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Easter vigil: A call to sing praise and act faith.

Byline: FROM HEART TO HEART By Susannah Lustica For The Register-Guard

As a child, I thought Easter meant candy and a new outfit; I thought about what I'd get for Easter. But as an adult, I look forward to what I will do at Easter. I no longer give up something for Lent, the 40 days between Ash Wednesday Ash Wednesday, in the Western Church, the first day of Lent, being the seventh Wednesday before Easter. On this day ashes are placed on the foreheads of the faithful to remind them of death, of the sorrow they should feel for their sins, and of the necessity of  and Easter. I try to do something positive, like drive more politely or speak with kindness.

Easter Sunday, however, is not the spiritual highlight for me. It is the Triduum, the three days preceding Easter: Holy Thursday Holy Thursday: see Ascension. , Good Friday Good Friday, anniversary of Jesus' death on the cross. According to the Gospels, Jesus was put to death on the Friday before Easter Day. Since the early church Good Friday has been observed by fasting and penance. , and Holy Saturday Holy Saturday
The Saturday before Easter.

Noun 1. Holy Saturday - the Saturday before Easter; the last day of Lent
Christian holy day - a religious holiday for Christians
, or the Easter vigil The Easter Vigil, also called the Paschal Vigil or the Great Vigil of Easter, is a service held in many Christian churches as the first official celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus. .

As a member of the choir at St. Jude Catholic Church
  • Academy Of The Assumption - Currently St. Jude Melkite Catholic Church
  • St. Simon & St. Jude Church (Tignish) - A catholic church in Canada
, this is the most meaningful part of the liturgical year for me. Music is important for my spirit. I enjoy singing at Mass all year, but the Triduum is special. The songs we sing are prayers. The melody alone isn't enough; it feels incomplete. The words are comforting, but it's the harmony that touches my heart and soul. It completes the prayer. The alto part alone sounds unfulfilled; the other parts complete the chord and raise my spirit.

On Holy Thursday we have the ceremony commemorating Christ's washing of the Apostles' feet at the Last Supper Last Supper, in the New Testament, meal taken by Jesus and his disciples on the eve of the passion. Jesus broke bread and passed a cup of wine among the disciples, identifying himself with the bread and the wine and linking the meal to his impending death on the . One year I was honored to be one of those whose feet were washed by our pastor. I was very moved to have someone I respect and look up to, on his knees washing my feet.

The mood on Good Friday is somber. A member of the congregation is chosen to carry a wooden cross up and down the aisles as we sing, "Behold the wood of the cross, on which is hung our salvation, O come let us adore." Then the cross is placed upright in a stand in front of the altar.

We are all invited to come up and venerate the cross: bow, kneel, touch the cross or kiss it. We are singing, "We adore you, O Jesus Christ Jesus Christ: see Jesus.

Jesus Christ

40 days after Resurrection, ascended into heaven. [N.T.: Acts 1:1–11]

See : Ascension

Jesus Christ

kind to the poor, forgiving to the sinful. [N.T.
: for by your cross, you redeemed the world." It's chanted over and over again, like a meditation. Finally, the choir members walk up to venerate the cross and often remain after the rest of the congregation has left. We form a circle, holding hands, chanting and sometimes crying. We are so moved by the sacrifice Jesus made to redeem humankind from original sin original sin, in Christian theology, the sin of Adam, by which all humankind fell from divine grace. Saint Augustine was the fundamental theologian in the formulation of this doctrine, which states that the essentially graceless nature of humanity requires redemption .

Holy Saturday/Easter Vigil is the most exciting liturgy for me, because we are anticipating Christ's resurrection. We sing a line from Genesis: "Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth."

I believe the spirit of God works through environmental, spiritual and political leaders, activists and volunteers who are trying to "renew the face of the earth," in spite of man's abuse of God's gifts of creation.

This spirit moves me to live out my faith by working with interfaith activities. We had an interfaith Pentecost service several years ago. I hope that one year soon all the Christian churches can have a sunrise service where we can all sing out, "Roll away the stone, see the Glory of God."

Susannah Lustica attends St. Jude Catholic Church. This column is coordinated by Two Rivers Interfaith Ministries, a network of faith communities in the Eugene-Springfield area. For more information, call 344-5693.
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Title Annotation:Columns
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Article Type:Column
Date:Apr 3, 2004
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