Archbishop Charles Scicluna told the congregation that Easter means hope not only for the Church which renewed its faith on Holy Saturday but for the world, as he welcomed the adults which were later baptised during the pontifical mass of the Easter Vigil held on Holy Saturday at St John’s Co-Cathedral.
Delivering his homily on Holy Saturday, the Archbishop reminded that the liturgy of the solemn vigil speaks about renewal and purification. He explained that the two symbols chosen are fire and water, which signify destruction and purification. Addressing the eight cathecumens in English, the Archbishop explained that these symbols are an external sign of inner purification, of renewed freedom saying that they are free to belong to Jesus.
After the homily in Maltese, Archbishop Scicluna switched to English jokingly observing that the new Church members did not speak Maltese as yet. He explained to the eight individuals that the shawl they will receive later on during the service was the image of a garment of a newly found belonging being the adoptive children of God. He explained that the garment was one of grace and mercy and not of vanity, reiterating the Church’s welcome to the eight individuals who chose to become Catholics in their adult life.
Mgr Scicluna explained that while the Church grows in number, it also grows in holiness.
Referring to the rites of preparation for baptism, the Archbishop told the cathecumens that he had asked them what was it that they requested from the Church to which they had replied ‘faith that grants eternal life’.
During his homily the Archbishop observed that both St Luke and St Mark do not censor the apostles’ disbelief at Christ’s resurrection, and explained that centuries later after the resurrection had taken place, many still had their moments of doubt.
Archbishop Scicluna presides over mass on Easter Vigil at St John’s Co-Cathedral
Archbishop Charles Scicluna will preside over the pontifical mass of the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday. The celebration will start at 8.00pm at St John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta.
During the mass on Saturday, eight individuals will receive the Sacraments of Initiation and become new members of the Catholic Church.
The Easter Vigil is held in the hours of darkness between sunset on Holy Saturday and Sunrise on Easter Day. During the Vigil, the Lord’s resurrection is announced. The Liturgy of Baptism where water is blessed with the Paschal candle, not only cathecumens baptised, but all those baptised are invited to recall their baptism and the commitment taken. The Liturgy of the Easter Vigil is celebrated in four stages: The blessings of the fire and the preparation and lighting of the Paschal Candle together with the Easter Proclamation, the Liturgy of the Word, the Liturgy of Baptism, and the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
The liturgy will begin outside the church around the fire which is blessed and from which later on the Paschal Candle is lit. The congregation will follow the deacon carrying the Paschal candle through the nave of the Co-Cathedral, stopping three times to chant the acclamation ‘Light of Christ’, those assembled will respond ‘Thanks be to God’.
As the Paschal Candle is brought towards the altar, those present will light their candles from it. Then Easter is proclaimed and Scripture readings are read. The chant of the Gloria is followed by the Epistle and the solemn proclamation of the Gospel that narrates the Resurrection of Christ from the Gospel, this year, according to Saint Luke.
The Liturgy of the Word concludes with the Archbishop’s homily, the Baptismal Liturgy commences with the solemn blessing of the water. The Liturgy of Baptism ends with the sprinkling of water on the congregation to recall each and everyone’s baptism.
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