The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge celebrated Easter Vigil Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral on Holy Saturday. Msgr. David D. Brockman, Vicar General of the Diocese; Very Rev. Daniel D. Oschwald, Cathedral Rector; and Rev. Chesco Garcia-Gonzalez, Parochial Vicar for Hispanic Ministry at the Cathedral, concelebrated.
This year, approximately one-thousand men and women were welcomed into the Church during the Easter Vigil in parishes throughout the Diocese of Raleigh. The “Elect” received the sacraments of initiation: Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation. Those termed “Candidates” entered into full communion in the Church, either having been baptized in other Christian traditions or who were baptized in the Catholic faith but never completed the sacraments of initiation.
The Easter Vigil, rich in tradition and symbolism, begins outside the church with the lighting and the blessing of a fire. A Paschal Candle is prepared and lit with the Presider proclaiming, “May the light of Christ, rising in glory, dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds.” The Candle is then carried into the darkened church, with each of the faithful receiving a light from the candle. The Mass then proceeds to the Liturgy of the Word, the Liturgy of Baptism and the Liturgy of Eucharist.
In his Easter Vigil homily, Bishop Burbidge spoke of the Easter proclamation of the Church, that “Jesus Christ is risen from the dead, Alleluia! Alleluia!” Bishop Burbidge said this is “the joy of being a Christian. This is the source of hope for all humanity.”
Reflecting on those who were to be baptized as new members of the faith at the Easter Vigil, the Bishop said the ceremony provides each of us with the opportunity to reflect on the meaning of the sacrament, adding that it gives us the path to “walk in newness of life with Christ.”
On Easter Sunday, Bishop Burbidge celebrated the 10:30 AM Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral.
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Read Bishop Burbidge's Easter Vigil homily
Watch Bishop Burbidge’s Easter Sunday homily (Windows Media)
Read Bishop Burbidge’s Easter Sunday homily
Above: Bishop Burbidge lighting the Paschal Candle at Sacred Heart Cathedral at the beginning of the Easter Vigil. (Click photo to view larger.)
Above: Cathedral assembly holding lighted candles during the Easter Proclamation. (Click photo to view larger.)
Above: Bishop Burbidge extending congratulations after bestowing the Sacrament of Confirmation on one of the “Neophytes.” (Click photo to view larger.)
Photos by Paul Tomas