We are awaiting our master’s return

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St. Poly Carp Catholic Church in Stanton held its annual Easter vigil Saturday, which marks the beginning of Easter.

“People who have been studying to come into the church will have their baptism, confirmation and first communion in celebration of life and light,” Fr. Michael St. Paul said.

St. Poly Carp Catholic Church in Stanton held its annual Easter vigil Saturday, which marks the beginning of Easter.

“People who have been studying to come into the church will have their baptism, confirmation and first communion in celebration of life and light,” Fr. Michael St. Paul said.

The program is held at dusk, with a large fire lit in front of the church, followed by readings explaining the mass: “We are awaiting our master's return with our lamps full and burning, so he will find us awake and seat us at his table (Luke 12:35).”

The vigil is divided into four parts: service of light, liturgy of the word, liturgy of baptism and liturgy of the sacrament of the Eucharist.

The service began outside of the church, where a new fire was lit and blessed and then a Paschal Candle was prepared and marked by Fr. St. Paul, after which the large candle was lit from the new fire. 

“May the light of Christ, rising in glory, dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds,” St. Paul said.

The procession of priests proceeded into the church, with the deacon lifting the candle and singing, “Christ our light,” and the parishioners responding, “Thanks be to God.”

From the large candle, everyone attending the vigil received a light for their smaller individual candles, symbolizing, “Christ, the light of the world.”

The Easter proclamation or Exsultet hymn was sung, announcing the meaning of Easter and God's mercy and love.

“For Christ has ransomed us with his blood, and paid for us the price of Adam's sin to our eternal Father … accept this Easter candle, a flame divided but undimmed, a pillar of fire that glows to the honor of God … let it mingle with the lights of heaven and continue bravely burning to dispel the darkness of this night… may the Morning Star which never sets find this flame still burning: Christ, that Morning Star, who came back from the dead, and shed his peaceful light on all mankind, your son, who lives and reigns forever.”

There were readings from the Old and New Testaments. The Easter water blessed and new members were baptized, along with current members renewing their baptismal promises.
The Mass concluded with, “Go in peace, alleluia; thanks be to God.”

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