I broke with tradition Holy Saturday night.
It was a very last-minute decision, but I missed our Easter egg coloring in order to attend the three-hour Easter Vigil Mass with our oldest daughter.
Miss “O” had been sent on a mission. Extra-credit points in religion class for going to this meaningful but long-into-the-night event. She’d never been to the vigil before, and truth be told, I’ve only been a couple other times. Each year the yearning is there, but with all the preparations of Easter and Easter morning, it’s been a hard thing to pull off.
But last night, about 30 minutes before our egg dyeing and dipping were to commence, I changed courses, asking my visiting Mom to take over the egg-shell coloring and my middle girl to take photos so I wouldn’t completely miss out. I am grateful for Miss “E’s” eye and willingness to be the recorder of visuals in my stead. I enjoyed looking at the colorful photos Easter afternoon.
Despite having missed the creative fun of Easter egg making, I have no regrets about the vigil.
Hearing the beautiful psalms, one after another, and the story of salvation history from beginning to earthly end, and then witnessing the baptism of one adult man and the reception into the Church of about nine others through Confirmation and First Eucharist was worth the sacrifice.
For those who’ve never been to a vigil, it begins in the dark, the only lights emanating from small candles held by those in attendance. It’s breathtaking to consider the implications of a world that has been in the dark but becomes seized by light and love.
And at the end of it all, the words “Alleluia,” which have been hidden from our ears and hearts all of Lent, break through in all their splendor. Our choir did an amazing job of igniting our souls through music (small sampling here).
As our priest, Father Paul, said during his homily, “If He is alive, then everything about Him is true…What an amazing night.”
Indeed, He is risen. This is no small thing. If He really rose, it’s a game-changer of eternal proportions. It should change how we live our lives in a dramatic way.
May the implications of this celebration wash through your soul and grip your heart mightily!
Q4U: What moment during this Easter season stands out to you as a game-changer?