Sunday, April 4, 2021

The Night the Lights Went Out: Easter Vigil at the Monastery

Well, no one could say it didn't have a thrilling ending.

Of course, the Easter narrative holds our greatest finale, and we lived into that pretty fully last night.

Easter Vigil was set to begin at 8pm. Around 6:15pm, as I put loads of dishes through the dishwasher, the machine stopped, the lights faded in an instant, and we all started to laugh.

The power was out.

This is the night the light broke the chains of death, oh holy night. We always sing as the Vigil begins and the Paschal fire blazes.

Out of nowhere appeared a rechargeable sound system, flashlights, lanterns, headlights, systems rigged to hold them all in place. Everyone began to give the go-ahead...you could hear the music traditionally played on the computer-powered organ being practiced on the piano.




The show must go on. By 8pm, we were off, on the journey toward Alleluia.

The flexibility and adaptability on display were the essence of what I've come to know in my 5+ years at the monastery. As the eight traditional readings unfolded leading us to that first "Alleluia" in ages, there was a beautiful simplicity as we adjusted to the unexpected.

The power company told us to expect electric again around 11pm. In line to share communion at 9:45, Let there be light, and there was. And it was good.

Just in time to enjoy our closing hymn, All Shall Be Well and our Easter postlude on the organ.

"Jesus alive! Rejoice and sing again. All shall be well forever more, Amen."

Let us walk in the holy Easter presence.

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