The Easter Vigil (last year's)
I was happy to open this morning's Macon Telegraph and find two large pictures of Saint Joseph Church Easter Vigil on the front page! One was the blessing of the fire and Paschal candle and the other was of the darkened church with parishioners holding their lighted candles.
Then I turned to the second page and there was a photo of Pope Francis at his Easter Vigil. The desciption of his was that it was shortened meaning that the Holy Father reduced the number of Old Testament readings, which is allowed.
In the past I have done the same thing, since day one of my first Easter Vigil as a priest. Bishop Raymond Lessard did the same thing at Savannah's Cathedral when I was the MC.
However, about four years ago at the behest of one of my parish's parochial vicars, whose name will go unmentioned, we went to reading all the readings, although not all the responsorial psalms, everyone of those being substituted with a moment of silence prior to the prayer that follows.
Of all the Liturgies of the Easter Triduum, by far Holy Thursday's is my favorite. Good Friday's is stark and beautiful too. I love the Easter Vigil but I get to a certain point where I find it interminable.
Last night we have 14 baptism and about 30 candidates for full communion. Then all were confirmed. That extended things as well, but in a wonderful sort of way. Our Vigil lasted a bit more than two and half hours.
We have a number of extended family members and friends of those being received into the Church attend this Vigil. I often wonder what in the world they are thinking, although everyone always says afterward how beautiful it is.
So, should we be liturgicalphiles and endure all the readings with joy or should we follow our Holy Father's example?
As most of you know, I am not ultramontane and thus not everything the Holy Father does should be copied around the world, or should it? I am amazed, though, at all the new progressives who are now ultramontane allowing the top down liturgical example of Pope Francis to guide their own parish celebrations. It makes older ultramontanes blush!