This Is the Night

The Easter Proclamation, or Exultet, is ideally to be sung by a deacon. If not a deacon, then a priest or cantor sings the difficult piece at the start of the Easter Vigil. The plan at All Saints Church was for Fr. David Carter to sing it but he was summoned to be the master of ceremonies at Sacred Heart Cathedral. He also found out that Bishop Stika has temporarily assigned him to Our Lady of Perpetual Help in LaFollette to fill-in for an ailing Fr. Joe Campbell. Fr. Joe, a/k/a Kodiak Joe, was pictured on my blog in 2008.

With Fr. David unavailable, the staff at All Saints asked my wife to sing the Exultet with only a few days notice. She has sung it in the past, but this year she had to learn the new translation in the Roman Missal. Her voice was clear and beautiful as she chanted the nine-minute proclamation a capella. I recorded it on her Walkman and although the acoustics aren’t perfect, you can appreciate how good her voice sounds.

My wife and I both had to concentrate on our roles in the Mass and ignore the sounds of children in the congregation. When my wife sang the Exultet, the members of the assembly each held a candle. At the end of the song, they extinguished the candles. When I read the creation story from the Book of Genesis, the only lights in the church were the Paschal Candle and a small reading lamp mounted on the ambo. The darkened church might be the reason the children in the crowd were more restless.

Both audio files are posted below.

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2 Responses to This Is the Night

  1. Giannine says:

    You both did fabulous jobs that night! The reason the children were restless was because between all the bodies and the flames, it became incredibly hot in the room! Shortly after you began reading, Deacon Tim quietly walked off the altar and turned on the air conditioning, then quietly returned. Air softly blew on everyone much like the breath of the Holy Spirit and the children settled down.

    Deacon Tim had to do the same thing the night before on Good Friday. The HVAC is on a programmed timer for the church, so when we have weekday evening ceremonies, it does not go on unless someone has the forethought to manually set it. I guess someone remembered on Holy Thursday, because the room temperature was not an issue that night. I wonder if the choir’s practice on Wednesday is part of the HVAC program?

  2. Carl Howard says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about Fr. Joe’s poor health. He’s been headed in that direction for some time because of the amount he eats and his failure to manage his diabetes. After watching him consume three meals at a restaurant once, I had a long talk with him about his health. Yet, it seemed to make no difference. I suppose it is in the LORD’S hands now.

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