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Seminarians celebrate a unique Easter Vigil at Oscott

Four seminarians from East Anglia were privileged to experience a memorable Easter Vigil at Oscott College this year. Bienn Carlo Manuntag reports.

Christ is risen indeed! This year we had a particularly beautiful and memorable celebration of Our Lord’s death and Resurrection, not in the Cathedral church of Birmingham with the Archbishop, as is customary at Oscott, but in the College itself – for the first time in 50 years. 

The Liturgies of Holy Week and the Sacred Paschal Triduum which commemorate the salvific events of Christ’s Passion and Death were celebrated in a very prayerful and transcendent way, in the intimacy of our college chapel, with only the resident staff and seminarians present.

Holy week is not only a time to meditate on the salvation won for us by Christ, but also a great opportunity to pray unceasingly for ourselves, for the people that are very dear to us and for all the people around us. It was a great blessing also to have the experience of working together to prepare the Liturgies of these holiest of days (which is invaluable training for parish ministry). None of us forgot how blessed we were to be able to be present in church each day, knowing that so many in the diocese, and indeed across the world, could not attend as usual, given the restrictions in place.

In the midst of so much anxiety, so much concern over the future and how we will rebuild and recover after the challenges of living through a pandemic, we had the privilege to experience something of the hope, the joy and new life which Easter both commemorates and makes present each year in the world. In short, we knew that Christ is risen indeed!

Peter Ho, Anthony Reilly, and Benjamin Barnett are in their first year, while I am on my fourth year. Please pray for all of us who are studying in Oscott and for an increase of vocations in our diocese. 

Pictured above are Peter Ho, Anthony Reilly, Bienn Carlo Manuntag and Benjamin Barnett