Today marks the 10 anniversary of my conversion to Catholicism. (Not the actual date... but it has been 10 "Easters" since I was initiated.) It will be the 10th Easter Vigil that I participate in and attend. Tonight's Vigil was especially exciting. It was the first time to celebrate in our new church and also my first time to participate as a sponsor. I have to be honest and say that I was really thinking it was going to be somewhat of a disaster. It's always a difficult mass to celebrate with a new priest (This is the first time we would be celebrating with Fr. Ramon as the pastor and celebrant.) because of all of the extra "stuff" that happens. The choreography is well thought out and planned in advanced but since we only do it once a year, we forget the steps and procedures. To add to that... now we are in a new environment and new procedures. (Baptism by immersion for the fist time.) We can practice all we want (and we did for almost 3 hours) but you can't anticipate everything.
To my delight... it went off without a hitch. I had not planned on taking any pictures during the mass, but there was a point where I was so moved by the scene, I had to quickly break out the camera and snap a few just to freeze the moment in time. I didn't want to forget it. The entire mass from beginning to end... (3 hours and 45 minutes) flowed seamlessly and really invited you in to praise and worship. PERFECT! Actually, I'm going to say that I think it was the most beautiful Easter Vigil I've attended. Beautiful for all of the senses. The candle light vigil was breath taking, the music was extraordinary, the holy water was warm and inviting and even the incense smelled better than I remembered. (Big words since I've always claimed that my initiation year was the best.) Add on to all of this the fact that I was there in a role of support to a young man that I've grown very fond of over the last couple of years. I was so excited for him that I was able to see the whole experience through different eyes.