Patrick Ngo May 1, 20011200-04 Easter Vigil The Easter Vigil is mass in which we commemorate Jesus for his great sufferings. He was crucified on the cross so that we may one day spend all eternity with He and God. Most of the time the service begins around seven o'clock and held inside the Church structure with its people. For symbolic purposes, there is no Holy water; we are instead blessed during the ritual itself in order to memorialize our vows, taken at baptism. When mass initiates all lights have already been turned off, everyone has instead been given a candle. This is then lit when the Pascal candle has been lit.

In the beginning, the congregation of the church comes to the altar; they have the candle held sometimes upon there shoulder, and bring it around the church. This is done in my parish where my pastor usually desires to attain the largest candles, and according to the administrator, it is the largest candle in America. While they haul this massive candle throughout the church, the congregation resonate chants; these are used to praise God and Jesus for his great love for us. When finishing its circumvention, it is brought before the altar.

When having reached the altar the candle is placed on a pedestal and ignited. The flames from this candle are then shared with the whole community, first given to the alter servers, which are then shared with everyone else. Afterwards, the ordained read a story from the bible. Then the lights are lit up and we are asked to extinguish the flames of our candles. The priests rise once again and welcome us to the Easter vigil.

We confess our sins like every other mass and then recite the litany. The fore mass ends with the opening prayer, or first oration. The liturgy comprises of several readings, most of the time, three. They consist of a medley from the Old Testament, and sometimes from the New Testament usually from the Epistle, which are followed by a chant for the Gospel procession. The gospel is usually from Luke, which has the most complete Resurrection story. In my opinion, I think that readings from Luke's Gospel of Jesus' resurrection affect me most.

I believe that they are more significant because they enable us to recap what Jesus, and his followers had gone through. It also emphasizes how we can rise just like Christ did. It relates to the occurring celebration because it is a tribute to him for his sufferings in order for our salvation to come at hand. In between the Liturgies of the Word and the Eucharist, the Catechumens are brought up to the altar and eventually baptized. A priest, most likely the pastor, brings them before the congregation and they are asked for reasons of their presence: do they believe in Jesus, if He lived, if we want to become a part of this faith. The Catechumens are the main focus during this fraction of the service, which is why the Vigil is an exceptional event.

We celebrate the Resurrection and welcome new members into our community and most of all into the Resurrection. This is because when we are baptized, we die in order to resurrect with Christ. The Catechumens are placed in front of the Congregation because they are not yet a part of it; they are made to feel welcome because they are near conversion and sharing in the life of the community. Before their baptism, but after being questioned of there integrity, the Catechumens are blessed by the pastor, followed by a blessing by their sponsor or sponsors, and finally by a random member of the Congregation. This baptism will not only form this person into a cohort of our faith but it will thus welcome them, eventually establishing a peace and trust between members of the Parish. All eyes remain on the Catechumens as they " re baptized, they " re cleaned off, wrapped in white symbolizing their rising in Christ, and their candles are lit along with the candles of everyone in the Congregation, significant to receiving the light of Christ which we all share.

Eyes are also focused on those beings because of the joy they bring to the community. In our faith, there is nothing greater than for one to become a part of God. After the newly converted Christians have been baptized, it's time for the Liturgy of the Eucharist. During this part of mass, the Catechumens fully become members of our faith. The Catechumens are given the right to receive, only if they are old enough. By receiving their first Communion from the same cup and plate as everyone else, they " re fully initiated as members of the community.

Moreover, through this sharing in the Body and Blood of Christ we become one. Everyone sets off for Communion, people sing, praise God, hug and kiss one another. Everyone becomes a part of the church, the community. People talk with one another as if they haven't seen each other in years. Easter is a wonderful celebration, people come together, party, laugh, and strengthen their relationships with one another.