Monday, April 17, 2017
DELIVER ME OH LORD FROM THE EASTER VIGIL
Maybe it is a sign that I am on my way to being 64 years old and have almost 37 years of priesthood under my alb, but I am beginning to think that the Easter Vigil needs a make over! Of the three liturgies of the Easter Triduum, my favorite is Holy Thursday; I simply love it.
Good Friday is a bit stark and disjointed to me in terms of its abrupt entrance with prostration, collect without greeting or Let us pray, the long passion, the long intercession and the the unveiling and veneration of the cross, then Holy Communion and simple exit.
But the Easter Vigil takes the cake. Its full celebration is best done in a monastery or intentional community. I have celebrated the vigil with all the readings, but no more, no matter how much my younger parochial vicars will protest.
We had three Old Testament readings and the Epistle and Gospel of course.
But do we have to have all of that???? Can't we have a more family, less liturgical geeks 🤓 oriented Easter Vigil?
HOW WOULD I REFORM THE EASTER VIGIL, LITURGICAL TRADITION NOTWITHSTANDING?
1. Allow it to be at the normal Vigil Mass time no matter how bright and sunny!
2. Light a torch in the church near the entrance and have the congregation comfortably turn towards the entrance of the church (as they do, btw, at funeral Masses for the blessing of the body) then bless the fire, the candle and begin a quick procession with the Lumen Christi chant. No candles for the congregation as these are a fire hazard and get wax on your new padded pews!!!!!! These candles should be anathema! Maybe little electric ones would suffice!
3. Use the short version of the Exultet.
4. Have one Old Testament reading with a short Gradual, not a long Psalm with refrain and an infinite number of verses but keep the prayer, followed by the Gloria, Collect and then the Epistle. But by all means maintain the three-fold Alleluia and Gospel!
5. Keep the homily brief or omit it altogether!
6. Only do baptisms, no receptions into the Church, those could be on Easter Sunday.
7. Do away with the double renunciation of Satan and profession of faith, one for those to be baptized and the other for the congregation.
8. Use the 2nd Eucharist prayer but have something in it for the newly baptized and the Roman Canon's acknowledgment of the Easter night/day.
All of this could be accomplished in a hour and a half rather than 2 and half to three hours.
I was psychologically exhausted a 8 PM when we began the Vigil outside and I could not get the taper to light from the fire so that I could light the candle and then get the congregation's candles lighted.
REFORM THE EASTER VIGIL, LET'S START A MOVEMENT! THE NEW EASTER LITURGY MOVEMENT!