We stood in the dimly lit hallway whispering bits of conversation to each other. It was early and there was an air of expectation all around us. Finally the clock ticked into place. It was time. We filed out one by one into the darkness. We walked into the church and as we moved along the wall single file I looked out into the nave. It was not completely dark, the street lamps outside provided just enough light so that I could see the empty pews. Where was everybody? I looked forward again, we were about to exit out the back of the church.
For some reason I was reminded of Space Mountain, I felt like I was about to be shot out of a tube into the darkness and I wasn’t entirely wrong. I walked through the door and found myself engulfed in black. No light was coming into this room off the street; all the windows were completely covered. But I also quickly became aware that the room was packed with people. I knew I had to make my way through the crowd to the other side of the room, the room wasn’t really all that big, but I started to feel a bit panicked that I would get lost and never find my way through the throng of people. All I could do was keep my eyes fixed on the faint white outline of Andrew’s robe. I had to fight back the urge to reach out and grab his hand. Forgetting that I needed only to cross a single room I started to wonder why we were all expected to make our own way through. Finally, after what seemed like forever I made through. A group of us formed a barrier as the first light was lit, we then moved aside to let everyone else witness the lighting of the Paschal candle, and then slowly but surely the light began to spread as everyone began to light their candles. I didn’t have a candle but I could see by the light of those around me.
I was reminded of a dream I had, where I found myself looking into the darkness but when I turned around there were rows upon rows of people in white robes lit up by the candles in their hands. They stood there, neither moving nor speaking, and I turned back to the darkness expectantly. Something was about to happen, judgment perhaps. I didn’t have a candle then either.