This year’s Easter Vigil was a real logistical ordeal for presiders. Anyone baptising new Christians or receiving anyone into full communion will have experienced this.

We already know how confusing the current Roman Missal (3rd edition) is when it comes to what happens at the Baptismal Liturgy of the Vigil, depending on baptisms/no baptisms/no font…. Not only are the options unclear to many clergy, the page layout of the Missal itself is such as to make the whole exercise fraught with frustration, uncertainty and confusion.

Add to that the fact that presiders have to go back and forth from the Missal to the RCIA ritual (Jerry Galipeau has waxed lyrical about this on his blog) and you have a recipe for potential disaster.

This year, it was worse. Much worse. Presiders were faced with having to juggle with no less than three books. If you baptise, you also confirm, and of course we now have a revised Rite of Confirmation with different texts from those used previously. So: Missal, RCIA, Rite of Confirmation……

The ideal answer, of course, is to put everything in place in sequence in a beautiful binder; but many presiders didn’t realise what they would be facing until it was too late. At the Vigil that I was part of, the presider stopped dead in the middle and nothing happened for about 20 seconds. Then he said, with a smile in his voice: “I am hoping that the red book is going to magically appear….”, leading to altar servers scurrying off to find the Rite of Confirmation for him (it had fallen down behind a chair).

How was it for you? Smooth and well-oiled (excuse the pun!), or a juggling act?

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