The Silence Before…

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Silence is the language of God. All else is poor translation.

For all of the deep, profound beauty that is the Great Vigil of Easter, the most moving elements for me are the moments of silence.  Two in particular. After we’ve lit the New Fire and processed in with the Paschal Candle, when we are in place in the Church, waiting, we hear the language of God in that pregnant silence.

We stand, waiting.

In the silence.

Wait for it. Gaze at the flame of your candle. Check the service bulletin. Check to make sure your phone is on silent.

But wait for it. Immerse yourself in this moment of silence. Because when the words begin, the world will change.

And then…Rejoice now, heavenly hosts and choirs of angels!

The song of the Exsultet enters creation, announcing the miracle of God’s redemption. How wonderful and beyond our knowing, O God, is your mercy and loving kindness to us, that to redeem a slave, you gave a Son.

And the most powerful silence, the one in the moments before the great announcement of Easter. I hope every priest and bishop honors that silence, stands in the awe of the language of God and holds that moment before – before announcing to the world: Alleluia! Christ is Risen!

Wait for it. Immerse yourself in this moment of silence. Because when the words begin, the world will change. Forever.

God sits in this silence, the silence before something wholly new and unexpected is birthed into Creation and everything – everything – changes!

That moment of the profound silence of nothingness that existed before God spoke the words that called all creation into being.

That moment of profound silence, that deathly silence even, that penetrated the tomb before suddenly the rush of the Breath of God came into the being of Jesus.

That moment of profound silence when all Creation, including humanity, waits with the ancient knowledge that what happens next will change the world, forever. The silence of death no longer has the final word. Even at the grave, the silence sings, “Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!”

God has spoken in the silence.

Love has won.

Amen! Alleluia!


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