At the stroke of midnight, he said, "the youngest men in the community would
blow the shofar and everything just stopped and there was total silence."
Into the room walked two seminary students carrying the scroll with the
word "Alleluia" on it that was presented to the monastery's abbot. "All of us
gathered around him," said Father Lambro. "The abbot sang the 'Alleluia' for the
last time and then he rolled up the scroll and placed it in a small coffin."
Everyone was then given a lighted candle, which was used at the Easter
vigil at the lighting of the Easter fire, according to Father Lambro, who said
that "we then all processed out to the monastic graveyard where the small coffin
bearing the 'Alleluia' scroll was buried in a small grave that had been dug.
"We then extinguished our candles and walked back in the darkness to our
rooms. Lent had officially begun," he said.
At the Easter vigil,
according to Father Lambro, "as the sun was rising, the congregation went back
to the graveyard, where the coffin was exhumed. It was carried back to the
church, where the abbot took the scroll out and intoned the 'Alleluia' -
signaling the great joy that Christ had risen from the dead," he said.
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