Easter began tonight.
The Easter Vigil Service I just came home from has possibly been my favourite service of Lent/Holy Week/Easter to date. It was a beautiful service. The first half was in darkness: all the lights were off inside of the Cathedral and the Pascal Candle was slowly brought into the nave. Everyone in the congregation had a candle and they were slowly lit from back to front as the cross moved forward. Our choir sang a beautiful song (in which the altos actually had a decent part!), “Holy Darkness” accompanied by the cello. I got chills in my spine.
Suddenly, half way through the service, the organ sounded the Gloria, the lights came on and bells were rung. I was given the drum to pound on (because apparently I am the resident percussionist?!?) and it was Easter!
The readings we read worked through the Old Testament story leading up to Jesus and were a really interesting selection. Then people were baptized and confirmed, we passed the peace and celebrated the Eucharist. I got a kick out of a look on one of the assisting priest’s face when Archbishop Hutchison switched to French halfway through the Eucharistic Prayer. Clearly what is normal in Montreal is somewhat out of the ordinary in Victoria!
Now the stage is set for the Sunrise service tomorrow morning. He is Risen, He is Risen Indeed!