16 April 2017

Lumen Christi!

As the darkness grew, the light grew more. It was wondrous feast for ear, for eye, for mouth and for heart. We began outside fighting the wind to keep our candles lit, but this is Illinois and the prairie. We relit upon entrance into the narthex. "Rejoice!" and "This is the night!" Then the readings. Pastor is no trimmer. We read all of them. Canticles after the crossing of the Red Sea, Jonah, and the Fiery Furnace. Two confirmations and remembrance of our baptism. The Litany of the Resurrection. Full light in the Church and the Easter announcement with the return of the Gloria in Excelsis, just like an old friend you've missed. The Paschal Homily of St. John Chrysostom, the triumphant Victimae Paschali with the "Christ Is Arisen" and a timpani played almost antiphonally. It was amazing. Then the joys of the Easter Eucharist and we went out with Wesley's "Christ the Lord Is Risen Today." No, it was not an all-night Vigil, but it was a great joy indeed. Bekah and David both commented at the end on why on earth would anyone miss that service and Bekah said, "I'm afraid tomorrow is going to be a bit of a disappointment after that." I think not, but that's how it felt: you couldn't imagine greater joy. And yet with the Lord there is always more. Matins shortly and then the Divine Service for the Resurrection. Alleluia! Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

1 comment:

Phillip said...

He is risen, indeed. Alleluia!

Thanks for sharing your Vigil, Will. It is such a wonderful service. Each year one finds things to appreciate more and more. I first fell in love with the Exsultet almost 20 years ago. We are blessed to have a men's choir chant it each year as the assembly brings their candles in and takes their places in the pews. Due to our size, we sing it twice - sometimes even three times! - so that all are in before pastor continues with the apostolic greeting. Over the years many other elements have brought themselves to my grateful attention. This year, I was particularly moved by the Litany of the Resurrection. Such a fabulous prayer. Deo Gracias.