Everyone from one-year-olds to ninety-nine-year-olds knows the mysterious and magical feeling of Christmas Eve. The church assembles in the dark of night, and candles cast their soft glow, illuminating the service. The familiar story of Jesus’ birth is read from Luke’s Gospel, and we sing beloved carols of thanksgiving to God for the wondrous gift. The air is filled with excitement and anticipation, as we feel that this night is different from other nights.
The Easter Vigil is similar to Christmas Eve but it is also very different. On Christmas Eve, we gather in the dark of night and begin the festivities for remembering the birth of Jesus. On Easter Vigil, we come together in the darkness of night to remember and celebrate the hope of the Resurrection: Christ’s victory over the grave. The night is filled with rich symbolism, strong signs, and powerful words.
The Easter Vigil moves through four actions: + We give thanks for the gift of light.
+ We tell the stories of God’s love shown to humanity.
+ If there are candidates for baptism we baptize new members and reaffirm our own baptism.
+We eat and drink a foretaste of the feast to come.
As we keep the Vigil, we move too! The Vigil begins outside the church, gathered around the fire. We follow the new paschal candle into the darkened sanctuary to hear the Word of God. Be sure to come prepared for the journey: a warm jacket for standing outside.
Sometimes there is Eucharist (Communion) at the same service or it can be delayed until the sunrise service. Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Resurrection (Easter) Sunday are celebrated as one service with pauses. This year we will have a pause after the Vigil on Saturday for a hot dog roast. No sense in wasting a good fire. : )
The Easter Vigil is a night different from all other nights. It is the night that most clearly tells us who we are. Claimed by Christ, we are a people enlightened, taught, washed, and fed for service to the world.
Please Join us at 7:30 Saturday April 20th!
Last year's Vigil (March 31, 2018)
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