He Is Risen!

Today we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus. Happy Easter!

Actually, we began our celebration last night, with the Easter Vigil. I attended the Vigil at Our Lady of Lourdes. I taught so many RCIA classes there this year that I wanted to be with the five people who would be confirmed last night (one of whom would also be baptized, and for one of whom I would stand as sponsor).

We began our celebration outside of the Church with the blessing of the fire:

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We then proceeded into the Church with our lit candles and listened to the beautiful Easter Proclamation (Exsultet). We listened to stories from our salvation history, readings that never fail to move me, culminating in Jesus appearance to the women outside of his tomb.

As we began the celebration of the sacraments of Initiation and of the rite of reception into full communion of the Catholic Church, we sang my favorite Litany of the Saints. It was the Litany we always sang at my retreat house, and I took a moment to acknowledge my loss at the retreat house’s closing and destruction in the midst of the celebration of the evening.

I watched with tears forming in my eyes as Ben, our catechumen, recited his renunciation of sin and received the sacrament of Baptism:

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I then stood with the other sponsors and our confirmation candidates received the laying on of hands and anointing. At the appropriate time in the Mass, I happily filed up with them, as they received communion for the first time.

The Easter Vigil is always one of my favorite liturgies of the year. Celebrating it this year with the five people I have walked with for so much of this year made it even more special. For them, as for all of us, Easter is our celebration of our rebirth in Christ.

Blessings on this holy and joyful day!

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