At 9.00 pm on Saturday evening we gathered outside the Cathedral to start our Easter Vigil with the blessing of the fire. The weather was perfect... it was not drizzling and there was no wind. It was difficult to know how many people were present. Only going into the Cathedral we saw it was full.
The celebration lasted until nearly 3 am as:
- after each one of the readers there was a short comment by one of the lay ministers;
- nearly thirty young people celebrated the sacraments of Christian initiation: baptism, first communion and confirmation;
- each one of them read their personal commitment to serve in the community. Some as members of the choirs, others as ushers or members of St Vincent de Paul and so on;
- the altar of the Cathedral had been redone last year and it had been decided to consecrate it during the Easter Vigil;
- the lay ministers of the Cathedral and outstations were commissioned.
As every year, the choir made sure it would be a prayerful and joyful night. I was awake after a couple of hours for the morning Masses in English and Siswati. Both had also the celebration of baptisms: 19 babies during the first Mass and 10 children during the second one.
Before the final blessing I thanked everyone who worked so hard to prepare each celebration. Some are "seen" by all like the members of the choir, the readers, the lay ministers... but others always work behind the scene in the sacristy, cleaning and preparing the church for each celebration...
The Holy Week is always the fruit of the commitment of many and, as Fr Mswane underlined, particularly all those who attended the celebration as their presence strengthen our being one family in the Risen Lord.
Photos taken on Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil
(click on the photo below)