In the crown which is the Church's liturgical rites, tonight and tomorrow are the shiniest jewels in it. Only rivaled by Christmas and Corpus Christi processions in its pageantry and splendor, this weekend is the apex of how the source and summit of our Faith is majestically presented. This is especially true of the Easter Vigil, with the added emphasis of initiating new members into the Mystical Body of Christ.
Truly, "this is the night". Like Christmas, we acknowledge and welcome our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in all His Divinity and Humanity coming into the world . However, He is "veiled in flesh" in a different way and comes forth from a different place. The "glory" in which He manifests Himself, partially revealed at the Transfiguration, is now on full display in the Resurrection. And while the eternal interjected itself in the temporal at the Nativity, it has now "overcome the world" on this third day.
Such an event should be a cause for the greatest celebration we can execute. And the tone is set when the great hymn of praise, the Exsultet, is proclaimed after the lighting and presentation of the Paschal Candle. We are exhorted to exult, be glad, and rejoice as we recall the events of salvation history, not only in this hymn, but the entirety of this Mass.
"This is the night." Listen carefully when you hear this phrase, repeated time and again throughout its proclamation. Marvel in awe and wonder of what Jesus Christ has done for us.
Haec igitur nox est.