At 8:30 Saturday evening, Pope Francis celebrated the Easter Vigil Mass in St. Peter’s basilica. The Rite began in the atrium of the basilica with the blessing of the fire and the preparation of the Paschal candle. The procession moved to the altar, led by the lit Paschal candle and the singing of the Exultet. This was followed by the Liturgy of the Word and the Baptismal Liturgy during which the Pope administered the sacraments of Christian initiation to 8 neophytes from Albania, Italy, Nigeria, Peru and the United States of America. Following the proclamation of the Easter Gospel, Pope Francis delivered this homily:
“We began this celebration outside, plunged in the darkness of the night and the cold. We felt an oppressive silence at the death of the Lord, a silence with which each of us can identify, a silence that penetrates to the depths of the heart of every disciple, who stands wordless before the cross.
These are the hours when the disciple stands speechless in pain at the death of Jesus. What words can be spoken at such a moment?