So what was it then that drew me into/back to the Catholic Faith? Well it is and isn’t simple. Simple story: I met the man who would one day become my husband, started having some serious faith conversations. Saying I wasn’t satisfied in my own faith experience wouldn’t be true – I wasn’t ready to leave the faith experience that nurtured me for so many years. And the people, I didn’t want to leave the people. I’d like to say I had some deep down longing for something more but it wouldn’t be true. As we planned for our marriage we discussed how we would practice our Faith and raise our children. I spent some time looking around for someplace to worship and frequently ended up where my sweetie was because I wanted to and needed to spend that time with him. The gift of this – an opportunity to ask a lot of questions of people who could answer.
The one thing, one very essential thing was that we be in unity or communion with one another. There was a very strong desire for the Communion. Both in our marriage relationship and being able to receive Communion together. My heart, my very being longed for this. Talk about an achy heart – and I didn’t quite understand why it ached so deeply.
Memorial Day weekend, the choir singing, the parishioners processing up to receive Communion and The Word became Flesh. It is again one of those life moments I can see. My guy sitting next to me getting elbowed in the ribs when I leaned over to whisper, “That’s Jesus!” “I know” says he as he gets up to go receive Communion. Here I am having this profound moment and he just says, “I know”. I love this man!
After Mass we were talking with the Pastor, whom I adored, his comment, “You’re not becoming Catholic because of him – pointing at my sweetie – are you?!” No, that’s not it at all. I appreciated his question, not only a fair question but one that needed to be asked.
I will say that the journey through RCIA was not easy, nor should it have been, at least not for me. I needed to wrestle with it, just as I needed to wrestle with the Communion “issue”. And 22 years tonight, just 5 months before getting married I was received into Full Communion in the Church. I am home.
Side note: last night my husband went to the Holy Thursday Mass – this is one where the incense is used. I didn’t want to let him go. I love the fragrance of the incense, I couldn’t get enough.
At tonight’s Vigil Mass – when the Mass is done in it’s fullness – there are 9 readings and Psalm Responses, the Alleluia will be sung, Candidates and Catechumens will be received into the Church and we will celebrate the Mystery of God’s great love.
Rejoice heavenly powers! Sing choirs of angels!
Exult, all creation around God’s throne!
Jesus Christ, our King is risen!
Sound the trumpet of salvation!
Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor,
radiant in the brightness of your King!
Christ has conquered! Glory fills you!
Darkness vanishes forever!
Rejoice, O Mother Church! Exult in glory!
The risen Savior shines upon you!
Let this place resound with joy,
echoing the mighty song of all God’s people!
It is truly right
that with full hearts and minds and voices
we should praise the unseen God,
the all powerful Father,
and his only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
For Christ has ransomed us with his blood,
and paid for us the price of Adam’s sin
to our eternal Father!
This is our Passover feast,
when Christ, the true Lamb, is slain,
whose blood consecrates the homes of all believers.
This is the night
when first you saved our fathers:
you freed the people of Israel from their slavery
and led them dry-shod through the sea.
This is the night
when the pillar of fire
destroyed the darkness of sin!
This is the night
when Christians everywhere,
washed clean of sin
and freed from all defilement,
are restored to grace
and grow together in holiness.
This is the night
when Jesus Christ broke the chains of death
and rose triumphant from the grave.
What good would life have been to us,
had Christ not come as our Redeemer?
Father, how wonderful your care for us!
How boundless your merciful love!
To ransom a slave you gave away your Son.
O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam,
which gained for us so great a Redeemer!
Most blessed of all nights,
chosen by God to see Christ rising from the dead!
Of this night scripture says:
“The night will be clear as day:
it will become my light, my joy.”
The power of this holy night
dispels all evil, washes guilt away,
restores lost innocence, brings mourners joy;
it casts out hatred, brings us peace,
and humbles earthly pride.
Night truly blessed
when heaven is wedded to earth
and man is reconciled with God!
Therefore, heavenly Father,
in the joy of this night
receive our evening sacrifice of praise,
your Church’s solemn offering.
Accept this Easter candle,
a flame divided but undimmed,
a pillar of fire that glows to the honor of God.
Let it mingle with the lights of heaven
and continue bravely burning
to dispel the darkness of this night!
May the Morning Star which never sets
find this flame still burning:
Christ, that Morning Star,
who came back from the dead,
and shed his peaceful light on all mankind,
your Son who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.
9 thoughts on “Holy Saturday”
On now you are my hero. I say that to people who choose to become Catholic and embrace the full meaning of that choice. Being a cradle Catholic it really took until I came to this country to start to question my faith but had an awesome Pastor who encouraged me to look at every side of an issue and introduced me to the notion of informed descent. His only request was to keep coming to church, keep questioning and just keep believing in the power of Gods love. Love the Easter services but this year with the loss of my Dad it is hard to enjoy them. He was the sacristan of our Parish Church for over 10 years and had such a strong faith. He was my go to guy to light candles to The Little Flower. Currently planning a Little Flower quilt to honor him.
Oh Leona, this is so beautiful. So beautiful! There are so many things I want to say but I know right now they are not right. For now I just promise to pray for you. It’s been 7 years for my dad and 3 years for my mother in law and I miss them both.
Beautiful, Teri. Just beautiful.
Our parish celebrates the vigil so beautifully-we begin outside with the Easter fire, process in through the darkness. Our Deacon sings the Exultet. The only variable is that we don’t do all the readings; we do 1,3,5 and 7, then the Epistle. I’m doing 1, 3 and the Epistle this year. I love reading about Pharaoh’s chariots and charioteers. I try to tell it as a story so even the children will listen.
The whole Vigil Mass is so wonderful. It used to be standing room only in the church but nowadays we’re lucky if all the seats are even filled. I don’t know if we have any RCIA candidates this year, but if we do, I’ll sit there with tears in my eyes like I do every time.
I belong to the Episcopal Church and we had an Easter Vigil this evening too, beginning with the holy fire, processing inside and I was the Cantor singing the Exultet (the short version) and doing 4 readings before the Eucharist service. We ring bells when the candles on the altar are lit from the paschal candle and our little candles are put out. It is a beautiful service and it would have been even more wonderful if more members of the congregation were there this evening.
HAPPY EASTER – Christ is Risen Indeed!!
Teri, I believe, I saw this Brilliant Mary Icon quilt at the 2013 Long Beach Quilt show. Is this your quilt work??
This Icon is a gift from Laurie Tigner. She paints and quilts these beautiful Icons. You can read more about it here: http://terificreations.wordpress.com/2013/08/29/an-interview-with-laurie-tigner/
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