The world has been thrown into gloom and darkness by COVID-19, and it is easy to despair. Christians, especially, are coming to terms with the reality that the most important religious day of the Christian year – Easter – will be celebrated by clergy in empty churches. In preparing for Easter in the light of COVID-19, I have been reflecting on the text of the Exultet, which seems to be particularly prophetic this year. I have prepared a brief piece on its history and performance here.
It is easy for us as Christian to lose sight of the Easter message, but now more than any other time it is important that we take heart in the power of Christ’s death and resurrection. The Exultet makes this clear:
“Be glad, let earth be glad as glory floods her, ablaze with light from her eternal King, let all corners of the earth be glad, knowing an end to gloom and darkness.”
In these are dark and gloomy times, it is important that we remember the light and power of Christ. Christ’s death and resurrection HAVE in fact defeated death. This gloom and darkness WILL give way to joy and peace.
Most of us will not be able to attend the Easter Vigil I.R.L. (In Real Life) this year, but hopefully we will still have the chance to hear the Exultet virtually. In our Easter meditation and prayer, the Exultet and the other texts of Easter should serve as a hopeful reminder of the already-but-not-yet reality of the joyous and peaceful kingdom Christ’s Resurrection has established.