We decided to go to the Easter vigil for the first time this year, which was listed on the parish bulletin as starting at 10pm. Dh had work the next day and so we saw this as a way to all go to Easter Mass together. We figured it would be doable because it probably would take just over an hour and we'd be home before midnight. We arrived nice and early and saw that something was set up outside in readiness. A tall book stand, and another stand with a brass bowl at its top with bits and pieces in it that were to be lit it seemed. It was quite a warm night really, which was good, and we all went into the church and sat down in a pew to wait. Soon everyone was summoned to move outside and we found there was to be the blessing of the new fire. There were fireworks exploding in the background somewhere nearby as the service began. We imagined that Mass would begin after this... but it didn't. Everyone went back into the church and we all had a little hand held candle each lit by one of the altar servers as we entered. Ds6 was thrilled, his own candle!! How beautiful it was as we all sat in the darkness with our small candles aglow! Next came the blessing of the Paschal candle. Mass would no doubt start after that we thought. But it didn't. At about 11.30 we realised that Mass was going to be at midnight. Thankfully, although very tired the children all behaved very well. Actually they loved it! We never would have come if we'd known we were coming to a 2 1/2 hour liturgy (after re-reading the bulletin I can see it says ceremonies and Mass, not just Mass). We'd avoided going the the Solemn liturgy of the Passion and Death of Our Lord or Tenebrae on Good Friday thinking it would be too long for the children, and here we found ourselves up at midnight at something equally long. But God knows best. It was so beautiful and it was such a blessing to our family. And as we came home we found ourselves awake at the time Dd5 was born those 6 years ago.
|The blessing of the new fire. Don't know why I didn't just use my flash here. Oh well, next time.|
|Ds7 asleep on the way home from the vigil Mass.|
Later that morning, 7.30 am
|The birthday girl.|
I really wanted this birthday to be a special one for Dd5 because it is the only time when she is a child that she will celebrate her birthday on Easter. And it was the most beautiful of days! I think that not only Dd, but all of us will treasure the memory of this day :)
The joy of family together, the joy of Christ risen!!!
A very blessed Eastertide to all!