This is the day when Jesus Christ vanquished hell,
broke the chains of death
and rose triumphant from the grave.
This is the day when all who believe in him are freed from sin,
restored to grace and holiness,
and share the victory of Christ.
This is the day that gave us back what we had lost;
beyond our deepest dreams
you made even our sin a happy fault.
Crowning glory of all feasts!
Evil and hatred are put to flight and sin is washed away,
lost innocence regained, and mourning turned to joy.
(from the Exsultet)
The joy of this morning (celebrated with our Christian sisters and brothers in Sri Lanka, both those who have died in the early morning attacks, and those who survive, in our hearts) was one of the loveliest moments of any remembered Easter.
Last night’s, and this morning’s, renewals of baptismal vows brought the light sparkling through uncountable drops of holy water gleefully flung. Innocence regained, despite memory, loss, and grieving. All that is taken up in the great light, and made new. Jesus is risen – with the marks of the crucifixion still in his hands and feet and side. This is the victory we share; this is the path before us all, from death to life, from grief to joy, from darkness into endless light.
…all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death… We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.