The Holy week masses are the best masses of the year in my eyes. But, out of the three masses, my absolute favourite mass is the Easter Vigil. After all the sorrow of Jesus' death and burial, after the shock of Judas' betrayal, it is so wonderful to have the joyful knowledge that Jesus has risen.
We stood outside with the rest of the church choir, waiting for Father to start mass. The brazier burned brightly, filling the gloomy outside area with dancing light. Then Father came out with the Easter candle. As he lit it, I knew that the light of the world was rekindled.
All around us, little spots of light appeared, twinkling in the semi-dark. Christ's light was being shared with the world. In this case all the little candles were being lit.
Once we were back inside the church, Father set the candle on it's stand where we could all see it's light. Then he sang my favourite song of Easter, the Exultet. Through it he proclaimed Jesus' Resurrection.
"Rejoice!" we sang back. "Gone forever is the night!"
As mass progressed, I could feel myself filling with joy and excitement. And, as we sang the final, triumphant hymn, I knew that the long waiting period of Lent was really over. It was Easter!
We all woke with a sense of excitement in the morning. Now that it was Easter we could really enjoy ourselves. As soon as we were ready for the day, we gathered in the living room to sing our traditional Easter hymn, "By Your Kingly Power." It's Mum's favourite hymn.
Then we gave Mum and Dad our presents of Easter eggs and chocolates that we had either made or bought. In return, Mum gave us our Easter eggs and bunnies. Then it was time for the main event, the Easter egg hunt.
Zip. We closed the blinds. Bang. The front door closed. We sat together in the living room, listening for the sounds that would tell us Mum had hidden all the eggs. Finally, after what seemed like forever, she stuck her head back through the door.
"I'm done!" she called.
At once we were racing for the door, cups and shoes in our hands. The grass outside was liberally sprinkled with brightly wrapped eggs. Everyone, from Duncan, who's a uni student, to Gemma-Rose, who's 7, was outside, waiting to hunt. Who says you can get too old to hunt for eggs?
Then we were off! Brushing aside the damp grass, peering under cars, diving into flowerbeds and shrieking with excitement when we found another egg. Soon our cups were filled to overflowing. The garden was stripped bare. Well, almost. Three eggs still remained hidden. We have never found all the eggs, not once in all the years of hunting. There's still one missing right now!
Then it was back inside to eat Dad's delicious Easter dinner. After that, stomachs full, we disappeared to our various corners of the house to rest for a while. Some people even fell asleep!
Even though we had consumed the most enormous dinner, we were all ready by afternoon tea time for another Easter tradition: The Nest Cake. It's a chocolate cake made into a chocolate nest, with foil wrapped Easter eggs littering the top.
And finally, exhausted from the Holy week masses, Easter egg hunting, and eating, we collapsed in armchairs to watch a movie, all together. A perfect Easter Sunday.