Continuing Home

The ongoing saga of a Continuing Anglican church home, as seen by a member of the laity.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Easter Even: The New Fire

Tonight, in the middle of the rainiest Easter weekend I can recall (yes, we're in Seattle but still...) we conducted the Easter Even service, titled "The Blessing of the New Fire, Lighting of the Paschal Candle & Litany of the Saints." (Whew, that's a lot!) As I have come to expect from Fr. Davis, things are not always as they have been before.

Given the service before us in which we had to read (if we didn't know) our responses, by necessity we started with the lights on. Then at a certain point they went off. Followed by the ignition of the New Fire. This time it involved flint & steel, though in the past we generally used what used to be known as "lucifer matches" (friction matches), but this was expressive enough that everyone turned around to see what was happening.

The order of things was different too. Usually when the Flame proceeds through the Nave, the parishioners' hand-held candles are lit on the way so that when the Flame reaches the Sanctuary, the rest of the Nave is lit. Not this time: it was a time before the Paschal Candle was lit and THEN the Fire was passed back to the congregation. Okay, I can see the reasoning for each process.

Though I saw an interesting point: before the Nave was lit, the altar candles were lit... but in somewhat reverse order; outwards to inwards. The return of the Flame. Interesting. (I might quibble about the subsequent extinguishing order I observed, but that's an adiaphoric matter.)

Oddly, the lengthy "Litany of the Saints" didn't include St. Bartholomew. Maybe he was forgotten in what had to be quite extensive preparations for a lengthy new service. Or there may be other good reasons for that (if we included all the saints we'd be there all night and longer, I think, and way too tired to celebrate Easter). I just don't know.


Post a Comment

<< Home