By Ryan Blessing
A dramatic transformation from darkness to light filled the Cathedral of St. Patrick as part of the celebration of the Easter Vigil on April 20.
The Diocese of Norwich also welcomed three Catechumens, those who have never been officially baptized into a church prior to entering the Catholic Church, at the holy liturgy.
The catechumens joined two Candidates – non-Catholic Christians requesting entrance in to the Catholic Church -- and six adults previously baptized as Catholic to receive the Sacraments of Initiation – Holy Communion and Confirmation.
The Liturgy of Light (Lucernarium) began as Bishop Michael R. Cote and ministers proceeded in silence and darkness to the rear of the Cathedral. There, the Bishop read to the faithful about the meaning of the vigil before performing a blessing of the new fire, which is used to light the Paschal candle.
The candle was carried by Deacon Michael Puscas along the main aisle into the darkened Cathedral, and the Deacon stopped three times, singing “The Light of Christ” with congregants responding “Thanks Be to God.”
Flame from the candle was spread to the smaller white candles held by parishioners, and the whole church soon was bathed in warm light.
When the Easter candle arrived in the sanctuary, the Deacon chanted the Easter Proclamation, also called the Exsultet, from the Latin, “Rejoice.” The Proclamation tells of the mystery of Easter and of Jesus’ death and resurrection to redeem man.
Following readings during the Liturgy of the Word, Bishop Cote intoned, “Glory to God in the highest,” and the Cathedral bells and organ, mute since Holy Thursday, sounded again in fanfare.
In the Liturgy of Baptism, Bishop Cote blessed the Holy Water and baptized the three catechumens. They are Devin Gleason, Camila Michaud and Alice Wang.
Next, two men received into full communion with the Catholic Church were Andrew Pavlak and Tyler White.
Lastly, those who received the Sacrament of Confirmation, in addition to the five listed above, were Kathleen Aydt, Breanna Comeau, Emilia DePina, Faolan Hurley, Brendan Hurley and Ashley Palma.
In the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the catechumens brought the gifts to the altar and then took communion for the first time.