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The Easter Vigil at St Richard's brought our three congregations together, giving a warmhearted welcome to the candidates, including former members of the Anglican church, who had made the decision to continue their faith journey within the newly established Ordinariate of Our Lady Of Walsingham.
Father Kieron was accompanied by Fr John Healy and Fr Richard Blythen. Fr Kieron's homily set the keynote theme:
".. For the Church, Easter is always springtime; it is always about light, New life and hope and it is a new beginning for us all and not just for those who will be received into the Church and confirmed."
The 'Service of Light' was begun with everyone around the new fire, under the trees.
The Pascal Candle was lit and taken in procession into the darkened Church.
"Lumen Christi" was intoned three times, and the congregation held lit candles during the singing of the Exsultet by Fr Kieron.
Traditional readings were accompanied by Psalms, rendered by the choir led by Neil Sands.
Fr Kieron's homily continued on the same theme
.. "Tonight, we are invited to be part of the 'Easter people' and Alleluia is our song and we look forward to redemption. This Easter can make a difference; it will, I hope, make a huge difference for those who are being welcomed and confirmed in the Catholic faith for the first time, but it should also be affirmation and confirmation of the Easter faith that we have all received. The faith that sometimes needs a bit of a spring clean!"
The candidates joined with everyone else to bless themselves with water in the font, before lining up to repeat their baptismal vows, and be welcomed, one by one.
Then the holy oil of catachumens was brought out, blessed on Wednesday at Arundel Cathedral and taken to St Richard's on Holy Thursday evening. The Candidates were confirmed, led by Ronald, Simone, Barbara, Sandy, Anna, Alison and Margaret.
This historic ceremony is now recorded in our Parish archives.
Then followed the first Holy Communion for our new parishioners, before the formalities were lifted for welcoming applause ..
There were thanks for those who had helped make the Triduum Ceremonies outstanding in their quality and fervour.
Ronald Robinson, who was an Anglican priest, will be ordained as deacon at Arundel on 4th May, and will be ordained priest on June 17th.
A final thought comes from Fr Kieron's homily:
"In our service to each other, in the Church and beyond; in our willingness to share the Cross uncomplaining, in the knowledge that it is leading us somewhere else; and in the light of our Easter joy which can shine into even the darkest crevices of our lives. This little springtime in the Church should stay with us all year."