The Great Vigil of Easter

“Dear friends in Christ: On this most holy night, in which our Lord Jesus passed over from death to life, the Church invites her members, dispersed throughout the world, to gather in vigil and prayer. For this is the Passover of the Lord, in which, by hearing his Word and celebrating his Sacraments, we share in his victory over death.”

These words begin the richest celebration of the Christian year, the Great Vigil of Easter. In the darkness outside, we light the Pascal candle, the light of Christ, consuming itself to give light to a world in darkness. As the service moves into the darkened church, the light of Christ is spread to each child of God until the church is bathed in the lights that we all bear. By the light of Christ, we hear, in speech and music, from Moses, the Psalmist and the Prophets, the story of God’s enduring love for God’s people. At last, in a burst of light and sound, the tomb is opened, Jesus lives, and we greet his resurrection with the first ALLELUIA! of Easter.

“How holy is this night, when earth and heaven are joined and man is reconciled to God,”

“Rejoice and be glad now, Mother Church, and let your courts, in radiant light, resound with the praises of your people.”

The Great Vigil will begin at 8 pm on March 30 in the churchyard. In the name of the Church, I invite you all to gather in vigil and prayer.


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