The Vigil went well last night. We had 15 people, which was more than I was expecting. The lighting of the new fire mostly worked. But the first time I struck the fire steel I was blinded by the bright sparks, so I was aiming blind at the cotton ball I had soaked in lighter fluid. After a few more fruitless sparks, I asked Betsy to hold a flashlight so I could see without night vision and that did the trick: it caught on the next strike.
It turns out that a single cotton ball soaked in lighter fluid is plenty of fuel to see the altar book and the pascal candle. In fact, doing this ritual blessing of the pascal candle--scratching the cross, alpha, omega, and the numerals of the year--by flickering firelight was intense.
I thought my Exultet was pretty decent, especially once I settled into it. Funny how much more difficult these things are in actual performance vs. practice!
There are a few small modifications I would make for next year--but all in all it was well-worth doing this liturgy.