A friend and I spent two sane but early hours at the vigil this morning. We lit the candle and prayed morning prayer and the rosary, a litany and a few other prayers. The rosary was particularly beautiful this morning – we prayed the joyful mysteries for Saturday.
Those early mornings are among the quietest times at the vigil, especially on a weekend. There’s no rush-hour traffic, and many of the characters who might be around at night were probably up late the night before and are sleeping in. No employees showed up for work this morning, a happy thing. (Here’s looking to the day no one shows up for work there at all, and all the employees have other, nobler work.)
As for sidewalk traffic, we had maybe half a dozen people go by, and only one said much more than good morning. He said he wanted money for food, but I didn’t have any money on me, and forgot there were sandwiches in the bag. I felt kind of bad about that.
There’s something gladdening about being up before the dawn, up before most of the world is awake, watching things come alive, even as you stand in front of a place of death. Last year, I did a four-hour stretch like that once, starting very early one brisk morning, and I hope to do that at least once this year too.
So far, what I have experienced of the vigil this year has been very peaceful. We’re not such a great surprise to people down there. The Lord has already been at work.
Often in our 40 Days discussions we talk about the eventful stuff where you directly encounter someone or suffer something. But there are these quiet times too. They have much to recommend them.