I love going to the Easter Vigil Holy Mass on Holy Saturday evening.
Years ago, before I had ever been to one, I was in the Confessional and Fr. Bob asked me if I had been. I told him 'no' so he made it my penance to attend. I brought the kids with me and we have been attending this same Holy Mass every year since.
I love it...from the blessing and lighting of the next year's Paschal Candle to the very Final Blessing, following the new Catholics out the door to the vestibule...seeing the glow of their smiles as they greet family and friends with hugs and laughter, rejoicing in their new-found status as fully-fledged members of the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church.
This past Holy Saturday, we attended the Holy Mass Vigil @ our new parish, Ss. Cyril & Methodius Church. There were several people there who were confirmed in our Faith, having been baptized in their younger days into other religions and now professing their belief in the Catholic Church, but one man stood out. He had never been baptized before and His Excellency, Bishop Quinn performed the honors. This young man could not stop smiling throughout the entire ceremony ~ he was so proud and happy...
It made me think back to my own life, all the years I was away from the Church myself...how grateful and humbled I am to be back in the Fold now...and how I will never leave again. How this young man, with his whole life ahead of him, so excited to be a Catholic ~ I wish everyone could be as ecstatic as he was that night! What a wonderful gift to Our Lord on His Resurrection; and to make it even better, the Bishop informed us that this was the young man's birthday, too! ...talk about giving oneself the greatest birthday present ever!!!
Yes, the Easter Vigil is my favorite Holy Mass of all ~ Christ is come back to life, gives us a share in His joy and peace, we give it to others.
And I do believe that this one, the one @ Ss. C&M, was the best one I have ever attended.
Afterward, we had Benediction, something that I have never seen @ an Easter Vigil. I think It should be a part of the Holy Mass every time, and I am very happy to be a member of a parish where It is celebrated with such regularity ~ since coming to this parish, only less than two months ago (as a registered member ~ I have been coming here for nearly two years total!), I have been to no less than four or five Benedictions already! I have never in my life seen a parish which thrives so much on the Eucharistic Lord...in all of His manifestations, not just in one form, that which is performed in the Holy Mass itself, but in this other ancient and most holy form of worship, the Benediction ~ the blessing of all of His people from the Monstrance of His rest and exposition.
It's for sure, then, that this past Holy Saturday's Easter Vigil was the best I have ever attended! And I most certainly intend to go to the Easter Vigil @ Ss. C&M every year for the remainder of my days!