The Easter Vigil
Three hours exactly, just like the old Good Friday Three Hours Devotion, but a bit busier!
The lighting of the New Fire and the singing of the Exultet: half an hour,
The twelve prophecies and their Anthems: one hour;
The Blessing of the Font and Litany of the Saints: half an hour,
The High Mass of Easter: one hour.
What a feast, and how wonderfully everything was sung by the choir, especially the great Dvorak setting of the Mass in D Major.
Some would have us cut it all down to half the time, but the glory of the Vigil is in the cumulative effect of the long Liturgy moving from (1)Creation of Light, through (2)the Old Testament longings and foreshadowings of the coming of the Messiah, the Christ, to (3) the waters of regeneration and new life in (3) the company of the saints, and then (4) the Mass of the Resurrection.
Tomorrow the Mass will be all glorious: Mozart’s “Sparrow” Mass with full orchestra, and at the end the wonderful Regina Caeli from Mascagni’s “Cavalleria Rusticana. Not a dry eye in the house!
Then I leave almost immediately for a couple of weeks in London and Edinburgh – which I will need, to get over the liturgical rigours of life at St Clement’s!
Happy Easter to you all!