Tonight's post is pre-emtive because I already know what grace is coming my way. Tonight is the Easter Vigil and we're headed to church. Mass will be about 5 hours long tonight and I wouldn't miss it for the world. This is my 14th Easter Vigil (in a row.) For Catholics, this is the most important night of the year. This is the night when we usher in the season of Easter, renew our faith, contemplate and celebrate the resurrection and welcome new Catholics into the faith. This is the night.
The following is the words to the Easter Proclamation that will be sung at all Catholic churches tonight. It explains better than I ever could, the graces that will flow this evening. So here' s wishing you an early alleluia and Happy Easter.
Rejoice, heavenly powers! Sing, choirs of angels! Exult, all creation around God’s throne! Jesus Christ, our King, is Risen! Sound the trumpet of salvation!
Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor, radiant in the brightness of your King! Christ has conquered! Glory fills you! Darkness vanishes for ever!
Rejoice, O Mother Church! Exult in glory! The risen Savior shines upon you! Let this place resound with joy, echoing the mighty song of all God’s people!
[My dearest friends, standing with me in this holy light,
V: The Lord be with you. R: And also with you.
V: Lift up your hearts. R: We lift them up to the Lord.
V: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. R: It is right to give him thanks and praise.
It is truly right that with full hearts and minds and voices we should praise the unseen God, the all-powerful Father, and his only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
For Christ has ransomed us with his blood, and paid for us the price of Adam’s sin to our eternal Father!
This is our Passover feast, when Christ, the true Lamb, is slain, whose blood consecrates the homes of all believers.
This is the night when first you saved our fathers: you freed the people of Israel from their slavery and led them dry-shod through the sea.
This is the night when the pillar of fire destroyed the darkness of sin!
This is the night when Christians everywhere, washed clean of sin and freed from all defilement, are restored to grace and grow together in holiness.
This is the night when Jesus Christ broke the chains of death and rose triumphant from the grave.
What good would life have been to us, had Christ not come as our Redeemer?
Father, how wonderful your care for us! How boundless your merciful love! To ransom a slave you gave away your Son.
O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam, which gained for us so great a Redeemer!
Most blessed of all nights, chosen by God to see Christ rising from the dead!
Of this night scripture says: “The night will be as clear as day: it will become my light, my joy.”
The power of this holy night dispels all evil, washes guilt away, restores lost innocence, brings mourners joy: it casts out hatred, brings us peace, and humbles earthly pride.
Night truly blessed when heaven is wedded to earth and man is reconciled with God!
Therefore, heavenly Father, in the joy of this night, receive our evening sacrifice of praise, your Church’s solemn offering.
Accept this Easter candle, a flame divided but undimmed, a pillar of fire that glows to the honor of God.
Let it mingle with the lights of heaven and continue bravely burning to dispel the darkness of this night!
May the Morning Star which never sets find this flame still burning: Christ, that Morning Star, who came back from the dead, and shed his peaceful light on all mankind, your Son who lives and reigns for ever and ever.