Saturday, April 07, 2007

the vigil people

The Easter Vigil is the most important Mass of the year in the Catholic faith. I go to All Saints Church, the biggest parish in the country's most vibrant diocese. A major factor in our parish's success is the constant influx of new converts (not to mention the hot wax and holy water). Naturally, the Easter Vigil at All Saints is focused on the candidates and catechumens who are joining the church. In addition to receiving the sacraments, the new Catholics proclaim all the Old Testament readings and the Epistle.

For the past few years my wife has sung the Exsultet at the Easter Vigil. Hearing her sing it reminded me of our old parish in Burbank. Attending the Easter Vigil each year at St. Finbar got me more interested in my own Catholicism. My wife would often sing the Exsultet, my son would be one of the altar servers and I twice served as a sponsor for new Catholics. As I continue to think about St. Finbar Church, I miss the way all the ministries were included in the biggest Mass of the liturgical year. At St. Finbar, the readings were proclaimed by five of the best lectors in the parish.

The music during the Triduum at All Saints is excellent. Tonight I got to hear one of my all-time favorites, John D. Becker's "Litany of the Saints." My favorite piece at St. Finbar was a Taizé arrangement called "Stay With Me" that would be played on Holy Thursday. I wish they played it here too.

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