Sunday, April 24, 2011
Christ is risen, Alleluia!
Yesterday Margaret Jane and I decided, with some misgivings, to go to the vigil mass at Santa Lucia. The misgivings came from the time frame: the vigil began at 10 pm and was set to finish at 5 am with a procession. We weren't sure we could make it, but, fortified by afternoon naps, we decided to try.
It was a glorious experience, beginning with the lighting of the pascal fire. We were waiting for someone to light the woodpile in the plaza when we noticed everyone looking back and up, at the roof of the church. A ball of flame appeared on the roof and vaulted down (there must have been a wire, but I didn't see it) to the woodpile, which it set blazing immediately. Padre Carlos Elias lit the pascal candle, and we all lit our candles (una cora, 25 cents, for a candle) and processed untidily into the church, looking for a seat.
Santa Lucia was beautiful with flowers. To one side of the altar was a paper-mache tomb, with the image of the risen Jesus (the same image used in the crucifixion procession of Good Friday, but liberated from the cross). We moved through the beautiful vigil liturgy - readings, psalms, the Gloria, singing Alleluia for the gospel, litany of the saints, baptisms and renewal of baptismal promises, eucharist. By 2:30 am our vigil was complete. "What do we do now?" I asked Martha, who was sitting next to me. "We sing," she said.
Margaret Jane and I decided to opt for bed at this point, but soon after we got back to the house, we heard the procession approaching. The photo shows the faithful with their candles singing and walking down our street at about 3:30 am. Sleepers awake! The Lord is Risen, Christ is Risen Indeed! Feliz pascua, Easter joy and peace to all.