The Church Of St Dunstan

(EPISCOPAL)
Mission Statement - Growing in Christ, Reflecting His Love
800 N Johnson, Mineola Texas 75773
Email: dunstan5@att.net
Telephone: 903-569-2478

The queen of all the liturgies of the church is the Great Vigil and first Eucharist of Easter.  We gather in the tomb-like darkness of Holy Saturday night and, suddenly, a great flame is struck among us.  This flame is the new fire of Christ in-breaking among us in the midst of the tomb.  The Pashcal Candle is lighted from the fire and the celebrant processes throughout the Nave (the part of the church were the pews are-from the Latin word for ship or navy), symbolizing the pillar of fire by which God led the Hebrews out of Egypt toward the promised land.  The celebrant pauses three times to chant, The Light of Christ:  and three times the people respond, Thanks be to God.  The people light individual candles from the Pashal Candle and the light spreads in the darkness among the congregation as we chant and read the Old Testament stories of God's deliverand from death and slavery.  Then, with the first reading from the  resurrection narratives all the lights come on and we sing alleluias for the first time since Epiphany season, and we find the church beautifully decorated for Easter with the vestments of white and flowers everywhere.  We then joyfully celebrate together the first Eucharist of  Easter tide.  Easter tide begins with that first Alleluia at the Great Vigil, continues through the festive Eucharists of the Day of Resurrection, and ends 50 days later on the Day of Pentecost.  During this season, the liturgical color is white and liturgies are uplifting and joyful.  The General Confession is not used during the first weeks.  God has turned us full circle:  from the ash heap of our lives of Ash Wednesday He has brough us into fullnes of life and joy.  God does, indeed, have the final word.  The Paschal Candle burns in the church near the font throughout this season and at all baptisms and funerals.  We also use if for weddings to symbolize the presence of Christ and the possiblity of resurrected living in a marriage relationship.