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Guest MINDSETTER™ Morse: 1 Great Thing to do This Weekend - Attend Easter Vigil Mass

Sunday, March 27, 2016

 

If you decide to attend this year's Easter Vigil Mass at a Roman Catholic church, what should you expect to experience?  At a minimum, you can expect a brief review of the history of the universe. 

The vigil Mass begins in darkness.  The church remains in darkness while scriptures composed prior to Christ's entry into history, scriptures from the Old Testament, are read starting with the creation account from the Book of Genesis.  Then, at the point where the readings move from the Old Testament into the New, the lights come on, reminding us that what began with the words “Let there be light” is not complete until the light of the world enters directly into history, in the form of Jesus Christ. 

Be careful however not let the linearity of the symbolism deceive you;  the entry of Christ into history is no ordinary event,  depending solely on what comes before or impacting only what comes after.  In the words of Catholic monk Thomas Merton, "the Mystery of Christ is the heart of all history and extends backwards and forwards to embrace all of time".  God deposits the great gift of Himself into the middle of history, and also removes the intervals of time between Christ’s life on earth and other events of His choosing, allowing humans across the millennia to share all at once in the Divine presence.     

Now, when introduced as an element of Catholic theology, some people will find the idea of a power entering the universe from outside and bending the rules of time to be too fanciful to merit a second thought.  But suppose a similar idea was presented in a different form, perhaps as a "new" idea behind a bestselling novel or a blockbuster movie?  In that context, might not a fair number of people you know (and perhaps even yourself) find the concept of human beings connected by a force that actively reaches around the flow of time to bring them together to be at least intriguing, maybe even cool, and perhaps worth exploring further?

Of course no one novel or movie, nor any single medium, would be enough to fully explore what it means to move around and beyond time.  Which brings us back to the Easter Mass at your local Catholic church. 

The Easter Mass -- indeed every Catholic Mass -- is the nearby entrance to the connection across time that has been opened directly by God.  The Mass does not merely provide an opportunity to think about the stuff flowing into the universe from an infinitely larger eternity beyond, but provides an opportunity to receive that outpouring directly. (That “stuff”, by the way, is what we Christians call love).   And whether you have been conscientiously accepting His gifts for years, or are becoming aware of His power just now, you can be confident that God has invited you to join with others in the celebration He instituted to erase the gulfs of time -- as well as every other gulf that divides the human race. 

Andrew Morse is member of St. Paul's Parish in Cranston, RI and a graduate of St. John's High School in Shrewsbury, MA.    
 

 

Related Slideshow: 10 Great Things to do in RI This Weekend - March 25

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March 25

To Kill a Mockingbird at Trinity Rep

One of the greatest books of  all time is now a stage show and it's coming to Providence.

Scout is a six-year-old white girl growing up during the Depression in Alabama. When her father, Atticus, is appointed to defend a black man accused of raping a white woman, Scout embarks on an evolutionary journey revealing the vast differences between people.

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March 25

Bring Your Own Improv Family Friendly Comedy Show 

Bring Your Own Improv is in it's 9th season. The show is an interactive show that is fun for the entire family and encourages audience participation. 

The show goes from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for seniors, military & Children 12 and under. 

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March 25

Friday Night Beer Tasting at Bottles 

Kick off your weekend by drinking some beer during Bottles FREE Friday night beer tasting event. 

The tasting begins at 3:30 p.m. and runs till 7:30 p.m. 

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March 26

Robert Black - Elvis Tribute 

"You ain't nothin but a hound dog, crying all the time.. " 

You won't be crying when yo see this tribute to Elvis by Robert Black at Newport Grand Events Center. 

The doors open at 8 p.m.  and the show begins at 9 p.m. 

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March 26

Easter Bunny at Roger Williams Park Carousel 

Get into the Easter spirit by visiting the Easter Bunny at Roger Williams Park. The Easter Bunny will be there from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

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March 26

Audubon Easter Egg Hunt 

The Audubon Society of RI will host an Egg hunt for kids ages 3 to 10 who will search for eggs and receive prizes with the grand prize going to those who find the golden egg. 

The event starts at 10 a.m. and participants are asked to bring their own basket. 

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March 26

Harlem Globetrotters at the Dunkin' Donuts Center

Check out the Harlem Globetrotters in thier last game in Providence, at least for this tour. 

The event starts at 2 p.m.

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March 26

Newport Seal Tour

Go for a one or two hour tour through Newport Harbor and view 360 seals on Citing Rock off of Rose Island and the Newport Bridge.

A one-hour tour costs $22 for non members while a two hour tour costs $42 for non members.  

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Photo courtesy of SaveTheBay

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March 27

Easter Brunch or Dinner at Eleven Forty Nine

Enjoy your Easter by having brunch at Eleven Forty Nine in Warwick. 

Brunch goes from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. while the dinner buffet goes from 4:45 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

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March 27

Easter Brunch buffet at McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant 

Celebrate Easter with McCormick & Schmick's  from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. 

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