Perhaps my favorite service of the church year is the Easter Vigil, usually held on Saturday night. Here's my description of our service from 2015:
For us, Easter started last night with an Easter Vigil service that was over two hours long, but wonderful. Lighting of the New Fire, procession, candles, singing, and a large number of baptisms (adult and child), confirmations, and first communions. The latter is why it was so long, but who would want fewer? I love that our church has a means of doing infant baptism by immersion (parents' choice). I also love that moment when the lights come on and we shout the first Alleluia of Easter—alleluias are banished from the service during Lent—with the whole congregation sounding bells and other happy noisemakers. (There were a few unhappy noisemakers as well, as it was a long and late night for the above-mentioned children.) I brought my tambourine, and Porter the ship's bell that Dad had given us so long ago. The latter makes quite an impressive sound.
Naturally, things were different this year. But as someone said, if the churches are empty, at least the grave is also! Our church will have our online Easter service later this morning, but I couldn't resist a private snippet of the Easter Vigil.
In a phrase taken from C. S. Lewis' Reflections on the Psalms,
"Chocolate eggs and Jesus risen!"
Except there are no chocolate eggs for us, as our Easter candy purchases were interrupted by the news that our Swiss grandchildren had been shut out from our Easter celebrations. We will, however, be eating their jelly beans.
Happy Easter, everyone!