Sunday, March 23, 2008

"Just as he said"

Tonight (yesterday technically), I attended the Easter Vigil Mass at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle on Manhattan's West Side.

It was a powerful liturgy that included the service of light and the blessing of the Easter candle; the singing of the Exsultet (sample in the clip above); the seven readings from scripture accompanied by beautifully sung psalms; and the welcoming of eight new people into the Church.

I served as a sponsor for one of the men who received the Sacrament of Confirmation and came into full communion with the Church. This was my fourth time serving as a confirmation sponsor but my first time doing so for an adult who had gone through the R.C.I.A. program. It was a great blessing to to me personally.

The Gospel at the Vigil Mass was from Matthew Chapter 28:

After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.

And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, approached, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. His appearance was like lightning and his clothing was white as snow.

The guards were shaken with fear of him and became like dead men. Then the angel said to the women in reply, “Do not be afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ Behold, I have told you.”

Then they went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce this to his disciples.

And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them.

They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage.

Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

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