"Then Jesus approached and said to them, "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age."
This is the final chapter of the book of Matthew from the Bible. It is when Jesus has risen and met with his apostles and commands them on what they must do now. Tonight we continued that tradition at St. Matthews Catholic Church in Largo. Six or Seven people came into the church tonight by being baptized at the Easter Vigil Mass. This mass is the oldest in tradition (and the longest, although Fr. John got it to 2 hours and 15 minutes, not too bad, it was 3 hours last year).
We begin outside where a fire is lit and blessed. And then that fire lights the Easter candle which is used for the rest of the year to remind us of that we are a people of Easter, of resurrection. That flame is spread through the attendees, we hold candles. Then we process into a dark church with our candles filling it with this light. Inside we sit in the dark, a reminder of the death of Jesus and the darkness the world had during that time, I also thing it reminds us of the darkness the world was before creation, and we listen to bible selections beginning with the creation of the world and a variety of others. And then the lights come on, we sing the great Alleluia and it is Easter. (Easter is from the evening to the evening of Sunday by the way.) And then we have the rest of the mass. A highlight is also the baptism (it was all adults and 1 young teenager) and then receiving the other sacraments (confirmation - coming into the church fully as an adult) and their first communion.
It is a wonderful mass. Lots of tradition, singing, incense, readings...etc. It is full of sensory experiences.
I just wanted to share how I, my hubby and some friends rang in the Easter holiday.
To all my family and friends, no matter where you are this night and Easter Sunday may you have a blessed day, rejoice in spending quality time with friends and family.
Amen and Alleluia!