“SURREXIT DOMINUS VERE, ALLELUIA, ALLELUIA. ET APPARUIT SIMONI, ALLELUIA, ALLELUIA” – ‘The Lord is Risen indeed, alleluia, alleluia, and appeared to Simon, alleluia, alleluia’
Holy Sat: The above quote is sung at vespers with great solemnity. However, i want to get a few thoughts down here about our little easter vigil, although basic and simple it is very moving. This day is filled with great excitement and anticipation that every one of us is busy preparing for the joyous celebration of Easter, and making sure everything is there and ready! The Church is beginning to be furnished for the mass, with the curtains and altar cloths put in place, flowers are arranged and put in there places and in addition this year, Sr. Monica made an Easter garden which has been placed under the altar. The Church looks beautiful with lilies, daffs, and chrysants and other flowers. She also paints the cross onto the Paschal Candle (which didn’t arrive till Holy Thurs in the late afternoon).
The above latin verse is sung at vespers – it is known as ‘the breve’, (a short responsory prior to the hymn) and everything is done in ceremony. Ok then, our easter vigil takes place at 9pm and this year we slightly changed the position of our little fire. We brought it out into the court yard, so that we could all gather round. Usually we have had it near a doorway and people looked on from inside. It was a great feeling this year to be outdoors and to process in. We had two visiting priests and two retreatants who joined us. The fire was blessed but proved to be stubborn – it took a few minutes before really getting started, the charcoal for the thuribal dissappeard to the bottom of the fire except for one piece, but fair enough that was ok. Then at the Blessing of the Candle the Greek lettters of Alpha and Omega were traced at the top and bottom of the candle with a stylus, and also the current year. This is done at the same time as the following words are pronounced: ‘ Christ yesterday and today, the beginning and the end, Alpha, and Omega, all time belongs to him, and all the ages, to him be glory and power, through every age and for ever. Amen.’ Then after this the Incense grains are place in the form of a cross into the candle by saying: ‘ By his holy, and glorious wounds, may Christ our Lord, guard us, and keep us. Amen’. Then the priest lifted the pashcal candle and intoned ‘Christ our Light’ in which we replied ‘thanks be to God’. We then made a short distance is darkness to the entrance of the choir were we sang the intonation again and afterward took a light from the pashcal candle and we all lit our candles and continued the procession to the front of the church when we sang the intonation for the 3rd and last time. The pashcal candle was then put in place and the ‘Exultet’ was sung – first part was in latin then continued in english. After which the lights were put on and we proceeded with the 7 readings with a sung responsorial psalm, each being read by one of the sisters. After these we then came in with great gusto and music for the Gloria, and the Alleluias. After the gospel reading and sermon the water was blessed and we re-lit our candles and renewed our Baptismal promises where we are reminded in one of the prayers that ‘through the pashal mystery we have been buried with Christ in baptism so that we may rise with him to a new life’. Holy Mass then proceeded as normal and finished at 11pm. We wished each other a Happy Easter in the traditional custom afterwards and went to bed. Rising the following morning to sing full voice Easter Lauds.
Happy Easter to you all!
Mon 27th April: Just a quick few words to say that i’ve been at Maryvale last weekend for part two of my course and it was really intereseting and very helpful. Some of the talks gave you a jolt and opened your eyes and heart especially when the speakers gave their lectures. That is the Holy Spirit working through them to get to us.
I have been having major problems with the novblog email account as i’ve been trying to contact a few of you through this and i think you may not have got it. Could i ask you Jenn and Belinda to email me at novblog so as i can reply? Thanks