With a four-hour-long liturgy, parishioners at St. Clare Church in Rosedale celebrated the most important night of the Catholic calendar. It was a solemn – and then joyful – full-length rendition of the Vigil liturgy. Father Andrew Struzzieri, pastor of St. Clare’s, was the main celebrant and homilist.
St. Clare’s community, in Rosedale, Queens, has rich mix of people of Caribbean, West Indian, Nigerian roots. The richness of those cultural and religious traditions was evident in the liturgy and the music they used to express their faith and the joy of the Resurrection.
The Exsultet, or Easter Proclamation, was sang by Father Anthony F. Rosado, parochial vicar at St. Clare’s, while Deacon Richard Hurst sang the Gospel in memorable fashion.
The whole community participated in a joyful rendition of the Alleluia, which included singing and dancing, as well as a procession of women waiving banners of different colors, all with the same message: Alleluia.
An adult, a teenager and a baby were baptized, while three teenagers and adult received their First Communion and Confirmation.
There is a banner above the main entrance of St. Clare’s that reads, “Come and encounter the living Christ with us.” The devotion and the joy they showed during the Easter Vigil are a living proof of their motto.
Photos © Jorge I. Domínguez-López