Have you ever missed someone so much? Someone that passed away, that was dear to you? Someone that has moved to another country? You miss them so much it hurts?! We have a hard time awaiting their return to us and reuniting with them. For those laid to rest, we have a hard time waiting to be reunited with them, we hope, in heaven. How must it have felt for the early followers of Christ when he died? What a day that must have been, almost 2,000 years ago, when he resurrected!
Well, yesterday, we celebrated Christs resurrection. A great celebration is was. Last night, after the sun went down, we celebrated the Easter Vigil at our Church. The most beautiful liturgy in the RC Church. The church was is in darkness, with only the last bits of light coming through the stain glass windows (that tell stories of the bible). A bowl of fire, at the back of the Church is blessed and lit. The priest lights the Pascal candle (the Christ candle) from the new fire, saying: "May the light of Christ, rising in glory, dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds". Slowly the light travels, as all members of the Church had their candles lit from this candle. This signifies the light of Christ among his people. We call it the "Service of light."
Then the lights are all turned on and we all exclaim and sing "Glory to God in the Highest." This is a very moving part of the service, as the darkness is dispelled and the Church is filled with light. Symbolically the light of Christ.
Then, during the service there can be up to 7 readings from the bible. Who says we Catholics are not into scripture? *grin* We heard 3 readings from the Old Testament and 1 from the New Testament. I always marvel at how the Old Testament fulfills the New Testament. Readings from Ezekiel and Isaiah (the Old Testament) for example, prophesize the coming of Christ down to His Passion and Crucifixion in the New Testament. Amazing! I never really understood that until the past few years. It is a learning process being Catholic! *smile*
The Easter water is blessed, and new members are brought into the Church through water baptism.The faithful are blessed with water and renew their baptismal promises.We then got sprinkled with the Easter Holy water. My daughter loved that part! Sometimes my son and the other altar servers have received an extra sprinkle- all in good fun.
Lastly, we have the Mass. The whole church is called to join at the sacrificial table that Christ prepared for us through his death and resurrection. We remember.
We all have special people that have gone to rest that we remember in our lives. That touched us deeply. That we loved deeply. There are those that we miss, that we will see again. I have chosen, during this Easter, to remember someone that died for me, and died an excruciating death as the sacrificial lamb for my sins. No one had a word to describe a pain as intense as a crucifixion , so a new word was created. The word excruciating literally means "out of the cross."
There is no greater love then this.