Friday, May 24, 2013

Easter Vigil

The end of the semester got a little crazy so I never finished writing about the triduum at House for All Sinners and Saints.  Easter Vigil is the largest liturgy of the year at HFASS.  (credit to Amy Clifford for all photographs)

The evening starts with the lighting of the new fire in the courtyard.  The congregation processes into the worship space to participate in the Vigil Readings.  There are about 8-10, depending on how many people sign up to participate.

Amy and Ken act out the fiery furnace

Kate and Alex act out the Genesis creation account

After the vigil readings, the entire congregation processes outside to walk around the block to chant the names of our saints (those people who have died in the past year) and invite them to come celebrate the resurrection with us, as the thurifer swings the thurible full of incense.

After this solemn procession occurs, the assembly goes back into the courtyard to dig up the alleluia banner that was buried on Transfiguration Sunday.  Then the congregation rushes into the sanctuary singing "Alleluia" over and over again, which has not been spoken during the season of Lent.

The children unbury the Alleluia banner
The worship space is bright and dazzlingly white.  There are Easter lilies everywhere.  The Exultet is sung, the Easter story is read, and the resurrection is proclaimed over and over again.  A traditional part of the Easter Vigil is for baptisms to occur.  This year my friend Sherry asked me to be her baptismal sponsor.  Sherry is in her sixties and had never attended church before.  She thought she was too old be to baptized. She was so nervous about being baptized that I held her hand the entire time.

I present Sherry for baptism

Sherry is baptized! 

After the vigil, there is a huge feast and a dance party that goes into the wee hours of the morning.  Christ has Risen Indeed!  Alleluia!

Chocolate Fountain
(no longer in the baptismal font)

Cristina and me.  I am eating chocolate bacon.

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