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The first major section of the annual Easter Vigil celebration may be the most memorable and engaging to the senses. It certainly includes some vivid symbols and actions which we do not encounter in the liturgy every day. Formerly called simply the “Service of Light”, in the present English translation of the third edition of the Roman Missal this introductory sequence of liturgical elements is entitled “The Solemn Beginning of the Vigil or Lucernarium”. The solemn liturgy begins – usually outdoors – with the blessing of the fire followed by the preparation and lighting of the Paschal Candle. As the candle is being carried in procession into the dark church, all those in attendance are given individual candles which have received their light from the one Paschal Candle. When the Paschal Candle is placed in its prominent candle stand in the church, the church’s lights are turned back on, the candle is incensed, and the deacon (or a priest, or a lay cantor if need be) intones one of the most evocative and poetic hymns of praise in all liturgy: the Easter Proclamation – also known as the Exsultet, named after the first word of the Latin original. The liturgy’s symbolic movement has been from darkness to light; now words and music are used to praise and thank God for what the light represents: God’s saving activity throughout human history, culminating in Christ’s defeat of death and resurrection from the dead.