Easter keeping the Vigil

I guess I am not a person who really expresses my feelings openly very often.  I am Anglican, and I attend St. George’s Church in Newcastle Ontario Canada. It is a stone church that was built in the early 1850’s, it has lovely Tiffany windows, with beautiful figures from the scriptures in deep reds, blues and golds.  I believe that when it was built the design was taken from a church in England or Scotland.  The spire is tall with a celtic cross at the top and a covered porch over the main doors. I will post a picture when there is a nice day this spring.

This Easter I have been inspired by an experience during the beginning of the Vigil. This year the Vigil was begun at 7:00pm. When I was a child this service was held at 11:00 and finished at midnight (Easter morning) The Vigil is on Saturday and is the period of Christs time in the tomb ending with the Resurrection on Easter morning. I am in the choir, so I am at all the services from Maunday Thursday (last supper Thursday evening) Good Friday (Crucifixion) the Easter Vigil (Saturday the Mary’s going to the tomb to tend Christ’s body) and Easter morning.

The Vigil begins with the congregation waiting outside the church for the Pascal candle to be lit. The Pascal candle is a very tall candle that is used during Baptisms and Funerals. It is lit from flint and tinder. From this single light the congregation then passes light candle to candle and then they process into the darkness of the church bearing the Light of Christ. (There is a service during all these activities).  The small procession of light moves through the church. No one speaks. Seats are taken and the service recommences, the altar was flooded with light from the stain glass window.

 There is just enough light from the candles to read the prayer books and to see the music on the pages. The service progressed and it was lovely. Balm to the soul, we the small choir (only 5 tonight) began to sing the Anthem “The Breaking Dawn” looking up from my music, the congregation at this service is always rather small, we were all sitting up in the choir near the altar. Somehow the sound of our few voices in that large church, the light and the words of that hymn lifted my soul and voice… I find it difficult to express more than this.

I wish you all Gods blessing on this Happy Easter. If this is not the source from which you gather enrichment of the soul, I wish you happiness as well, were ever you find it.

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