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Bishop Malesic: ‘Easter Vigil ends world’s long winter of sin and darkness’

News of the Diocese

April 4, 2024

Bishop Malesic: ‘Easter Vigil ends world’s long winter of sin and darkness’
Bishop Malesic: ‘Easter Vigil ends world’s long winter of sin and darkness’
Bishop Malesic: ‘Easter Vigil ends world’s long winter of sin and darkness’
Bishop Malesic: ‘Easter Vigil ends world’s long winter of sin and darkness’
Bishop Malesic: ‘Easter Vigil ends world’s long winter of sin and darkness’
Bishop Malesic: ‘Easter Vigil ends world’s long winter of sin and darkness’
Bishop Malesic: ‘Easter Vigil ends world’s long winter of sin and darkness’
Bishop Malesic: ‘Easter Vigil ends world’s long winter of sin and darkness’
Bishop Malesic: ‘Easter Vigil ends world’s long winter of sin and darkness’
Bishop Malesic: ‘Easter Vigil ends world’s long winter of sin and darkness’

The Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday night (March 30) began outside in darkness as many of the faithful joined Bishop Edward Malesic, concelebrants, the deacons and altar servers around the paschal fire in the courtyard outside the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.

The fire brought light to the darkness as the paschal candle was blessed and lit.

Then the faithful followed the bishop, clergy and servers into the dark church. Candles were distributed and each person lit his or her candle. The procession, led by Deacon Matt Lawler carrying the lit paschal candle, moved to the sanctuary where the candle was put into a place on honor near the altar and the church was illuminated.

(See photo gallery above.)

The liturgy began with a series of Old Testament readings, canticles and psalms followed by the Gloria, which was not sung or recited during Lenten Masses. The Alleluia was sung before the Gospel of St. Matthew, which told the story of Mary Magdalene going to Jesus’ tomb and finding it empty. The angel told them Jesus had risen and instructed them to tell the apostles the news and that they would see him in Galilee. The women did as they were told and met Jesus on the way. He told them not to be afraid and to tell the disciples what they had seen.

“Tonight, the world’s long winter of sin and darkness is over,” Bishop Malesic said in his homily.

He reflected on the centurion who was converted after witnessing Jesus’ death. He also noted Joseph of Arimathea, a righteous, wealthy man and a secret supporter of Jesus, secured his body for a respectful burial and lovingly placed Jesus’ body in a new tomb.

But many were worried because they felt they were left with broken dreams after Jesus’ death.

“He was supposed to be the Messiah, the way, the truth and the life. And now that he is dead, those dreams had to be put to rest,” the bishop said.

When the women went to the tomb early on Easter morning, they found the stone rolled away and the tomb empty. They feared Jesus’ body had been stolen.

“But it was not missing. God had rolled away that big stone like it was a pebble. And the women became the first evangelists of the Resurrection,” he said. “They were to tell the disciples that Jesus had risen. We can’t keep this good news to ourselves,” the bishop said.

In the creed recited at Mass, we say “I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen,” Bishop Malesic said. “Let’s play the part of the stone and get out of the way. Let Jesus out.”

He recalled St. John Paul II, who was nearing the end of his life and was unable to speak on Easter, March 27, 2005. Instead, he made several large signs of the cross.

“That spoke volumes,” the bishop said, noting it also was the pope’s last public appearance and his last blessing before his death on April 2, 2005.

“He is risen. Happy Easter,” Bishop Malesic said.

During the Easter Vigil, two people were baptized, confirmed and received their first Communion. In addition, two others came into full communion with the Church, receiving the sacraments of confirmation and Eucharist.

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