Holy Saturday is a special day which I really enjoy. Special day because we wait Jesus’s Resurrection, with heart marked by the pain rooted in the Good Friday’s celebration, at the same time full of the Risen Lord's hope.
Saturday morning we experience the first real rain. This time the rain is heavy, and lasting from 6.00am to 11.00am. The lower area of Bozoum is flooded.
In the afternoon we get ready for the Great Vigil, which starts at 6.30pm ending at 10.15pm. There are so many people, and a good number of them are waiting to be baptized. The celebration begins with the blessing of the fire, and then we enter in darkness into the church with the Easter Candle. At this very moment the explosion of the song of the Exultet, an ancient hymns that announces Jesus’s Resurrection. After the Readings, comes the great moment of baptism: more than a hundred, among children, young and adults! It is a great blessing for the Church and for the world!
Many of them show emotion, others do their best not to show tears, but for everyone and for the whole community, is a moment of joyful celebration. When they enter the church with the white dress, the whole assembly sings: "I so kwe, Nzapa a sukula i awe, i yu Christ tongana Gbya ti i awe” (you all washed in Baptism, you are coated of Christ your Lord “.
After the Mass they go home, and as they walk down to the city, you can hear the songs which resound everywhere. Little by little the city is full of joyful songs which will last throughout the night and throughout the Easter day.
The next morning we all meet for the solemn Mass at 8.30am. The baptized are all there, beautifully shining. After the Mass, they return home, followed by friends and family, and by the corals of their own sector. It is a festival of colors, sounds, and joy. Joy that continues throughout the week, week called the Easter Octave.
During this week, the baptized come to celebrate the Mass every morning at 6.00am, proud of their white dress, but even more proud of their new dignity of being Sons of God!
|Inondazione a Bozoum|
l'inondation de Bozoum, la veille de Paques
|Panorama della piazza della chiesa dopo la Messa Pasquale|
Panoramique de la place de l'église, après la Messe de Paques