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TORRINGTON, CONN (SZS)This year’s Easter season began with the combined Easter Vigil of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Trumbull, CT with sister congregations in Connecticut (Danbury, Stafford Springs & Torrington) as all joined together for a celebration of the The Great Vigil of the Resurrection on Holy Saturday at 7:30pm.

The Vigil Mass featured The Service of Light, and the ceremonial lighting of the new fire. This part of the service took place near the church columbarium. The fire is called “new” because, with all the lights in the sanctuary of the church having been extinguished in the preceding Holy Week observances, the fire is lighted by sparks from flint and steel. This represents to us Christ quickened to life from the stone on which His body lay and the fire of the Holy Spirit coming forth from the resurrection.

The paschal candle, which represents Christ risen in our midst, was marked with the sign of the cross and the current year as the Rev. Thomas S. Drobena spoke “Christ yesterday and today, the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega; To Him belongs all time, and all the ages; To Him belongs glory and power, now and forever.” The candle is traditionally marked with five nails embedded with grains of incense that represent the five wounds our Lord bears on His glorified body. “By His holy and glorious wounds, may Christ the Lord guard and protect us.”

From the paschal candle, the hand-held candles of the assembled congregations were lighted, followed by all the candles within the sanctuary of the church as well, to show the continued illumination of the ministry of God’s church throughout the year. The paschal candle used on this occasion was given as a gift on behalf of the congregation of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Stafford Springs to the congregation in Trumbull, CT as a sign of continued relationship and partnership in common mission and ministry. This part of the service can be viewed by all in the video attached above.

The Vigil was held in candlelight as, with the whole Church across the world, the worshippers anticipated the resurrection. During the Service of the Word, seven of the twelve traditional vigil readings were read, followed by prayer and hymn responses from those gathered. The readings speak of God’s faithfulness to God’s chosen people throughout the ages and foreshadow the saving work of Christ in redeeming humanity. The Vigil included the blessing of the baptismal waters, and culminated in a celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

Over 100 were in attendance to celebrate the beginning of this new Easter season. The Services of Light, Word and Baptism were led by the Rev. Thomas S. Drobena, pastor of Holy Trinity in Stafford Springs and the Rev. Dr. Thomas J. Drobena, pastor of Holy Trinity in Torrington. Presiding at the Eucharist was the Rev. Bishop Wilma S. Kucharek of the Slovak Zion Synod. Those assisting included: Ms. Noreen Noll, assisting minister at Holy Communion; Mr. Chris Andrade, organist; and numerous readers, musicians, ushers, and liturgical assistants from the gathered congregations,.