By: Robert G. Hetherington, Priest Associate
This year St. Mary’s will celebrate our first Easter Vigil on Saturday, March 31 at 7 p.m. It is the climax of the story of Holy Week and moves from death to new life. Beginning outside on the Terrace with the lighting of the New Fire – the return of the light of Christ to our midst – the Paschal Candle is lit for the first time from this fire, and by its light the congregation enters the darkened church.
The story of God’s relationship with humanity is told, moving from creation to salvation.Through a series of readings we hear about times when God’s people feared that all was lost but were saved by the power of God’s love. These include the story of creation, the flood, Israel’s deliverance at the Red Sea, Isaiah’s promise of a new heart and a new spirit, and the valley of dry bones. With the conclusion of the history of salvation, bells are rung, the lights come up and the celebration of Easter begins with the Easter greeting, “Alleluia, Christ is risen!” “The Lord is risen indeed, Alleluia!” The service then continues with the reading of the resurrection story and Holy Communion.
The service will last approximately an hour and a half and will be followed by a champagne and cake reception. Please consider making this beautiful service part of your Easter celebration.