Saturday, 30 March 2013

Easter Vigil at Ta’ Pinu

by Stefan Attard

Painting of Women at Christ's Tomb Silence prevails on this day. Mass is not celebrated during the day and the Easter Vigil starts late at night. This celebration is the longest and the most symbolic for the Roman Catholic Church.

At Ta’ Pinu Basilica, the Vigil started at 8.30pm with the blessing of the new light and water. After the first prayers, Marouska Attard, sang the Easter Proclamation better known as the ‘Exultet’. The liturgy of the word followed with seven readings that recount the story of salvation. Between one reading and another, the choir sang the psalm. Maria Attard led the congregation. Right after the readings, Fr. Gerald Buhagiar, the celebrant, intoned the ‘Gloria’ and the bells together with the organ announced the good news - the resurrection of Christ.

 The celebration continued with the epistle from St. Paul which led to the intonation of the Easter ‘Allelulia’ by the Celebrant. The congregation sang the responsorial to the Psalm which was sung by cantor Stefan Attard. After the homily, the choir performed the ‘Vidi Aquam’ as the blessed water was sprinkled on the gathered congregation.

The second part of liturgy opened with Holst’s hymn ‘L-ikel tal-Hajja’ performed during the offerings. Later, the choir performed the ‘Sanctus’ and ‘Agnus Dei’ by Oltrasi, followed by ‘Ir-Rghaj u s-Sid tieghi’ which was sang during communion. 

Before the mass came to an end, the choristers reached Our Lady’s Chapel and while Fr. Buhagiar incensed the miraculous painting, the choir sang the ‘Regina Coeli’. Throughout this celebration, the choir was accompanied by Mr. Robert Grech on the organ.

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