This Holy Week has certainly been different, more homely, more in family, in community. That time that we “do not always have” of being together, of sharing, of saying thank you, I love you or forgiveness, of evaluating our lives, of dreaming and projecting ourselves together, of meeting with God and with those who suffer.
In the midst of all the pain and fear of the pandemic, we have much to be thankful for and celebrate.
We want to invite you on this night of vigil, to leave the “screens” a little and to be like spectators and “gather”, to meet in communion of prayer, wherever we are.
There is much to celebrate! It is the hope that death does not have the last word, but that life triumphs, truth stands up and justice sings victory! THIS IS THE DAY WHEN EVERYTHING STARTS AGAIN, when we can hold hands and celebrate that we are still together, that God is great and that his love is infinite.
We begin by lighting the Paschal Candle and holding hands we sing the Easter Proclamation.
Exult, let them exult, the hosts of heaven,
exult, let Angel ministers of God exult,
let the trumpet of salvation
sound aloud our mighty King’s triumph!
Be glad, let earth be glad, as glory floods her,
ablaze with light from her eternal King,
let all corners of the earth be glad,
knowing an end to gloom and darkness.
Rejoice, let Mother Church also rejoice,
arrayed with the lightning of his glory,
let this holy building shake with joy,
filled with the mighty voices of the peoples…
It is truly right and just, with ardent love of mind and heart
and with devoted service of our voice,
to acclaim our God invisible, the almighty Father,
and Jesus Christ, our Lord, his Son, his Only Begotten.
Who for our sake paid Adam’s debt to the eternal Father,
and, pouring out his own dear Blood,
wiped clean the record of our ancient sinfulness.
These, then, are the feasts of Passover,
in which is slain the Lamb, the one true Lamb,
whose Blood anoints the doorposts of believers.
This is the night,
when once you led our forebears, Israel’s children,
from slavery in Egypt
and made them pass dry-shod through the Red Sea.
This is the night
that with a pillar of fire
banished the darkness of sin.
This is the night
that even now, throughout the world,
sets Christian believers apart from worldly vices
and from the gloom of sin,
leading them to grace
and joining them to his holy ones.
This is the night,
when Christ broke the prison-bars of death
and rose victorious from the underworld.
Our birth would have been no gain,
had we not been redeemed.
O wonder of your humble care for us!
O love, O charity beyond all telling,
to ransom a slave you gave away your Son!
O truly necessary sin of Adam,
destroyed completely by the Death of Christ!
O happy fault
that earned so great, so glorious a Redeemer!
O truly blessed night,
worthy alone to know the time and hour
when Christ rose from the underworld!
This is the night
of which it is written:
The night shall be as bright as day,
dazzling is the night for me,
and full of gladness.
The sanctifying power of this night
dispels wickedness, washes faults away,
restores innocence to the fallen, and joy to mourners,
drives out hatred, fosters concord, and brings down the mighty.
On this, your night of grace, O holy Father,
accept this candle, a solemn offering,
the work of bees and of your servants’ hands,
an evening sacrifice of praise,
this gift from your most holy Church.
But now we know the praises of this pillar,
which glowing fire ignites for God’s honor,
a fire into many flames divided,
yet never dimmed by sharing of its light,
for it is fed by melting wax,
drawn out by mother bees
to build a torch so precious.
O truly blessed night,
when things of heaven are wed to those of earth,
and divine to the human.
Therefore, O Lord,
we pray you that this candle,
hallowed to the honor of your name,
may persevere undimmed,
to overcome the darkness of this night.
Receive it as a pleasing fragrance,
and let it mingle with the lights of heaven.
May this flame be found still burning
by the Morning Star:
the one Morning Star who never sets,
Christ your Son,
who, coming back from death’s domain,
has shed his peaceful light on humanity,
and lives and reigns for ever and ever.
Every Easter is an opportunity to renew faith, hope and love.
According to the Apostle Paul, through Baptism the believer participates in the death of Christ; he is buried and rises with Him: “Do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too might live a new life”. The baptized have “clothed themselves with Christ”.
Through the Holy Spirit, Baptism is a bath that purifies, sanctifies and justifies. (Catechism, No. 1227)
Let us thus renew our baptismal promises, our commitment to God and to our neighbors:
(we answer I do to each question)
Do you reject Satan: sin, as a denial of God; evil, as a sign of sin in the world; error, as a blurring of the truth; violence, as contrary to charity; selfishness, as a lack of testimony of love?
R: I do.
Do you reject all his works, all sin: envy and hatred; laziness and indifference; cowardice and insecurities; sadness and distrust; injustice and favouritism; materialism and sensuality; lack of faith, hope and charity?
R: I do.
Do you reject all his empty show: to believe yourself better or superior; to be very sure of yourself; to believe that you are already converted and that the sinner is someone else; to stay in things, means, institutions, methods, regulations, and not go to God?
R: I do.
Do you believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth?
R: I do.
Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?
R: I do.
Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting?
R: I do.
(prayers can be added on a voluntary basis)
And may almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has given us new birth by water and the Holy Spirit and bestowed on us forgiveness of our sins, keep us by his grace, in Christ Jesus our Lord, for eternal life.
All are sprinkled with holy water. A song may be listened.
This is the day, this is the night expected by all men:
this is the triumph of life! It is the power of the resurrection that gives us a new opportunity for life, change, growth and hope. We are privileged to be able to live this gift, of encounter, of grace, of life. Christ is risen to give us life and life in abundance.
We have come to this moment of the night, to give thanks, to celebrate, to open our hearts and to respond generously to the love of Jesus, who gave his life for love, so that we might live, so that we might be his witnesses.
Reading from the Gospel:
But Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the body of Jesus had been. And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken my Lord, and I don’t know where they laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” She thought it was the gardener and said to him, “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,” – which means Teacher. Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and what he told her.
We make silence.
Then we raise our thanksgiving and prayer for the whole Church.
What is the hope that Easter, the Risen One, gives me in my life, in the life of the community, to the whole Church?
The true Risen Ones, those of flesh and blood, have bodies that are sensitive to the crucified of the world because they remember their own redeemed cross, given to those who constantly prowl the borders of death, because they remember the dark time of their own tombs. They cannot turn their eyes and their flesh away from the crucified, they know how to see in them the image of God, the profaned body of the Son and the Father at his side, because they recognize themselves in this way, wounded and healed. Our whole being is transformed by God’s embrace and is sent out to evangelize.
The death, the Easter, the Resurrection of our body in loving service to others, will tell the truth about God in us: our healing and clean relationships will reveal the gratitude that we are liberated in that same capacity to liberate, to heal, to forgive, to love. The Resurrection is only credible when our lives reveal love. It is and will be credible only when we are able to look into each other’s eyes, to caress each other and to tell each other:
I no longer belong to myself, but I am yours; because I love you, dispose of my life, of my health, my rest, and of all that I am and have. (MR III,2)
Oh, what happiness is mine! I have found you now. I love you; you know that: the least I can offer you is my life, to return your love. (MR III,2).
As our spiritual union is now a consummated fact, there is no need to insist on the matter of love: you love me, I love you, and love is works. (MR 1,19)
You know that I love you. And now that you are asking me this question, my Daughter, receive again an act of love. Yes, I love you, and I love you because you have stolen my heart. (MR IV,2)
I have formed you according to my love, you are the object of my love, I love you with the love which I love myself, you are mine, all mine, and I will not leave you. –If you do not leave me, I will not be lost. (MR 16,13)
–I come to tell you just one word. –Say it, my Beloved, speak, I am listening attentively to your voice. –I love you. –I am happy. This is what I wanted to hear from your mouth. –Yes, I love you, and you believe it, and because you believe it, so it is. –Unhappy me if you did not love me, unfortunate would I be if I did not believe it! (MR 4,5)
–I always see you anew, and the more I look at you the more beautiful I find you, the more I love you, the lovelier and more loveable I see you; for me
you are so new that every day seems to me as if it is the first day that I see, love and possess you. (MR 9,35)
Because I love you, I searched for you in service as means of pleasing you. You know that I love you. How is it possible to cease loving you when I know you? You have revealed yourself to me, you show your love to me; and my heart, drawn by that indomitable passion wants to serve you and to please you. –Well, if you love me, why do you want to leave me? If you love me you will have sorrows in the measure of your love; accept me as your companion in sorrows. Do you want an effective remedy for all your ills? (MR 9,7)
Let us celebrate, Christ is risen. He is our hope! Hallelujah, Hallelujah.
Long live life!
Long live hope!
Long live love!
Long live family!
Long live the community!
V: Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia.
R: Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia.
V: Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia.
R: Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.
V: Gaude et laetare Virgo María, alleluia.
R: Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.
Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia!
Because the Son you were chosen to bear,alleluia!
Has risen, as he said, alleluia!
Pray for us to God, alleluia!
Rejoice and be glad, O virgin Mary, alleluia!
Because the Lord is truly risen, alleluia!
Let us pray:
O God, who by the Resurrection of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, granted joy to the whole world, grant, we beseech you, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, his Mother, we may enjoy the happiness of eternal life, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.
(After the vigil, invite them to celebrate, to share a meal, a recreation. Let us feel the joy of Easter, the hope that everything will soon pass).
Download PDF: 7b.- Paschal Vigil