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Indeed He Is Risen! Alleluia!

The Easter Vigil always bowls me over. What a beautiful recovery we made by restoring that Mass in the twentieth century. I’m pleased, too, that the new missal mandates the use of all seven readings except in the case of “grave pastoral necessity.” It’s awesome to read the Fathers’ accounts of the Vigil. In Africa of Augustine’s time, it was an all-night affair, culminating at daybreak!

It struck me last night how much we lost when we (in the English- and German-speaking worlds) stopped calling our greatest feast day “Passover,” as Christians do in almost every other language (Pesach, Pascha, Pasqua, etc.). The Easter Vigil liturgy makes the connection so clear. It really is a Christian haggadah. “This is the night” of our deliverance from Egypt. If we don’t get to the Vigil Mass, though, it’s easy to miss it.

I hope that those who couldn’t get out on Saturday still had a chance to read St. Melito, who also makes the connections between the Old Testament and the New. Also, the profound study of the Christian Passover in the patristic era, by the great Italian patrologist Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. Cap.: Easter in the Early Church: An Anthology of Jewish and Early Christian Texts.

4 thoughts on “Indeed He Is Risen! Alleluia!

  1. I’ve been to a lot of Easter vigil masses since, but this year was the first that we did the beginning by processing in with candles and doing the first 2 readings in almost complete darkness. That was cool. But I’ve never heard all 7 readings. Unfortunately the bar for “grave pastoral necessity” is pretty low.

  2. I did the whole 7 last year in my parish. It was a hit. The people who come to the Vigil know what they are in for and want to be there. I say go for it.

  3. It bowls me over, too. We took all the kids this year, and even our 3 yo was wonderful. Such a sublime Mass — my husband and I were carried away by the beauty and by memories of our own receptions into the Church.

  4. Christos Anesti!

    You might enjoy this series of posts of Easter-related images and quotes at

    In the Risen Lord,

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