Tonight is the holiest night in the Christian year. The service tonight literally begins in darkness so it’s best to arrive a little early in order to find your seat. The service bulletins at the Welcome Table contain the music the congregation sings, but there may be one or two hymns so be sure to take a 1982 hymnal from the shelf on the right as you enter the worship space.
We begin in darkness because Christ, the Light of the World, is about to return.
First, the Exsultet is sung – this year it will be shared amongst 3 soloists and Father Manny. After the Light comes into the church, and all the candles are lit from the Paschal candle, and its safely set in its stand, we go on with the Salvation Readings to hear the mighty story of God’s work saving the Children of Israel, and also the story of Christ’s fulfillment of the prophesies.
At last, all is brightness and joy and spring flowers — and after some happy Easter greetings, the Eucharist actually begins. There’s lots of extra music, and the service typically runs about 2 hours or more. It goes pretty late for really young children, but the Easter Sunday service will feature an Egg Hunt afterwards with the Easter Bunny, so the little ones have that option too.
It truly is a journey from Ash Wednesday through Lent to Holy Week and Easter. If you’ve been on the journey with us, come for the triumphant finish.