We had an Easter Vigil here in the house last night. It was a homely, disorganized business. I should have listened better to rubric #3 that the Missale Romanum provides at the beginning of the Sacred Paschal Triduum, where it says that, for the celebrations of the Triduum, smaller communities ought to join themselves to larger parochial and cathedral churches. Oh well, next time, should I still be in this life and find myself in the same circumstances. I have often been led astray by human beings in the practice of the Catholic faith, but never by a careful consideration of and obedience to the rubrics.
Nevertheless, holding my candle at the Vigil, I knew that, spiritually, this was the baptismal candle that Deacon Ron had passed into my hands on the day of my baptism almost twenty-four (!) years ago. (The physical candle, now dry and brittle, lies in pieces with other religious artifacts of my journey, in a box in a basement in Jamaica Plain.)
In the most holy night, it was my job to hold my candle and witness to the baptism I had received as the Church all over the world baptized the elect who are now neophytes this Easter Sunday. I prayed for them as they descended into the waters of the Jordan and passed through the Red Sea, leaving all the machinery of the slavery of Egypt to drown behind them. I prayed for them as the rose again with Christ, having passed through the path he has blazed for us--with the humanity he borrowed from us through the consent of our Blessed Mother--through the misery of sin and the meaninglessness of death to the new life the Risen Lord, whom death, nor any other created thing, could hold.
We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life. (Romans 6:4)