Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter Eve is Christmas Eve for Adults

     Do you remember the excitement and anticipation of Christmas Eve as a kid? Many folks were raised in a religious tradition that emphasized the incarnation of Jesus, and yet whatever your background, we can all remember the excitement of Christmas Eve not being so much about the baby Jesus, but about PRESENTS! The excitement of knowing there would be gifts in the morning to be unwrapped almost made it impossible to sleep.

     What Christmas Eve is for kids – anticipation, excitement, joy – the Easter Vigil held on Easter Eve is for adults. Adults have been through the reality of death in our world. All of us have experienced the sorrow and devastation of losing someone without whom the world will never be the same. We as adults have lived long enough to have seen evil. The worst of it is recognizing true evil exists twined around inside each of us. We have lived; we have seen real pain; we have tasted loss, despair, regret. Easter Eve isn't for kids... it's for those of us who have lived long enough to want a different kind of present. It’s no longer that shiny bike or the new train set under the Christmas tree which fills our dreams. Instead, we dream of resurrection, life, hope – the redemption of regained innocence in this tired, cynical world – a second chance. The gift of Easter is the present adults really want and need.


  1. Easter Vigil is for me the most glorious service of the year. I love moving from darkness to light. I love the Exultet. I love hearing the stories of our faith from Adam and Eve to the Exodus to the prophets and then celebrating the Eucharist. All of these are wonderful presents. Yes, it's a kind of Christmas Eve for adults.

  2. What a lovely post. Thank you. I wish I had read it on Easter Eve.

  3. Agreed.

    I love serving as an acolyte for the Vigil at St. Mark's in Seattle, with my favorite parts being accompanying the newly baptized as they remind the congregation of their own baptism and when the newly baptized join our Gospel procession following the Easter proclamation. As we stand at the center of the Nave and the deacon reads the Gospel and leads the prayers, there is something very much of the Divine present in the word, the sight, even the smell (Our bishop is very generous with the oil.).

  4.      I'm glad the Vigil has touched all of you too. It had not been done for a long time in my parish - the former rector felt no one was interested. It was the interim who reintroduced it. Although I had been in the church for years, I had never seen the Easter Vigil. After my first one, I was so excited. I couldn't believe I had missed this all those years.

  5. Yes. I live for the vigil! Blessed Easter Rick!


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