Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Vigil

Last night I was a godparent / sponsor for someone joining the Catholic Church through the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist.  It was way more amazing than I'd anticipated!  It was a beautiful service by itself, and then to be a part of her life and the life of the Church was particularly touching.

One of my favorite parts is the Gloria, which we've not sung since Lent began.  To explain why, you have to know the church starts off dark.  There's a service of light in which the Easter candle is lit, and then all those who are baptized spread the light through holding candles that have been lit from the Easter candle or each other's.  This then represents Christ's light emerging from the darkness of the tomb and spreading among believers.  At some point we put the candles out; I don't know for safety or as part of the symbolism.  Regardless, the Old Testament readings were done in very dim light.  None of the church lights were on.

Just prior to the New Testament readings and proclamation of the Gospel, we sang the Gloria.  There are a variety of ways to sing the Gloria, and they always seem to save the one that can be sung with the most gusto by everybody for big days like Christmas and Easter.  So it was the first Gloria sung since the start of Lent and it was LOUD.  As it was sung, all the lights in the church come on.  The last time I did this they had a bunch of instruments that increased in number and volume as the song went on too, leading the congregation to get even louder.  I know the symbolism may sound cheesy in a blog post like this, but when you're standing there belting out this amazing hymn of praise while standing next to people who are about to join the Church after hearing God's creative and salvific prep work in advance of Jesus, well, it can be a tear pulling moment.

For an analysis of the readings in the context of Covenant History, head to the Sacred Page.

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