The cross of Christ stands empty on this Holy Saturday.
In stillness, earth awaits the Resurrection while Christ goes down to wake the dead.
We patiently wait for the joy of the Resurrection.
Tonight we gather outside for the Easter Vigil. The darkness of night will be dispelled by a blazing fire, from which the Paschal Candle will be lit. The Paschal Candle is the symbol of the light of Christ that scatters the darkness of our hearts and minds.
Julianne Wallace from Busted Halo has created a guide for each day of the Triduum to help you walk and pray through the liturgies:
The Easter Vigil
The celebration of the Easter Vigil tells the whole story of our salvation — from creation to resurrection and beyond. Because of all the ritual moments, this service tends to be on the lengthy side (an average Easter Vigil will last at least 2-2 1/2 hours). But don’t let the length of the celebration detract you from participating. The Easter Vigil includes the lighting of the Easter Fire and Paschal Candle (the large candle that we will use throughout the year), the singing of the Exsultet (the Easter Proclamation), the expanded Liturgy of the Word that traces time through Salvation History (the story of our Salvation), the Liturgy of Initiation (where new people come into the Church), and the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. All these rituals come together for one purpose: to remember and recall the saving deeds of our God on our behalf. Here’s an explanation of two moments from the celebration.
The Singing of the Exsultet
The Exsultet, or the Easter Proclamation, is a hymn that is sung by a deacon, priest, or cantor. This hymn speaks of how God has interceded in our lives on our behalf. The Exsultet especially recalls the Holy Night when Jesus Christ rose from the dead. What makes this moment particularly dramatic is that the Exsultet is sung in a church lit only with the light of the Paschal Candle and other smaller candles, which people are holding. In order to pray this hymn along with the deacon, priest, or cantor, try reflecting on the words of the hymn throughout Holy Saturday.
The Liturgy of the Word
The Liturgy of the Word for the Easter Vigil is comprised of nine readings and seven responsorial psalms. The first reading begins with the story of Creation and then, each subsequent reading recounts the story of our faith lives through history. You’ll hear the story of Issac and Abraham, the story of Moses and the Exodus, and more. All of these readings lead up to the singing of the Gloria when all the lights come on in the church, and then the final reading, the Resurrection of Christ, is proclaimed. Why so many readings? Again, like the singing of the Exsultet, the readings recount the many ways in which God has interceded on our behalf throughout history.
Most churches do not do the entire set of nine readings (for time’s sake). But keep in mind that the point is to recall how God has interceded on humanity’s behalf from the very beginning of time and that through this Easter Vigil we celebrate that God is present and always working in our lives, even still today.
Reflection questions for the Easter Vigil:
How has God interceded in my life?
After hearing the Resurrection story, what events do I see in my own life that are in need of new life, in need of resurrection?
How can I carry on the story of the resurrection to others?
Before you attend the Easter Vigil at 8:15, here are a few activities for your Church of the Home:
Care for the Ground
Clean the floors of your home or go outside and care for the grounds around the house. The Lord was laid in a tomb in the earth, we honor that by caring for the ground today.
Eggs are an ancient symbol of Christ in the Tomb because life lies hidden below the hard outer shell. Just as the baby chick has to break through the shell, Christ broke the bonds of death and rose triumphantly from the grave.
Work on Easter preparations, such as Easter Dinner, as much as possible so you can focus on Christ’s Resurrection tomorrow.
Make “Christ is Risen” banners and signs to hang around the house on Sunday.
What is Easter?
Easter Sunday is the greatest of all Sundays. The season of Easter is the most important of all liturgical times, which Catholics celebrate as the Lord's resurrection from the dead, culminating in his Ascension to the Father and sending of the Holy Spirit upon the Church.
The octave of Easter comprises the eight days which stretch from the first to the second Sunday. It is a way of prolonging the joy of the initial day. There are 50 days of Easter from the first Sunday to Pentecost. It is characterized, above all, by the joy of glorified life and the victory over death expressed most fully in the great resounding cry of the Christian: Alleluia! All faith flows from faith in the resurrection. (USCCB)
Hallelujah (Easter Version) by Kelley Mooney
Join us for Mass this weekend in person at 8:15 on Saturday, 8:30 or 10:30 on Sunday, on www.gbres.org/live, our YouTube channel, and our Facebook page.
READINGS FOR THIS WEEKEND’S MASSES
VIRTUALLY SUNDAY REFLECTION
The Hope Of People
Join Fr. Paul as he reflects on this Easter Sunday Scriptures.
From death comes new life. Let your hope in Christ's love fill you with courage, wisdom and peace.
This Weekend's Bulletin
(click to read)
Ruby and Res
Ruby and Rusty are waiting for the Easter Bunny to visit their basket. Until then, Ruby is keeping her basket warm for all the treats she's hoping to receive.