Easter Vigil, Cycle A

This evening we begin the Easter season by celebrating the gift of new life in Christ. Our Lord lives anew, and, like the candles lit one by one from the blessed Paschal flame in today’s liturgy, that new life reaches each of us, one by one. The candles we bear in this ceremony remind us of that day when someone handed a lit candle to our godparent and said, on our behalf, “receive the light of Christ.” This evening throughout the world catechumens receive the sacraments of Christian Initiation–Baptism, the Eucharist, and Confirmation–and receive new life in Christ as they come fully into the Church.

This evening is a reminder and a renewal of our new life in Christ as well. Whether our celebration of the Easter Vigil includes catechumens or not, we renew our baptismal promises and receive a blessing with holy water to remind us of the blessing of new life in Christ that came to us through the waters of Baptism. These promises remind us how we are to best live the new life Our Lord has given us: we renounce Satan, all his works, and all his empty show; and we renew the basics of our faith that we recall every time we pray the Creed.

Let’s pray for those coming fully into Church communion this evening, and pray that we be renewed in our desire to live well the new life in Christ that we have received. Christ has risen.

Readings: Matthew 28:1–10. See also Easter Vigil, Cycle C and Easter Vigil.