The Vigil of Easter starts with a bonfire that no one can see and then progresses with a flickering candle that illuminates the darkness. In time and through community that candle light multiplies and intensifies until it can illuminate the whole Church. Its flame is from the same flame as the bonfire, yet if someone was to call it the bonfire there might be a complex discussion. That candle procession of the vigil mass is the perfect illustration of the darkness of Holy Saturday being overcome by Christs Easter resurrection. The fire of Christ was present,yet at the same time absent. In his Resurrection he reveals himself to those chosen in flickers of light that slowly bring that Resurrection clearly into the light. His body is the same, yet changed; just as the flame of the vigil candles are the same as the bonfires flames, yet different. Just as the candle procession is a real event, so to is Christs Resurrection. It is real and important and the Gospel accounts of it are an accurate portrayal.The readings sound so unbelievable when read, that those writers had no reason to include them. No reason except this event did happen and the consequences of this Resurrection were profound. Those who witnessed it were forever changed.How fitting it is that this Resurrection is celebrated with the light of a candle and not a monument of stone. It is the celebration of the light of the world, present for all who accept it. It is not a memorial of an event from the ancient past, but rather a light that is constantly among us to guide us back into that paradise promised. Through dying with him, we are brought to light. It is at once a celebration of Jesus’s Resurrection and our redemption, and the redemption of the whole world. Alleluia!
Collect: O God, who on this day, through your Only Begotten Son, have conquered death and unlocked for us the path to eternity, grant, we pray, that we who keep the solemnity of the Lord’s Resurrection may, through the renewal brought by your Spirit, rise up in the light of life. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.