The Easter Vigil Mass was very different than an ordinary Mass. All those being accepted into the church(including the unbaptized, unconfirmed) were gathered outside of the church. Inside the church the lights were off but all the members were gathered and in their seats. The priest was outside with us and had a wireless microphone that he was wearing. He gave a short prayer at the beginning, burned palm leaves and from those leaves lit a candle. A candle was given to each of us and as we entered the candle we held was lit from the first candle.
As we entered we were ushered to our “reserved” seats. The lights came on and from this point the Mass continued as it normally does. My memory is a little fuzzy as it was a big night, but before the Communion Rite, the unbaptized and our sponsors were called up to the front where we were lined up. A series of questions were asked(don’t worry, the answers are easy and you’ll be prepared for them ie. What do you seek? Baptism, etc.) and afterwards we were led to a pool where we were doused with water. One of my buddies and me referred to it as “waterboarding” as the priest seemed to enjoy this part more than anything…he was getting me back for all the jokes I made during RCIA.
After our Baptism we were sent out to dress in a white linen robe and to dry off (by the way all of this was rehearsed the RCIA class before the Easter Vigil so you will know everything you need to). After a key word was spoken, all the “dry” newly Baptized, sponsors and the other Candidates joined together in the front of the church. At this point we were Confirmed, one by one. The priest stepped in front of each of us, asked us our Confirmation name(or name if the person didn’t choose one) and then sealed us with the Holy Spirit by making the sign of the cross on us with Chrism Oil(very sticky stuff that the priest seems to like to coat your head in:D). Afterwards we were sent back to our seats.
The priest carried on with the Communion Rite as normal. When the Communion lines began to form, we were called up first and at that point received our First Communion( I forgot to say Amen and the priest just held the host until I finally said it…I was so excited to finally take it I forgot what I was supposed to do).
The Easter Vigil Mass was a very beautiful Mass and although I am not a very emotional person you can feel yourself becoming “whole” at that point. Though the RCIA wasn’t long for our parish, it was still a journey with new friends, it was nice to get to that “destination” that you have been working towards. Its cool that I now have two birthdays of sorts…my physical birthday and my spiritual birthday.