Picture yourself gathered outdoors around a
campfire which shatters the darkness of the surrounding night. From
this fire the light is first captured by the new Paschal Candle and
then spread to vigil candles carried by those gathered round. The
light is proclaimed “Christ our Light” and is carried in procession to
Once we are inside a beautiful and ancient
chant is sung, “The Exsultet,” which proclaims how we are ransomed from
death on the night Christ breaks the bonds of death and is resurrected
to new life.
Singing, praying and attentively listening
we sit in the darkness around the fire of the candle and hear tales of
wonder, adventure, heroism, and compassion; stories of how God created
the world and the history of his chosen people.
The excitement builds further as we begin
the portion of the rite which admits the Elect and Candidates into the
church as fully initiated members. With lavish symbols they are
baptized, anointed with oil and sealed with the Holy Spirit. These
Elect have journeyed with Holy Trinity for two years.
We have heard of their struggles in life
and in allowing God to work in them. We have heard from their sponsors
as to their readiness to become full members of the faith and have
listened to their most intimate desires. It is a joyful time for all
gathered, for we are one family.
Next we dress the church and get the table
ready for the Eucharistic banquet. With pageantry, style and grace we
bring flowers, table linens, bread, wine, and gifts for the poor.
Culminating the Sacraments of Initiation
the Neophytes have their first taste of Eucharist, a meal to which they
will return again and again. This is what they have been desiring and
waiting for so long! (March 20, 2005)