Let this be a quiet day, a day of reflection. Take time to think of Christ crucified, not as One Who will rise again, but as One Who is utterly gone. Sit with the disciples in the upper room. Experience their confusion and grief, their fears of life without their Beloved Jesus and their terror in the possibility of imminent death for having been associated with Him.
As day turns into night, it is time for the Great Easter Vigil to begin. All lights are off in the church. An Easter fire is started outside from which the Paschal Candle is lit. The faithful then follow the Paschal Candle into the dark church and the wondrous Vigil has begun. The service is filled with imagery common to all the people of the earth as it moves from darkness into light, from chaos to order, from death to life. The most ancient symbols in the history of religions are here: fire, water, and food. Throughout the service we are reminded that the entire universe is involved in this saving action.
God’s love is proclaimed from beginning to end in the varied readings recounting stories of salvation and God’s presence among the people, in the waters of baptism and in the bread and wine becoming the vehicle for new life. It is a new beginning for all…
O God, who made this most holy night to shine with the glory of the Lord’s resurrection: Stir up in your Church that Spirit of adoption which is given to us in Baptism, that we, being renewed both in body and mind, may worship you in sincerity and truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.