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Easter

Something new seems to be brewing. The past few month have not been very exciting. In fact, there have been depressing moments. A quarter of the year has passed since the cheerfulness of Christmas. But now there seems to be promise of something new and good.

The past six weeks int he parish have been intense. The call to conversion has echoed repeatedly. It has been a season of penance: mot much excitement there! Decorations have been subdued. The ritual journey during the past week, Holy Week, has been full of symbolism. The waving of palms gave way to a passion story. A supper banquet gave way to a cross. And last night (Easter Vigil) gave way to a new fire, new oils, new water – and new life

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The theme of Easter morning echoes that of the Eater Vigil. It remembers and celebrates the very foundation of Christianity: Jesus is raised from the dead and is Lord. Those who believe and are baptized share in this Resurrection to new life. This theme will continue for the next fifty days of the Easter season.                               It was natural that the very first followers of Jesus would hold this moment sacred. it was the anniversary of that wonderful time when they experienced him risen and still among them. His death had occurred on the most important of all Jewish feasts: the Passover. His resurrection fulfilled all that the Passover had meant to them as Jews.                                                                                  It was an exodus, or passage, from the old times and the oppression of slavery to spiritual freedom. Jesus was the Paschal Lamb, slain to achieve this freedom..                                 It is obvious that something wonderful has happened as people walk into church. They are greeted by a church decorated with signs of new life: bright colours and Easter lilies. Alleluias ring out. it is Easter morning!                                                                                     For many, if not most, parishioners, this is the celebration of Easter. In every parish, however, the main celebration occurred the night before with the Easter Vigil. Sunday morning Easter Mass evolved in history when the Easter Vigil was anticipated during the early morning hours of Holy Saturday.

Christ’s resurrection was the sign of new beginnings. This theme was part of the evolution of the Passover long before the Exodus from Egypt. The ancestors of the Jews had celebrated a springtime festival of the first fruits of their flocks with a sacrifice of lambs. Eventually these feasts were combined as an annual memorial of the mystery of