At the Mass of the Easter Vigil on 19 April Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, called for Christians to rejoice in Christ’s resurrection and to take His message to the world:
'I bring you a message of great joy. Christ is risen, alleluia!'
‘Today we rejoice at this affirmation of our deepest hopes and longings. Indeed in Christ they are surpassed! And as we rejoice, we take hold again of our calling, the mission that we receive this night: that of bringing to others the same invitation to faith that we ourselves have received. As we celebrate our Easter joy, please look for the ways in which you too can be its messengers.’
On this night of celebration Cardinal Vincent also reflected on the suffering, conflict and exclusion that people face around the world:
‘On this night of such promise, we keep in mind all who feel excluded from the fruit of the earth: the homeless and the poor, those in our midst who are destitute and the vast numbers of hungry in our world today.’
‘As we rightly rejoice, we rightly hold in our hearts all who are burdened with sadness: the Korean families in who lament the loss of the children, drowned in an upturned ship; the people of Syria, their children in Damascus hit by shells as they played last Monday morning in their school yard; the persecuted people in the Sudan and all who do not know peace. May our prayers and the promise of this heavenly banquet, which is never withdrawn, sustain them in their hours of need.’
The Easter Vigil service began with the Cardinal entering the darkened Cathedral with the light of the Paschal candle, whose flame was shared with everyone in the Cathedral to spread light across the church, symbolising the light Christ brings in by his resurrection after the darkness of the crucifixion. After his homily the Cardinal also baptised and confirmed adults of the Cathedral parish becoming Catholics. Across the Diocese of Westminster 712 people were received at Easter services into full communion with the Catholic Church.
A full copy of the Cardinal's homily is available here.