Okay, Kasia. Here it is:
Vigil was wonderful. We had prayers with the pastor in the morning and we were all presented with a cross necklace our pastor blessed. After a mini-retreat we all went home to take naps!
Vigil started at 9pm, but we were there at 8:15 pm. Instead of being gathered around the fire while Fr. J processed out with the servers we waiting until the last possible minute to get outside because it was sooooo cold. We candidates were all dressed warmly, but the catechumens had shorts and t-shirts on underneath their "burlap sacks." We shivered through the blessing and lighting of the Paschal candle (which was at least 6 feet tall.) The pastor had recruited a few of the football players from the local Catholic high school to act as servers and to help with the candle. It took three big guys and a deacon to move it!
After the blessing and lighting of the candle, we all went back inside and the candle was brought in. We all lit our small candles while everyone processed in. Our parish did all nine readings--the first seven were done with only the light from the Paschal candle. When it came time to read the epistle only a few of the sanctuary lights were brought up.
After the readings and the homily, we went out into the gathering space for the baptism as we did the litany of the saints. The baptisms were highly emotional, I don't think there was a dry eye in the place. Our baptisms were done by immersion and if I recal correctly there were 7 of them.
We had almost an entire family come into the church--a mother, her school age son and her toddler daughter. The little girl was done last and as her mother was handing her to Fr. J she cried "nooooo!" Even Fr got a good laugh at that.
While our catechumens and pastor went to go get dried and changed, our parochial vicar led us in the renewal of our baptismal promises. We then went back into the church with lit candles and the choir sang some selections while we waiting for the pastor to come back out.
Then we candidates stood and were received into the church. We were then called by name to come to the front of the church for confirmation (there were about 10 of us.) Then there were three others who were also being confirmed and finally the newly baptised joined us now that they were dry and dressed in their albs.
Fr. J began by confirming the catechumens, then the three who were only being confirmed and finally the candidates. As we walked up to Fr. J, our sponsors handing Fr. H our cards with our confirmation name. I was the last person to be confirmed, by then Fr. J was just grinning from ear to ear.
Then came the big moment--Eucharist. I've been sitting through mass for months and feeling so incredibly sorrowful during the Eucharist because I haven't been able to receive and I've so desperatly wanted to. I have to admit, I was a little teary as I came up to Fr. J to receive the body of Christ.
Afterwards we had a reception in the parish hall for the newly received and the rest of the parishoners.
On a side note--a friend of my family gave me a rosary blessed by Pope John XXIII the next day. It had belonged to a friend of hers who had it blessed when she was married in 1959. How cool is that?
That's the cliffs notes version of Vigil. When I get time I'm going to try to write up something more complete.
Okay, Kasia. Now it's your turn :)