This Easter Vigil, in the Diocese of Orlando, we welcomed 418 newly baptized Catholics into the Catholic Church. At parishes throughout the Diocese, individuals have been preparing to become Catholic, learning about the many aspects of our faith that have been handed down from Jesus Christ and the apostles. These individuals, known as catechumens, received the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist on the Easter Vigil at their home parishes. At St. James Cathedral, Bishop Noonan baptized and confirmed 6 people who also received their first Eucharist.
The Easter Vigil begins with the Service of Light. A “blazing fire” is prepared and people gather around it and experience the flames dispelling the darkness and lighting up the night. Thus do the beauty of the fire, its warmth and its light, draw the liturgical assembly together. Having reached the fire, the celebrant and faithful sign themselves with the sign of the cross while the priest says: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. After this new beginning, he greets the people. The Paschal Candle is brought forward, the symbol of the “light of Christ, rising in glory,” scattering the “darkness of our hearts and minds.” The bishop processes into a darkened church, which becomes lit by the Light of Christ, as the Paschal Candle is used as the source of light for the candles within the church.