It's Easter Sunday in most of the Western world, so I thought I'd share with you one of my favorite memories from my days as an active pastor.
The "Exsultet" is an ancient chant of rejoicing and praise for the resurrection of Christ. "The regularity of the metrical cursus of the Exsultet would lead us to place the date of its composition perhaps as early as the fifth century, and not later than the seventh. The earliest manuscript in which it appears are those of the three Gallican Sacramentaries: -- the Bobbio Missal (seventh century), the Missale Gothicum and the Missale Gallicanum Vetus (both of the eighth century)."
I used to chant the Exsultet each year, during the midnight service known as the Easter Vigil. It wasn't easy, because I don't have the world's greatest singing voice, but it was expected and required, so I coped.
Ah, yes . . . many memories, and deep spiritual meaning. When chanting it, I couldn't help feeling a link in my mind to the untold millions of other priests, deacons and others who'd done so before me over the years. Hearing it today renews that link, somehow, even though my days of chanting it are long past.