Our annual Easter morning Vigil and Mass commences in the dark at 3:30 am. The great celebration of the holiest night of the year usually lasts about three hours. It begins outside the church in one of our gardens, with the lighting the Easter fire, giving a sudden burst of light and a little warmth to those assembled.
From the Easter fire the Paschal Candle is lit and then carried in procession to the church. At the door of the church everyone lights a small taper from the Easter Candle and carries the candle chanting three times, “Christ our Light. Thanks be to God.”
Once in our places in church, the traditional “Exultet” is chanted, a extended prayer extolling everyone to greatly rejoice for the wonders God has wrought in the rising of Jesus from the dead.
We then listen to seven Old Testament lessons and Responsorial Psalms, which point to the saving deeds of God. Next the Gospel of the Resurrection is chanted. After the homily there takes place the blessing of the water and the renewal of Baptismal promises. Finally, the Mass continues with the Offertory, Consecration and Holy Communion. After that we monks gather in the refectory for Easter breakfast.
We wish all of our families, friends and benefactors a blessed and holy Eastertide. The festival has begun and will continue for fifty days until Penecost Sunday, May 23rd.
Be assured of prayers and please keep us in yours. Thank you.
The beautiful stained glass window pictured here is from the Church of San Jose in Los Ojos, New Mexico, about 40 miles from us. The church there is filled with remarkable German-made windows, crafted some 100 years ago.
Abbot Christian and the monks