The Cathedral of St. Philip - Atlanta, GA

At the Easter Vigil

The sky is still deep dark
When pinpoints of people, like stars,
One by one, in quiet procession,
Precede the dawn.

White hot Vega gazes down from overhead,
And Arcturus shepherds us into a circle
Around the slight spark,
And now a fire, rising from Good Friday.

When the bonfire roars, a bright blindness
Transfixes our eyes, and flames,
Rise still higher
Until they cast a golden crown around
Every face there.

In that moment, I see no bodies
Or fine clothes, or Easter bonnets,
For they are still hidden in the darkness,
Buried with the rest of our worries
And evening pains, and Saturday graves.

I see only faces, beautiful icons
Glistening in resurrection glory,
In moist anticipation of baptism,
Just before sunrise.

It is the only time we can ever look
Directly at the sun,
When it is on the horizon,
At the edge,
Of something new. 

The Very Reverend Sam Candler

photo by Jo Reeves


Sam Candler is Dean of the Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta, Georgia.
His articles also appear on his blog, Good Faith and the Common Good.
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