EASTER VIGIL (Saturday Evening) (8:30 pm CST)
The video for Easter Vigil will be available at 8:30 pm (CT).
At the Easter Vigil, on Saturday evening, the new flame is lit. The Deacon carries the new Paschal candle into the dark sanctuary proclaiming, "Christ our Light".
Dear Friends of Your Catholic Voice, Catholic Online and Students of the Catholic Online School
I AM TRULY HAPPY TO OFFER EACH OF YOU FOUR NEW INVITATIONS to make the Holy Days truly special. As we all know, this Lent has been a very unusual one for Catholics around the world. Due to the pandemic, the Coronavirus, many Catholic faithful are currently unable to receive the Lord in the Most Holy Eucharist.
For safety, Public Masses are not being offered. Though our wonderful priests and Bishops around the world are offering Mass for all of us. As a result, many of the beautiful services associated with the Easter Triduum (Three Days) of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday Mass are not available to the faithful.
I serve as a Deacon in the Diocese of Tyler, Texas, under Bishop Joseph Strickland. He has been offering Holy Mass and providing it by either video or Live Stream. These beautiful services are being offered through the St Philip Institute for Catechesis and Evangelization which he founded in the Diocese of Tyler, Texas. Bishop Strickland and the Leaders of the Institute have graciously offered these wonderful Streamed services to us to share with all of you.
EASTER VIGIL MASS
At the Easter Vigil, on Saturday evening, the new flame is lit. The Deacon carries the new Paschal candle into the dark sanctuary proclaiming, "Christ our Light". Candle by candle, the light of the Resurrection illuminated the world around us as He who is the Light of the World fills it with His radiance.
The Deacon sings that ancient hymn of the Church which captures the depth of the mystery we celebrate today, the Exultet, "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!" The words to this hymn offer the deepest insights into the great event we celebrate.
The Vigil Liturgy readings walked us through the Old Testament into the New Testament - unfolding the great plan of a loving God who did not leave us in sin but sent His only Son into the world to save us and set us free!
This world which He had created in love through the Word is now re-created from within through the Incarnation of the Word, the Saving Life, Death and Resurrection, of the Word made Flesh. The one whom the Scriptures proclaim as the first born of the new creation burst forth from the tomb and began the New Creation.
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Normally, at this Mass, Catechumens, those prepared through catechesis (instruction in the faith) for Baptism and the Easter sacraments - and Candidates, Christians of other communities whose Baptism the Holy Church recognizes, prepared along with them for the Sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist - are incorporated into the full communion of Church, the Risen Body of the One who has been Raised; the One in whom we have all been raised.
Again, in many places due to the Coronavirus, this will not occur. It will take place in the future when this crisis has passed. And, by God's grace, it will. But Holy Mass will be privately offered and shared online. The palpable joy of Easter floods Christians as we witness the power of God, sacramentally mediated through those saving waters of Baptism, the Oil of Chrism and the reception of the most Holy Eucharist, the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. The cold hearts of many of the faithful were enkindled once again by the great Easter Flame.
Come back tomorrow for the Easter Sunday Mass at 11 am (CT).
We invite you to join with faithful throughout the world in prayer and worship in an online experience of the Easter Triduum Liturgies. Let us pray that the Lord, in His Mercy, reach out from heaven to heal those afflicted with the virus - and intervene by the Power of the Holy Spirit - to bring an end to its devastation.
Let us pray for the Church - and for all of her clergy and faithful - that she would be a witness to the Power of Living Faith in Jesus Christ and share the Good News of Jesus Christ to a world steeped in fear and darkness. Let us pray for those in Civil leadership, that the Lord would give them the wisdom they need to make right decisions for the health, safety and welfare of people in every Nation.
Let us pray for those in the scientific and medical community, that they would be inspired by the Lord to find a cure for this virus. Let us pray for one another.
And finally, let us believe the words and he promise of Jesus Christ. Even in the midst of this current crisis, He is at work, healing, delivering and setting people free from death.
The Father hears our prayers as we turn to Him, in the name of His Son and Our Savior. He sends forth the Holy Spirit to heal, inspire and give us hope in this time of despair. The Lord will intervene to help us.
May the Lord bless you, your families, the Church and the Nations of the world
Deacon Keith Fournier
Dean of Catholic Online School
Chaplain of Your Catholic Voice Foundation
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