Sunday, March 23, 2008

Alleluia! Alleluia!

Hollywood, California
It's dusk. We make our way to the pews inside the dark church. At Christ the King, Easter Vigil celebration begins at sunset on Holy Saturday. Father Antonio starts the service by blessing a fire in the vestibule.

The priest then lights the Paschal candle.

Symbolizing the light of Christ, the flame of the Paschal candle is used to light other candles which in turn light each of the parishioner's candles.

The priests and altar servers walk toward the altar lit only by candlelight.

A single light comes on where a cross draped in white cloth stands.

The mass continues with readings and singing.

The lights come on and new members are baptized into the church. At this time catechumens also receive the sacraments of first Communion and / or Confirmation. All of the parishioners renew their baptismal vows. Father Antonio walks through the church sprinkling everyone with the baptismal water. My hair is soaked. I don't think you get extra blessings if you get more water - if that was the case, I'd be pretty lucky right now.

Hope you have a Happy Easter, Passover, Spring - or whatever you celebrate this time of year!

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