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Traditionally, many of our churches celebrate the very beginning of the story of the Resurrection of Jesus by kindling a new fire outdoors, and from that fire, lighting a new paschal candle. The candle then leads the people into our darkened churches, from it the candles of the people are lit, and symbolically we celebrate the Light of Christ that the darkness cannot put out.

 If Maundy Thursday hosts “one of” the most dramatic liturgies of the year, then surely the Great Vigil is “the” most dramatic liturgy. First we gather around a fire, telling the stories of our ancestors – Jonah in the belly of the whale, the Jewish exodus across the Red Sea – all are meant to prime us for the greatest triumph yet: Jesus’ resurrection. The choir sings 20th century French organist-composer Jean Langlais’s dramatic Messe Solennelle.