I love Easter Vigil. It’s one of my favorite services of the entire liturgical year. I love standing outside in the cold, dark night, huddling together, waiting for the lighting of the new fire, waiting for that rush of warmth that assures us that the light of Christ cannot be extinguished from the world. I love the bold proclamation that “This is the night!” I love hearing the stories of faith brought to life in new ways. I love that moment when all of a sudden the lights go on, the organ blasts out the first strains of “Christ the Lord is Risen Today”, and the congregation responds with that long-awaited “Alleluia!”
I love Easter Vigil, but I did not go to one this year. I spent Holy Week at my home church visiting my friends and their brand new baby. I went to the other Triduum services, but Vigil was deemed too long for a four-week old, so we stayed home, played cards, and passed the baby around. Eventually she fell asleep on my chest with my finger in her mouth, sucking away contentedly.
I hope in my career in ministry to have the privilege to attend and preside at many an Easter Vigil. But as for last night, I can think of no better way to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ than a very small baby sighing softly on my chest. Christ is risen indeed, Alleluia!