Liturgy for Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday, April 14th and 15th|
HOLY SATURDAY, April 14, 2001
HOLY SATURDAY: THE EASTER VIGIL
First Reading: Genesis 1: 1-31; 2: 1-2
Psalms: Psalm 104: 1-2, 5-6, 10, 12-14, 24, 30, 35 or 33: 4-7, 12-13, 20, 22
Second Reading: Genesis 22: 1-18
Psalms: Psalm 16: 1, 5, 8-11
Third Reading: Exodus 14: 15-27; 15: 1
Psalms: Exodus 15: 1-6, 17-18
Fourth Reading: Isaiah 54: 5-14
Psalms: Psalm 30: 2, 4-6, 11-13
Fifth Reading: Isaiah 55: 1-11
Psalms: Isaiah 12: 2-6
Sixth Reading: Baruch 3: 9-15, 32-38; 4: 1-4
Psalms: Psalm 19: 8-11
Seventh Reading: Ezechiel 36: 16-28
Psalms: Psalm 42: 2-3, 5; 43: 3-4 or 51: 12-15, 18-19
Epistle: Romans 6: 3-11
Psalms: Psalm 118: 1-2, 16-17, 22-23
Gospel Reading: Matthew 28: 1-10
THE SIGNIFICANCE AND BEAUTY OF THE EASTER VIGIL
Probably no service in the Liturgical calendar is more beautiful and meaningful than the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday evening. Albeit long, Holy Mother Church
gathers her children together for this special service to not only celebrate the Sacrament of the Eucharist, but also the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation.
The Night-watch of the Resurrection begins with the Church totally dark to symbolize the tomb. One candle is lit - the Easter or Paschal Candle which will be lit for every Mass until Pentecost Sunday. Then the light from that Candle is passed to the individual candles the congregation hold and from pew to pew light filters into the Church as the procession begins three times the celebrant chanting "Lumen Christi" or, in the vernacular now, "Light of Christ" to which all answer "Thanks be to God" or "Deo Gratias" in the Latin service.
Once the celebrant reaches the altar the deacon places the Paschal Candle in its permanent holder and the Easter Proclamation begins. Following is the lengthy seven readings and seven accompanying responsorial psalms or readings, all from the Old Testament to symbolize the lengthy time those who were loyal to the Old Covenant spent in Limbo before being released to Heaven by Christ's Death. It was during the three days in the tomb that Christ "descended to the dead" to call all God's faithful ones from Adam and Eve to the day Christ died into Heavenly bliss.
We then move into the New Covenant with the Epistle and Gospel Readings followed by Liturgy of Baptism where candidates who have been undergoing the catechumen program are now fully accepted into the Body of Christ's One, True, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. First all recite the Litany of Saints to unite us in the Communion of Saints as we, the Church Militant join the Church Suffering in Purgatory and the Church Triumphant in Heaven to profess our faith, hope and love in the Trinity and Christ's victory over death. There is then the Blessing of Water and the candidates renounce their sins, make their profession of faith and then receive the Sacrament of Baptism with first the saving water, then the anointing with Chrism oil, clothed with the Baptismal garment and presented a lighted candle symbolic that they have been brought into the Light of Christ and rid of Original Sin. The entire congregation then join the newly baptized candidates in Renewal of their Baptismal Promises by first renouncing their sins, then a Profession of Faith. The Celebrant then sprinkles all with Holy Water from the asperges. Now all the newly baptized candidates are fully received by the entire congregation at the beckoning of the Celebrant.
Following the Liturgy of Baptism is the Celebration of Confirmation where the candidates for Confirmation are invited to come forth where either the Bishop or his appointed representative in the person of the Celebrant lays on hands and then annoints each with the Holy Chrism with the words, "Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit. This concludes the special Easter Vigil liturgy as the Liturgy of the Eucharist begins and, for the first time the newly Baptized are able to partake of this beautiful Liturgy and the entire Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. We now have but a few hours to wait until that glorious day - Easter Sunday and the Resurrection - the beginning of the rest of our lives...forever!
EASTER SUNDAY, April 15, 2001
THE SOLEMNITY OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE LORD
First Reading: Acts 10: 34, 37-43
Responsorial: Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
Second Reading: Colssians 3: 1-4 or 1 Corinthians 5: 6-8
Gospel Reading: John 20: 1-9 or Mark 16: 1-7
AFTERNOON MASS GOSPEL: Luke 24: 13-35
SOLEMNITY OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE LORD
"He is Risen as He said. Alleluia!"
What is there left to say that hasn't been said? The mourning is over. It is time to celebrate the triumph over death. Today we need to proclaim from the rooftops the culture of Life and the teachings of Jesus Christ over the pagan culture of death and satan's lies. We need to join his holiness Pope John Paul II in speaking out for what is right, what is truth in the hearts and consciences of all God's children. He is risen. It is time for us to rise, just as the flowers of spring blossom, so also must our faith, courage and conviction bloom so that we may beautify this world with the love of Jesus and His Blessed Mother Mary as They have asked us, Their loyal remnant.
A flower that remains dormant in the spring will wither and die. So also, if we do not use the talents God has given us and preach to all as Jesus asks in Matthew 28: 18-20 for all we need do is remember His words "Do not be afraid." (Matthew 28:10).
As we come to the end of Lent and embrace with joy the Glorious Resurrection, let us remember that we cannot achieve the Resurrection unless we have first embraced and borne the Cross, suffered with Jesus, and died to ourselves in and for Him. Leave the rest to God. Let Him decide what is best, and how and when to use us in His Plan of Salvation. This is Mary's call to all of us. This is her plea to all her little ones gathered beneath her mantle. The cross each carries will be different. But they all come from the One True Cross of Christ, Who alone is the Savior of the world. If we look only to Him, then we'll stop looking at one another, making comparisons, allowing our human weakness to get the better of us, and allowing satan to keep us divided. If we look only at Jesus on the Cross and then see Him gloriously risen from the dead, how can we be divided? He died for all mankind, even though He knew there would be many who would not accept Him. He did not compare or grumble or complain. He was obedient to the Divine Will, even unto death. And so, too, we must be.
We must decrease that He may increase in us. Let this be for us the motto of every day henceforth, that with Mary, we may stand fearlessly at the foot of the Cross, and with her offer our lives for the salvation of our own soul and the souls of others. This way the Resurrection takes on a new meaning - the flowering of fulfillment - the evangelization of God's Love. We offer Jesus' Own words in John 11: 25-26 as proof that if we trust in Him we will conquer every obstacle and be united with Him forever. "I am the Resurrection and the Life; he who believes in Me, even if he die, shall live; and whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die."
April 14, 2001
volume 13, no. 104