Our parish's Easter Vigil was gorgeous, and what made it for me was watching the two littlest weeds really enter into it. They loved the blessing of the fire, the mysterious procession in darkness, the gradual spread of light from candle to candle.

When the Old Testament readings ended and the Church lights finally went on, the bells rang and a truly glorious Gloria was sung, their faces lit up.
Eldest Weed, who served the Mass, was so enchanted by the music that he's talking about attending two masses this morning (he serves one) just to hear the Hallelujah Chorus rumored to be on offering at the earlier Mass. And this from a young man who's terribly allergic to Easter lilies, so he starts suffering about half-way through. When the wee ones are engaged and you inspire cynical teens to come to more masses, I'd say your liturgy is successful.

Il Papa is wonderful in his homily for the occasion. I can't help but laugh at it, though. There was a minor kerfuffle in Catholic blog-land last week over the coincidence of Good Friday and Earth Day and one commentator's suggestion that you should immediately quit any parish where a pastor mentioned the latter. Lots of gnashing of teeth over whether that was the right reaction, but everyone agreed we shouldn't be thinking about the earth at that moment. It's therefore hilarious that the Pope preached about creation after everyone agreed it shouldn't be done! Not that I think he was in any way aware of the argument: he is just a freer mind than most --and what he says about creation transcends the small and sterile concept people were arguing about.

Here's the opening of his commentary on the first reading.
the creation story is itself a prophecy. It is not information about the external processes by which the cosmos and man himself came into being. The Fathers of the Church were well aware of this. They did not interpret the story as an account of the process of the origins of things, but rather as a pointer towards the essential, towards the true beginning and end of our being. 
It took modern, "scientific," man to think the account was intended literally, and that is to utterly miss the point.
Now, one might ask: is it really important to speak also of creation during the Easter Vigil? Could we not begin with the events in which God calls man, forms a people for himself and creates his history with men upon the earth? The answer has to be: no. To omit the creation would be to misunderstand the very history of God with men, to diminish it, to lose sight of its true order of greatness. The sweep of history established by God reaches back to the origins, back to creation. Our profession of faith begins with the words: “We believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth”. If we omit the beginning of the Credo, the whole history of salvation becomes too limited and too small. The Church is not some kind of association that concerns itself with man’s religious needs but is limited to that objective. No, she brings man into contact with God and thus with the source of all things. Therefore we relate to God as Creator, and so we have a responsibility for creation. Our responsibility extends as far as creation because it comes from the Creator. Only because God created everything can he give us life and direct our lives. Life in the Church’s faith involves more than a set of feelings and sentiments and perhaps moral obligations. It embraces man in his entirety, from his origins to his eternal destiny. Only because creation belongs to God can we place ourselves completely in his hands. And only because he is the Creator can he give us life for ever. Joy over creation, thanksgiving for creation and responsibility for it all belong together.
The account in John's prologue is more succinct, and it shows us that the world is governed by Reason, not chaos. This is the heart of the debate over evolution. It's not about processes, about which the Church has nothing to say: let Science draw its own conclusions. It's about whether or not we are free:
“In the beginning was the Word”. In effect, the creation account that we listened to earlier is characterized by the regularly recurring phrase: “And God said ...” The world is a product of the Word, of the Logos, as Saint John expresses it, using a key term from the Greek language. “Logos” means “reason”, “sense”, “word”. It is not reason pure and simple, but creative Reason, that speaks and communicates itself. It is Reason that both is and creates sense. The creation account tells us, then, that the world is a product of creative Reason. Hence it tells us that, far from there being an absence of reason and freedom at the origin of all things, the source of everything is creative Reason, love, and freedom. Here we are faced with the ultimate alternative that is at stake in the dispute between faith and unbelief: are irrationality, lack of freedom and pure chance the origin of everything, or are reason, freedom and love at the origin of being? Does the primacy belong to unreason or to reason? This is what everything hinges upon in the final analysis. As believers we answer, with the creation account and with Saint John, that in the beginning is reason. In the beginning is freedom. Hence it is good to be a human person.
There's the problem of sin, and therefore of destruction and death...and this is the glory of Christ. That there has been a restoration, and so we can say again with the Scriptures:
We celebrate the first day [the new Sabbath] because we know that the black line drawn across creation does not last for ever. We celebrate it because we know that those words from the end of the creation account have now been definitively fulfilled: “God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Gen 1:31). Amen.
Happy Easter!