How Was Your church's Easter Vigil

Mine was excellent.

I am away from home and so I have been attending Mass at various churches around me trying to find a good fit, and I found one that does a very reverent Mass. On Good Friday, the Passion was chanted by an excellent Schola and I was blown away by the whole service.

Then I arrived for Easter Vigil. The first thing that caught my eye was the Thurible Stand and Torches. I was really happy, two things that add so much to Mass and yet are rarely used.

The choir was excellent, there was a Trumpet on the Gloria, there were two violinists a cellist and an organ player with upwards of 30 or so singers. The music was a mix of chant, classical motets, and some more modern songs. They were outstanding

The only thing that was lacking was the decoration, the Sanctuary still seemed a little bare, but perhaps thats because the church were I went earlier in the day for confession had the most impressively decorated Sanctuary I had ever seen. Either way, a minor issue.

Overall, I was thrilled with the whole Liturgy.

Mine was way better than expected. The Apostolic Nuncio presided over the Mass. He chanted the Exulted beautifuly. Lots of incense was used. Mass very reverent, most parts of the Mass was chanted. What really touched me was the singing of the Gloria and the Alleluia(It really amplified the Easter joy)

I didn’t vote. I needed an option for “mixed”.

There were parts I loved. The incense and the blessing of the fire, the blessing of the water, the readings - - all were done well and were beautiful. Father chanted the Exultet which he hasn’t done the last few years and it was wonderful :thumbsup::slight_smile:

Father had all the alter boys ringing bells for the Gloria (my favorite part) but he stopped them halfway through. :frowning:

Our parish has “Latin for Lent” so it was bittersweet and a bit jarring to go back to the cantor’s badly paraphrased versions of the Our Father and Sanctus. She did her own paraphrasing of a few of the responsorital psalms too. :frowning:

The music was also mostly somber which I found surprizing for Easter Vigil. We only sang one real hymn of rejoicing and that was the recessional (Jesus Christ is risen today). The cantor did sing “The Strife if O’re” as a post Communion hymn but it was sung very slowly making the chorus of “alleluia, alleluia, alleluia” sound almost mournful. There is a whole Easter section in the hymnal and we never get to hear them.

I guess it bugs me because this is the one and only time to hear and sing the great Easter songs. Our Easter Sunday Mass is in Spanish and next week is Divine Mercy. She won’t, based on past experience, use Easter music for DM Sunday and after that it’s back to the old standards, rather than anything reflecting the Easter season. :crying:

I attended my first Easter vigil last night. There was no choir or organ accompanying the few of us who attended. The content of the service made me realise that there was a great potential for thoughtful, devout and sincere worship and exultation over our Lord’s resurrection.The blessing of the water and the sprinkling of the congregation was the high point for me.
Perhaps I should have attended the RC’s version and I might do so next year if I am so led by the Spirit.

as always better than expected, some of the catechists attended their first vigil ever, and were blown away, awesome. such a blessing, 15 new Catholics.
their families, sponsors and godparents have been simply terrific, best year yet for RCIA

I did not vote on the Vigil.

I’m an RCIA Team Leader at my parish. I see the Easter Vigil as the peak of the Church year. No way to discredit Christmas, Easter celebration of Christ’s resurrection, bringing people into the Catholic Church and Catholics receiving First Holy Communion and Confirmation goes to explanation beyond measure.

I left the Catholic Church in 1982 and returned in 2001. I believe it is my call to be with the RCIA program due to friends and loved ones who have left the Catholic Church. Those that have left mostly due to lack of proper evengelization, lack of Catechesis due to being from the “Catholic Ghetto” ( Catholic under family bloodlines without learning thier own faith).

Many of our brothers and sisters are coming from other evangelical groups. They know their bible, fellowship, tithing,reverence from where they came from many times better than today’s average Catholic. Our Director of Religious Education (Entered 2003, Diaconate 2009) and Youth Ministry Directors are former evangelicals.

Easter Vigil, I could explain in a very basic form. I leave it more to the individual to attend this Mass.

I attended my 1st Vigil last night. It was a visit cut short, but nonetheless wonderful. The Spirit really touched me. :slight_smile: I was really fired up during the renewal of the baptismal vows, although I have not been baptised into the Church so I didn’t have any such vows to renew, I was so eager to say the “I Do” I blurted it out early two or three times.

I wish I could have visited Mass this morning (having had to leave the Vigil before the Eucharist) .

It was excellent, as always. Hail thee Festival Day!

I haven’t been to an Easter Vigil in 5 to 7 years. The last several i went to so disgusted me with there poorly prepared readings, music and general reverence that I have not gone. This year we found the FSSP but it sooooo far to drive. So we attended the Good Friday service. I was absolutely “blown away” by its beauty. So next year, “God willing” we are getting a motel nearby for the whole Triduum.

Somehow I’ll get it right before I die.

This was my 3rd year in a row attending Easter Vigil. It was even more amazing this year. I am on the RCIA team this year and we had two baptised, two entering the church, and 5 being confirmed. The rehearsal the night before was an hour and a half. I had so much more appreciation for it this year knowing how much thought went into every detail. It was perfect!

Mine was in a Benedictine monastery that still sings Gregorian chant a cappella. What more can I say? I voted “as expected” but the bar is very high! :smiley:

What always amazes me is how much light candles can produce when a couple of hundred people are holding candles and there are candles lit around the perimeter of the church.

The funny part: the abbot used a sprig of palm from Palm Sunday to bless us with holy water. Only in our area, a traditionally poor part of Quebec where imported palms were a luxury, they used cedar boughs in stead which was the traditional replacement. I was sitting in the first pew. You’d be amazed how much water a cedar bough can throw!!! If it was a memorial of our baptism, it must have been a baptism by full immersion!

Overall it was a first-class liturgy. The Exultet was chanted in French plainchant on Gregorian tones, and all of the hymns were in Latin Gregorian chant, the Kyriale was in Gregorian chant, and all the readings (5 O.T., 1 epistle and the gospel) were chanted in French plainchant (our Passion on Friday was also chanted in French plainchant by a schola dispersed to reflect the parts: the part of the lector, Jesus, Pilate and others was spread across the sanctuary in front of the altar, and the part of the “crowd” was 3 monks chanting from the nave in front of the cloister gate.)

A WONDERFUL Mass. All the readings, all of everything. Loved it. And to top it all off; the Parish provided free copies of the book “Rediscovering Catholicism” for anyone who wanted a copy. I thought this was an EXCELLENT idea to outreach to the “part-timers”, and also for people like my wife and I who wanted to give the book to someone else.

Easter Vigil was excellent, as usual.

Easter Sunday, at our late mass (11:30) was packed with people, many Creasters I’d guess, and many of whom simply did not have a clue as to how to act during Mass.

Not surprising, just disappointing. :shrug:

I usually go, as I did last night, to the Vigil at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (the one that is shown on EWTN). The Mass never disappoints; it always sends chills up and down my spine from the first intonation of “Christ our Light” until “Ite Missa Est.”

Both my wife and daughter commented that they felt like the heavens were going to open up when they lit off the bells of the carillon in the Knight’s Tower and both organs for the Gloria.

You may have seen it on TV before. Trust me, TV is a very, very poor substitute for seeing it live and in color.

My suggestion if you are in the Washington, Baltimore, Arlington, or Wheeling dioceses: you should really try to come. It is worth the drive. (I may regret this next year :wink: )

I was not very impressed with my parish’s Easter Vigil. :frowning: Perhaps some of these reductions were due to not having any catechumens…

It started at 7 PM, on the east coast, which was rather early.

The Blessing of the Fire was done outside the church (obviously), but there was no attempt at getting the people to observe it.

The Exsultet (slightly truncated) was read by a deacon.

Only three O.T. readings were read.

The ushers were collecting our candles during the First Reading. Very distracting!

No Litany of Saints.

The water was blessed with the prayers for catechumens, instead of the prayers without catechumens.

The baptismal promises were truncated.

The music was not particularly memorable.

It lasted 90 minutes.

All in all, it was the least evocative Easter Vigil I’ve attended. It didn’t feel like the “mother of all vigils” nor like the highest liturgy of the Church year. I just felt like we didn’t do much for our Lord.

Ours was excellent, as expected. There were a few minor glitches, the mic cutting in and out while we were outside lighting the Easter fire, the deacon trying to lead the elect straight to the baptismal font instead of around the church first, Monsignor attempting to confirm the wrong person, but overall it went very well!

We had a nice fire outside, a beautiful Exultant, 3 readings (the usual as we have lots of sacraments), and 40 brand new, fully initiated Catholics between baptisms, Professions of Faith, and just confirmations. And best of all I got to watch 5 of “my” kids receive the sacraments! :smiley:

Ours was depressing to the point of tears. Luckily, I had on bullet-proof, waterproof eyeliner. I nearly drove off and left when I saw the bongo drums.

The Exultet was a bad paraphrased of the official prayer of the Church. Even the USCCB and the Archdiocese of Portland (homebase of OCP, the publisher of this very bad song) said as much. Our music director has a magnificent voice which is better suited to the real Exultet. In her defense, this was not her idea. It was my pastor’s.

The readings were proclaimed well, but, the psalms were reduced to one verse. The Gloria was a badly paraphased bilingual version. The homily was only three minutes long. The wrong Gospel was proclaimed. It was just sad.

What I remember is that Father had the biggest smile on his face as he baptized 7 people and confirmed another 4. :smiley:

Don’t have an option for: I knew it would be bad, yes there were a few good things but very few, and really, don’t you know you’re at MASS?

Father lighting the fire inside just before the Sanctuary: yes, the weather wasn’t great but we would have been fine for the few minutes we would have been outside.

Father chanting the Exsultet: excellent and much better than in the past.

Liturgy of the Word: Only three Old Testament readings (they won’t do all of the readings anymore which really disappoints me because I love hearing all the readings) done as if we were children being read a bedtime story. I kid you not. I was also disappointed by Father reading the Gospel in Spanish. Yes, the Mass was bilingual but this was unnecessary. Father’s homily was well, I don’t really remember what it was about except God loves us. And hearing the Gloria in Spanish was also disappointing.

The Sacraments: Since it was a bilingual Mass with mostly Hispanic children being initiated (there were a couple of adults but they were more respectful), everyone goes back to the Baptismal font (big pool) even though Father told them not to. What really didn’t help was there were several small children that kept running up and down the aisle and nobody, I repeat nobody keeping an eye on them or keeping them in the pew. Even when Father was Confirming people there was a little boy who kept running up in front of those being Confirmed and around and in front of Father and the mother was up there and didn’t do a thing.

Then there were the parents that wouldn’t take their screaming kids out of the church. I had one behind me that screamed pretty much from the just after the Consecration until after Mass ended. And I mean right behind me. Plus the kids that kept running up and down the aisle screaming and yelling. Then there was the college students dressed like they were going to bed (I kid you not) and were texting, TEXTING and laughing while waiting to receive Communion. The was teenager two rows up from them who was doing the same thing and her mother didn’t care, actually seemed to encourage her. Plus, there were the multiple cell phones going off. Then there were the two women who really needed to put a shirt on. I don’t need to know what Victoria’s actual Secret is. One of them was even a sponsor.

The Liturgy of the Eucharist: Mostly done in Spanish which why I don’t know.

The music: slightly better than it could have been but still very little that seemed appropriate for Easter Vigil.

So I spent most of the the Vigil praying and crying and in pain and wonder why do people show up when they don’t believe and won’t be back. Most of the kids who were received into the Church won’t be back until they get married, if then.

Christ is risen! He is Risen Indeed Alleluia =D

I experienced my first Tridentine EF Triduum at Holy Innocents in NYC. It was very reverent with lots of smells, bells, chanting and all that is of God.

The Tridentine Easter Vigil Liturgy began at 11PM with a procession from the sacristy to the narthex. The sacred ministers donned violet vestments and the blessing of the fire commenced. The incense charcoal was taken from the fire brazier and the fire was censed followed by the celebrant praying a collect and marking the candle with the symbols of the cross, the alpha-omega and the year to show that all time belongs to God. The deacon took the candle in the procession to the sanctuary where he stopped thrice and sang “Lumen Christi” to which the people responded “Deo Gratias” and genuflected towards the paschal candle symbolizing the light of Christ in a dark world. The celebrant then incensed the exultet and candle and beautifully chanted the exsultet. The Lessons of the Old Testament about salvation history were alternately sung by the subdeacon and MC. During the Litany of the Saints the water and other elements were being prepared for the blessing of water. The water was blessed and prayed over by the ministers. Chrism, bread and lemons were used in this peculiar rite. The paschal candle was lightly dipped into the water and the ministers prepared to process to the baptismal font. The easter water was poured into the font and incensed. The litany was concluded while the ministers changed into lace surplices and gold vestments to commence the first Mass of Easter. It started with the lighting of the candles the Kyrie and first incensation of the altar. At the Gloria the bells were rung and the organ vibrantly played. Flowers were hastily placed on the altar and the purple veils removed from the statues. The opening collect was said, the epistle was sung and the Gospel of the Resurrection chanted. The sermon by the priest was by Father Z. The Offertory began with the priest offering up the bread and wine followed by the incensation. The Mass continues as usual with 6 torchbearers (myself included) and after the ablutions the first Morning prayer of Easter (Lauds) was said/sung concluding with the last use of incense at the altar. The entire liturgy lasted about 3 hours followed by a long clean-up, distribution of easter water and “breakfast” with a priest and server friends.

More on my blog at Pax Tecum:highprayer::highprayer::harp:

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