As with all Easter vigil masses, the mass is made up of four sections:
1. The Service of Light
2. The Liturgy of Word
3. Christian Initiation and the Renewal of Baptismal Vows
4. Eucharistic Liturgy
Easter Vigil begins with darkness; and the Service of Light is symbolic of Jesus Christ as the light in our lives.
He is the Beginning and the End; the Alpha and the Omega.
The Easter candle is lit by the parish priest, followed by the song of praise, "Christ Our Light" by the priest and responded by "Thanks be to God" by the congregation.
It is a common scene taking place at all the Roman Catholic churches around the world where the church will be in total darkness and only the flames from the candles lit the hall.
It is not my first time taking part in this important mass as well; but perhaps it was the new environment in the parish church this year and also the massive crowd (the church is huge!), the lighting of candles around the whole church lit up the grounds so brightly and the reflection of the flames on the dark tinted glass windows was really beautiful.
I regretted leaving my camera behind at home (something which I rarely do); as I could have taken a shot of the beautiful view to share here.
The mass is also the earliest vigil I have attended; commencing at 7.30p.m, but I was glad it started early as the mass, with the four parts taking place during the celebration lasted for almost four hours.
I am not complaining; it is the norm with Easter Vigil mass and I have attended it every single year.
In my memory; besides this being one of the midnight masses in a year (there are only two; Christmas and Easter), the mass is also the longest in the church calendar.
I have always felt touched and enthusiastic during this mass, which is also one of the most anticipated mass of the year besides Christmas.
The church does go to extra lengths to make this a spectacular transformation from one of grief to an immediate one of victorious celebration.
I loved how the ministers, along with the altar servers and the priests lifted the purple cloth covering the statues in the church and instantly decorated the altar with flowers.
(The start of Easter Triduum on Holy Thursday required that all ornaments and decorations to be taken off the church as there is no celebration due to Jesus Christ's death on the cross. Therefore, the altar and the church were bare)
It was indeed a lovely and joyful celebration after the 40 days of fasting and penance during Lent, and also the grief and sorrow surrounding the death of Jesus Christ.
Easter celebrates the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, for He brought us (sinners) new life by defeating death.
He is the Light of the World, and He reigns!
Easter is the most important celebration in the church calendar, and to me, this is marks the start of Christianity.
Christians worldwide celebrate the risen Christ with their families and loved ones; with joy and all the galore of the happiness of festive seasons.
I love Easter!
Rejoice, for our Lord is Risen!~
Have a blessed Easter, everyone!~