Friday, April 28, 2006

Our Vigil

We had a lovely Vigil this year. I don't remember one that has gone
so smoothly.

Three years ago, we made the jump from a truncated `three reading-
vigil" to doing all seven readings plus the Epistle and Gospel. I
was a little concerned this year, as we had a different (and none
too enthusiastic) priest during the planning time, and all the `hard-
liners' seemed to have left Lit. Ctte.

I needn't have worried. I guess with the high turnover of our parish, three years is tradition!

I had the distinct privilege of singing the Exsultet, for the first
time in three years. What a thrill.

I have also been on the Rite of Catholic Initiation of Adults (RCIA) team this year since my return from a spell in Europe, so I had the thrill of seeing our three candidates and one Catechumen enter the Church. It was touch and go for a couple of them. One had missing paperwork, which resulted in a conditional Baptism. Another
candidate had been very ill. We were wondering if we'd have to go
mobile to bestow that Confirmation.

The morning on Saturday saw candidates and sponsors coming
together. What an excited bunch. We laughed as much as anything
else. The retreat and rehearsal went smoothly and we were out
before noon!

What I noticed about the group this year was that although it was
small, it was high-powered and chatty! I expect some great stuff to
come from this bunch. We worked hard with them to impart what the
Church REALLY teaches, rather than what we as individuals may wish
it to teach. I know that this sometimes resulted in bitten tongues
on behalf of some of the team, but everyone took the mission to
heart. I think we succeeded in getting the point across. It struck
me as interesting that 3 of the four of them already owned Rosaries
before they came to us. One of them was already watching EWTN (and
it shows!). Two of them were coming into this completely alone…no
family support, and in one case there was actually some hostility.

One woman said at one point that for the first time she could really
understand why contraception is wrong!

There has also been silliness. The other coordinator and myself
often made jokes at our own and each other's expense. One of the
assistants didn't back down from the opportunity to tease…like
asking me, as I was giving the talk on the Ash Wednesday and the
Spirituality of Lent, what the Latin word for "Lent" was…and I
couldn't answer! Ah but I can now (Quadragesima…which I should have

Unfortunately, some (the two who didn't enter late) in this group
have also been exposed to dissent. One speaker gave a couple of talks while I was in Europe. I heard ALL about them! Favourite dissent `ponies' were trotted out…married clergy,female clergy…sigh. BUT…the assistants and the wife of the
coordinator took the speaker to task, while the coordinator did damage
control and took measures to see it didn't happen again.

So, this spirited bunch has entered the Church. It interested me
greatly to note that three of the four of them received their First
Eucharist on the tongue! We had told them they were permitted to
choose, but did not apply pressure one way or the other. I receive on the tongue, as
does another of the sponsors, but the parish as a whole is a hand-
receiving group.

I love working with RCIA and would recommend all to consider helping
out in their parish group.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice blog jdp. Our Easter in Renfrew was exciting, too. Three baptisms occurred: there were two catachumen candidates and a newborn. What made this latter baptism exciting was that it was a "full dunk"! The baby was stripped right down and Father Peter dunked her entirely three times. The church was so pleased they applauded at witnessing what seemed like a rare event. Signed db