Valdosta Daily Times

Top News

March 31, 2013

Pope presides over trimmed Easter Vigil service

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis celebrated a trimmed back Easter Vigil service Saturday after having reached out to Muslims and women during a Holy Week in which he began to put his mark on the Catholic Church.

Francis processed into a darkened and silent St. Peter’s Basilica at the start of the service, in which the faithful recall the period between Christ’s crucifixion on Good Friday and resurrection on Easter Sunday.

One of the most dramatic moments of the Easter Vigil service that usually follows — when the pope would share the light of his candle with others until the entire basilica twinkled — was shortened this year as were some of the Old Testament readings.

The Vatican has said these provisions were in keeping with Francis’ aim to not have his Masses go on too long. The Easter Vigil service under Benedict XVI frequently would typically run nearly three hours. The new pope has made clear he prefers his Masses short and to the point: he was even caught checking his watch during his March 19 installation ceremony.

A trimmed-back vigil — and one that started earlier than usual — was just one of the novelties of this Holy Week under an Argentine Jesuit pope who just two weeks ago stunned the world by emerging from the loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica after his election with a simple “Brothers and sisters, good evening.”

He riled traditionalists but endeared himself to women and liberals by washing and kissing the feet of two young girls during a Holy Thursday Mass at a juvenile detention center in Rome, when the rite usually calls for only men to participate. A day later, Francis reached out with friendship to “Muslim brothers and sisters” during a Good Friday procession dedicated to the suffering of Christians from terrorism, war and religious fanaticism in the Middle East.

In his homily Saturday, Francis kept his message simple and tied to the liturgical readings, recalling how Jesus’ disciples found his tomb empty a day after his death and were surprised and confused.

“Our daily problems and worries can wrap us up in ourselves, in sadness and bitterness, and that is where death is,” he said. “Let the risen Jesus enter your life, welcome him as a friend, with trust: he is life!”

He later baptized four men, part of the Easter Vigil ritual.

Just a few hours after the vigil ends, Francis on Sunday will celebrate Easter Mass and deliver his “Urbi et Orbi” speech, Latin for “To the city and the world.” Usually the pope also issues Easter greetings in dozens of languages.

In his two weeks as pope, Francis’ discomfort with speaking in any language other than Italian has become apparent. He has even shied away from speaking Spanish when the occasion would call for it, though the Vatican has said he has done so to avoid discriminating against other languages by favoring his native tongue.

Italian is the lingua franca of the Vatican and Francis has emphasized his role as bishop of Rome over that of pope of the universal church, making his use of Italian logical.

It’s not clear how Francis will handle the multilingual greetings Sunday.

Typically, after the busy Easter week ceremonies, the pope would go to the papal retreat at Castel Gandolfo for a few days of vacation. Francis can’t do that since the previous pope, Benedict XVI, is currently living there in retirement.

The Vatican has said Francis would stay put in the Vatican.

1
Text Only
Top News
  • Kingston’s loss means less clout for Ga.

    For two decades, Rep. Jack Kingston was a congressman who routinely crushed his opponents on election night — winning a new term every other year with vote totals between 63 and 77 percent.

    July 28, 2014

  • IMG_3745.jpeg Gas leak on West Adair

    A gas leak has occured on West Adair Street, between Tombs and Oak Street. The leak began just after 11 a.m.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • salmonella 2 copy.jpg Trial nears for suspects in salmonella case

    Three people accused of scheming to manufacture and ship salmonella-tainted peanuts that killed nine people, sickened more than 700 and prompted one of the largest food recalls in history are set to go to trial this week in south Georgia.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • AP4507280123 copy.jpg Today in History for Monday, July 28, 2014
    Today is Monday, July 28, the 209th day of 2014. There are 156 days left in the year. 
     

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Commercial driver training program expanding

    Department of Driver Services (DDS) Commissioner Rob Mikell announced recently an expansion of the commercial driver training program administered by the Agency’s Regulatory Compliance Division. DDS will now offer a Commercial Driver License (CDL) Instructor Training Class for customers who have applied to be CDL instructors. The session will provide additional guidance as the applicants prepare for the final exam.

    July 28, 2014

  • Tentative deal reached on VA reform

    The chairmen of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees have reached a tentative agreement on a plan to fix a veterans’ health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records covering up delays.

    July 27, 2014

  • Heat advisory for much of South Georgia

    A heat advisory is in place for much of South Georgia until 7 p.m.

    July 27, 2014

  • 2 injured in western Georgia small plane crash

    Fire officials say two people were hospitalized after small plane crash in western Georgia. 

     

    July 27, 2014

  • Nuclear Construction_Rich(1) copy.jpg Promises of easier nuclear construction fall short

    The U.S. nuclear industry has started building its first new plants in decades using prefabricated Lego-like blocks meant to save time and money and revive the once promising energy source.
    So far, it’s not working.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Deadline nears for alligator hunt

    Gator hunting is no longer reserved for University of Georgia sports fans, but hunters must file applications by the end of July.

    July 27, 2014

Top News
Poll

Do you agree with the millage rate increases?

Yes. We need to maintain services
No. Services should have been cut.
     View Results