The Road to Easter

It is dusk—8:00 on the night before Easter. At the front doors of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Clovis, California, parishioners have gathered around a large copper tray in which a fire is crackling. As the flames produce sparks and popping sounds, Father Robert Borges, our parish administrator, blesses the fire and lights the three-foot-tall paschal candle. Our newly ordained permanent deacon, Gary Stevens, holds the candle high and begins the ancient acclamation, “Christ, our Light. Thanks be to God.”