Saturday II/Sunday I

I should never be surprised.  After the empty day of waiting,  the self questioning I arrived back at the cathedral for the Vigil. This first part was held in the darkness in the retroquire,  where history,  family history and His story mingle ,  where Bishops,  saints and the other many faithful are remembered.  In the darkness we listened to the overarching story of God at work: and I remembered once again in the small span of my life he is at work ,   sometimes unseen,  unrecognised,  but always there.
The story retold, we moved to join many more waiting in the nave,  in silence and anticipation.  The fire lit,  the Christ light renewed,  slowly the cathedral filled with light from hundreds of small candles,  a reminder that we pass the light of Christ to each other in our lives. The exsultet,  the song of resurrection proclaimed  *This* is the night….
And à fanfare,  joyful cacophony as we proclaim  He is Risen! Alleluia!  He is Risen indeed!  ALLELUIA.

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I had forgotten up to this point that the setting for mass was Mozart’s Kronungsmesse,  one of my complete favourite settings and the one that was used at my ordination.  Gloria in excelsis Deo.
I love the Easter Vigil and to be in what is, as a priest in the diocese, my mother church, was very special.  The joy of the baptisms and confirmations,  with renewal of baptismal vows and the Bishop flinging water around with glee all combined to make such a rich celebration.  Such tangible joy,  such resurrection hope and also moments of quirk. The bishop suggested that as crepuscular creatures perhaps it may have been that among the first witnesses to the resurrection would have been cats..  Who knows.

At some point in the afternoon I had realised that I was free to visit my sending parish for their dawn eucharist &  breakfast,  the thought of celebrating with long time friends pulled me in.  This was what I knew I was missing. The full sense of community in this journey,  and despite not having walked Holy Week with them I decided I would go,  before returning to the cathedral for the Festal Eucharist.  So after a short night I got up at 5 to make the trip,  rejoiced with friends,  but witnessed too at the moment of lighting of the Paschal candle,  a cat creep through the churchyard,  look at the unaccustomed activity at that hour,  and move on….

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