The Easter Vigil

In accordance with ancient tradition, this night is one of vigil for the Lord (Exodus 12:24).

The Gospel of Luke (12:35ff) is a reminder to the faithful
to have their lamps burning ready,
to be like men awaiting their masterís return,
so that when he arrives
he will find them wide awake and seat them at his table.

The night vigil is arranged in four parts:

Part One: a brief service of light

Part Two: the liturgy of the word - the Church meditates on all the wonderful things God has done for his people from the beginning.

Part Three: the liturgy of baptism - as the day of resurrection approaches, new members of the Church are reborn in baptism: and all renew their baptismal promises.

Part Four: the liturgy of the Eucharist - the whole Church is called to the table which the Lord prepared for his people through his death and resurrection.

The entire celebration of the Easter Vigil takes place at night. It should not begin before nightfall: it should end before daybreak on Sunday. Even if the vigil Mass takes place before midnight, the Easter Mass of the resurrection is celebrated.

Those who participate in the Mass at night may receive communion again at the second Mass of Easter Sunday.


Also see Easter vigil (by Bread on the Waters Webpages.)

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