I had the most solemn time in attending the Easter Vigil. During my retreat last month, I witnessed the very solemn but affecting burial of the Alleluias during the eve of Ash Wednesday. It’s as if I completed a whole cycle when I entered the dark cathedral for the Easter Vigil, the final arm of the Easter Triduum.
Forty days after my personal silent retreat, I was in the middle of the dark cathedral with a thousand other people holding candles. No wind, no lights, no holy water. Just candles lit at 8pm.
It is not as popular as the famous Philippine Easter salubong tradition at 3:30am of Easter Sunday. But I liked it. There were 9 readings before the Holy Communion. I think the cathedral only read 4 when I went there. The minimum requirement is three, I think. My favorite part was when the lights of the cathedral were lit gradually as the choir sang a lot of Alleluias. It marked the beginning of Easter.
This Lenten season is definitely the most fruitful and solemn one I have had as a Catholic. I was able to appreciate the Holy Week core traditions more completely.
I did not attend the Siete Palabras, but I went to the Veneration and Holy Communion. I did not get to witness the Chrism Mass or do the popular Visita Iglesia but I was able to witness the Washing of the Feet. I was never able to complete these traditions in the past. This is the one year where I really gave it more time, and it really did not disappoint.
As I lit my candle and renewed my baptismal vows, I was fully convinced that this season signaled some crucial life changes. All of my realizations and decisions are really preparing me towards a new phase of life…
Happy Easter. <3