For the last several years, Dinka and I have had to take turns attending Christmas and Holy Week Masses at night because we've had children at home too young to come along. We dream of one day being able to attend Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve or Easter Vigil as a family but somehow that dream keeps getting pushed a few years out (ahem). This year, I was lucky enough to draw Easter Vigil and it was as memorable as ever.
For former organists and general liturgy enthusiasts like me, Austria has a lot to offer and Easter Vigil is one of the highlights of the year, musically speaking. When your default mass setting is Schubert's German Mass, you're off to a pretty good start. There are too many wonderful moments in the Mass to list here but one of my favorites is the Gloria in excelsis Deo, when the all the lights come on, all the bells are rung, the organist pulls out all the stops and people are singing like they're auditioning for the heavenly choir. Here's a good (and Austrian) example from the Easter Vigil Mass in Stephansdom, with Cardinal Schönborn backed up by a full choir and brass section:
In our priest's homily tonight, he said that we should go home "shaken" by the Easter message, as the Earth was shaken when the angel appeared at the grave in Matthew's Gospel. Job done. He went on to say that the effects of Easter should then become visible in our families, communities and the world. That's next.
Happy Easter, all.