Solumn Vigil of Easter
Rejoice, heavenly powers! Sing choirs of angels!
Exult, all creation around God's throne!
Jesus Christ, our King is risen!
Sound the trumpet of salvation!
Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor,
radiant in the brightness of your King!
Christ has conquered! Glory fills you!
Darkness vanishes for ever!
Rejoice, O Mother Church! Exult in glory! My dearest friends,
The risen Savior shines upon you!
Let this place resound with joy,
echoing the mighty song of all God's people!
standing with me in this holy light,
join me in asking God for mercy,
that he may give his unworthy minister
grace to sing his Easter praises.
- The Lord be with you
- And also with you.
- Lift up your hearts.
- We lift them up to the Lord.
- Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
- It is right to give him thanks and praise.
It is truly right that with full hearts and minds and voices
we should praise the unseen God, the all-powerful Father,
and his only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
For Christ has ransomed us with his blood,
and paid for us the price of Adam's sin to our eternal Father!
This is our passover feast,
When Christ, the true Lamb, is slain,
whose blood consecrates the homes of all believers.
This is the night,
when first you saved our fathers:
you freed the people of Israel from their slav'ry,
and led them dry-shod through the sea.
This is the night,
when the pillar of fire destroyed the darkness of sin.
This is night,
when Christians ev'rywhere,
washed clean of sin and freed from all defilement,
are restored to grace and grow together in holiness.
This is the night,
when Jesus broke the chains of death
and rose triumphant from the grave.
What good would life have been to us,
had Christ not come as our Redeemer?
Father, how wonderful your care for us!
How boundless your merciful love!
To ransom a slave you gave away your Son.
O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam,
which gained for us so great a Redeemer!
Most blessed of all nights,
chosen by God to see Christ rising from the dead!
Of this night scripture says:
"The night will be as clear as day:
it will become my light, my joy."
The power of this holy night dispels all evil,
washes guilt away, restores lost innocence,
brings mourners joy;
it casts out hatred, brings us peace,
and humbles earthly pride.
Night truly blessed,
when heaven is wedded to earth
and we are reconciled to God!
Therefore, heavenly Father, in the joy of this night,
receive our evening sacrifice of praise,
your Church's solemn offering.
Accept this Easter candle,
a flame divided but undimmed,
a pillar of fire that glows to the honor of God.
Let it mingle with the lights of heaven
and continue bravely burning
to dispel the darkness of this night!
May the Morning Star which never sets
find this flame still burning:
Christ, that Morning Star,
who came back from the dead,
and shed his peaceful light on all mankind,
your Son, who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.
Tonight is the Vigil of the Resurrection. It is tonight when the Church begins to celebrate the rising of Jesus Christ from the dead and declares eternal victory over the Grave-it is the Passover of the Lord, a passing over from death to life.
I always think at this time of the new Christians who will be baptized this evening. I always pray that they will remain true to the faith that they have been taught, that they will do as St. Jude said and "earnestly contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints." There will be many who do not do this, who will be half-hearted or lukewarm. If only one person of the bunch remains true, that is one more who will stand with the great Remnant for all that is right in the Last Days.
In ages past, some people died to do what the newly-baptized will do tonight, have they counted the cost of their redemption. I earnestly hope and pray that someone frequently reminds them.
With many regrets
After some very careful consideration, and a long discussion with Nicole, I have made the terribly difficult decision to request to the election commission that my name be withdrawn as a write-in candidate for the District 2A County Commission seat in the May 2nd Primary. Nicole will be the first to tell you that when I made this decision I had a good cry over it. I am not by inclination a quitter, but I decided to end my participation in this election because I believe very strongly that a good County Commissioner, indeed a good public servant, must be willing to give all of himself to the interests of his constituents during his time in office.
After discussing at length our present family situation with my wife it has occurred to me that between the two of us, at least one of our hearts will be elsewhere in the next four years. In addition to this, I have serious reservations about continuing to run for office at this time, when I do not yet own any property. I’m known to be pretty old fashioned and I happen to believe that property owners should hold the biggest stake in our political system because they have more at stake. I have always believed this. My wife and I agree that sometime in the next four years, which would be my term in office, we’d like to buy a home and use that home as a place from which to begin our own business operation. I do not believe we can do this comfortably within the confines of the 2nd district. That’s not to say that I would not have been willing to serve a full four-year term on the Knox County Commission representing the interests of my constituents in the 2nd district. I do not believe that I could do it effectively when the interests of my family may lie elsewhere. This would be a disservice to the people of the 2nd district and to the people of Knox County who only deserve the very best representatives that they can possibly have.
I am not exiting the race because I lack the will or ability to campaign. On the contrary, my belly is full of fire and my spirit is very willing. However, I believe very strongly that it would be selfish of me to continue to campaign for this seat, knowing that someone else may better be able to put their whole heart into serving the people of this district at this time. I am not leaving the race because of lack of money. Campaigning over the last week has shown me that I had a legitimate chance to win the primary. I believe that had I continued to campaign at my current pace, that I would have done so.I believe however, that the best interests of Knox County and our great party are best served by defeating Mark Harmon in August in a massive landslide. I want our district Republican convention to nominate a good conservative man or woman who can accomplish this great task. I will stand firmly behind that person.
One of the reasons my heart aches at having made this decision is the overwhelming show of support I have received from certain public officials, other candidates, and members of the community. I was gratified in my heart that so many people were so supportive of our efforts to be elected to the County Commission. I sincerely pray that these persons aren’t too angry over my sudden decision to withdraw. They can take confidence that this decision was not made lightly and was not my first choice, but was the best one. I especially want to thank State Representative Stacey Campfield for his overwhelming expression of love and support for me personally and for my candidacy. I also want to thank David Lee for his generous offer of assistance as well as Jim Cortese for his personal and professional support. I owe a debt of gratitude to every one of these men and many more who have expressed their support for what we believe and are trying to accomplish in the Republican Party.
Finally, I want to say thank you to the people of the 2nd district. I have met many of you over the last week. You’ve been exceedingly kind to me. I believe you deserve the very best representative that can be elected for you and that is why I believe that now is not the time for me to continue in the race. I can promise everyone this: this will not be the last you hear from me, nor will it be my only attempt at public office. I will run for office again, that much I can promise you. I owe it to the people however, to do that in the right place and at the right time. Thank you all so much for your support. You are in my personal prayers. God bless Knox County, God bless the State of Tennessee, and God bless America.