I went to the Easter Vigil Mass last night. I went by myself, because the service started at 8pm, which would normally be my son's bedtime. There was a fire set up outside the church, ready to be blessed. And that's when I remembered that I was in for a very long night. I didn't get home until around 11pm.
The Catholic Church has been around a very, very long time. Consequently, we have had lots of time to develop rituals for everything. And since Easter is the Holiest of Holies, this is when we take care of a number of agenda items for the coming year. So...we began with the Blessing of the Fire, followed by the blessing of the Candle, followed by the lighting of the now Blessed Candle. Then the priest lit some smaller candles and the entire congregation was given one of these little candles. Only then were we allowed to re-enter the church, where all the lights had been turned off. They remained off until we sang the Gloria. The old man sitting next to me was snoring by then. I hated to wake him up, but it was time to stand.
That's not the only bit of housekeeping that the Church takes care of during Easter. There's also a thirty minute ritual for Blessing Holy Water. Once the water is blessed, the congregation is sprinkled with holy water. Also, anybody who needs a good baptizing gets one. We don't have a tub set up, but we do all right. I don't mind the rituals, truly. They are part and parcel with being a Catholic, which I've been my entire life. No matter where you go, there are certain things that all Catholics have in common, even if it's not a language. I can't imagine not being a Catholic, even if the Holy See and I don't always get along.
I understand why we do all these things, that we are beginning a new year in the life of the Church. I just don't understand why we have to do them all during one service. It would make more sense to bless the holy water at the sunrise service, for example. Also, Easter Sunday is a terrific time for the sacrament of Baptism, instead of after-dark-thirty the night before.
Yes, I know. I'm not in charge, and nobody asked my opinion.
Everyone have a great Easter, or whatever spring rite you choose to celebrate. I wish for everyone to have a wonderful day!
This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…
- Set a timer and write for 5 minutes.
- Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
- Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
- Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post (in the sidebar).
- Link up your post at Jana's place.
- Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.