each of us
the wide light of day.

And if we will have an angel at the tomb,
make it a real angel,
weighty with Max Planck's quanta, vivid with hair,
opaque in the dawn light, robed in real linen
spun on a definite loom.

Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,
for our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,
lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are
embarrassed by the miracle,
and crushed by remonstrance.

From Updike, John. "Telephone Poles and Other Poems" (New York: Alfred A. Knopf,1961).

Let us not mock God with metaphor, for He literally lives. 

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