The highlight of the Liturgical Year is the Church's celebration of
Easter, which begins with the vigil on Holy Saturday. This "mother
of all vigils" begins in total darkness with a service of light. A
large fire, signifying the resurrection of Christ who destroys all
darkness and sin, is prepared outside and blessed. The Easter candle
is lit from the new fire, and then all members of the assembly light
their candles from the Easter candle.
Easter Vigil the Elect are baptized, confirmed
and receive the Eucharist for the first time.
complete their sacraments of initiation.
The assembly renews their baptismal promises. In baptism we die to
ourselves by turning away from sin, and rise to new life in Christ. Together we are the Body of the Risen
Easter is the beginning of a new season of
grace and a time of joy and thanksgiving, for Easter is not one day
or one solemnity—it is a fifty day celebration, and the fifty days
from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday together comprise what the
General Instruction terms "the great Sunday".
TO THE HOLY SPIRIT
The novena in honor of the Holy Spirit is the oldest of all novenas since it
was first made at the direction of Our Lord Himself when He sent His
apostles back to Jerusalem to await the coming of the Holy Spirit on the
first Pentecost. Addressed to the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, it is
a powerful plea for the light and strength and love so sorely needed by
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hears of your faithful and enkindle in them the
fire of your love.
READING: ROMANS 8:9-11
But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God
dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong
to him. But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the
Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised
Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will
give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.
ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE
On my knees, before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer
myself, soul and body to you, Eternal Spirit of God. You are the strength
and light of my soul and I desire never to grieve you by unfaithfulness.
Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for your
light, and listen to your voice, and follow your gracious inspirations. I
cling to you and give myself to you and ask you, by your compassion to watch
over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His
Five Wounds, and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side
and stricken Heart, I implore you Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, to keep me
in your grace that I may never sin against you. Give me grace O Holy Spirit
of the Father and the Son to say to you always and everywhere, "Speak
Lord for your servant listens." Amen.
PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS
OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
O Lord Jesus Christ,
before ascending into heaven you did promise to send the Holy Spirit to
finish your work in the souls of your Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant
the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of your
grace and your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the
perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are
eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of
your divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest
way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may
bear my cross with you and that I may overcome with courage all the
obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know
God and know myself and grow perfect in imitation of the Saints, the Spirit
of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the
Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and
may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord with the sign of
your true disciples, and animate me in all things with your Spirit. Amen.
(To be recited daily during
the Novena -- Ascension Thursday through Pentecost)