Easter Vigil 2016

Easter Vigil is also known as Paschal Vigil or the Great Vigil of Easter. It is the first official celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus and there will be a service held in many Christian Churches. During this service, historically, the people baptized and that adult catechumens are found into full communion with the Church.

On the Holy Saturday, in the hours of darkness between sunset and sunrise on Easter Day, the rituals of Baptizing and catechumens are performed, most commonly on the evenings of Holy Saturday, but since the Christian customs considers feasts and other days of observance where Masses are commemorated to begin at sunset of the previous day, this is considered to be the first celebration of Easter Day.

Easter Vigil is the most significant Mass of the liturgical year as well as the first commemoration of the Eucharist during the fifty-day long celebration of Easter. In the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion, it is noted by the first use of the acclamatory word "Alleluia", a typical characteristic of the liturgy of the Easter season. Likewise the Divine Liturgy which is commemorated during the Easter Vigil is the most detailed and important of the ecclesiastical year in Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy. Among the Lutherans, the Easter Vigil has enjoyed a significant revival.

Earliest Known Form of the Easter Vigil

In an ancient manuscript belonging to the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the original twelve Old Testament is the recitals for the Easter Vigil survive. The Armenian Easter Vigil also maintains what is believed to be the archetype duration of the traditional gospel reading of the Easter Vigil, i.e., from the Last Supper history to the end of the Gospel according to Matthew.

The vigil began with Psalm 117 [118] sung with the response, "This is the day which the Lord has made." In the earliest Jerusalem usage then adopted twelve Old Testament readings, all but the last being complied by a prayer with kneeling.

1. Genesis 1:1-3:24 (the story of creation); 2. Genesis 22:1-18 (the binding of Isaac); Exodux 12:1-24 (the Passover charter narrative); 4. Jonah 1:1-4:11. (the story of Jonah); 5. Exodus 14:24-15:21; 6. Isaiah 60:1-13 (the promise to Jerusalem); 7. Job 38:2-28; (the Lord's answer to Job); 8. 2 Kings 2:1-22 (the assumption of Elijah); 9. Jeremiah 31:31-34 (the new covenant); 10. Joshua 1:1-9; 11. Ezechiel 37:1-14 (the valley of dry bones); 12. Daniel 3:1-90 (the story of the three youths).

The twelfth reading, contribute into the Song of the Three Children and was not adopted by a prayer with kneeling, but was instantly followed by the prokeimenon of the Eucharistic liturgy.

Roman Catholicism

The Easter Vigil consists of four parts in the Roman Catholic tradition:

  • The Service of Light
  • The Liturgy of the Word
  • The Renewal of Baptismal Vows and Christian Initiation
  • Holy Eucharist

Throughout the season of Easter, the Easter Vigil will be used, left in the sanctuary of the church or near the lectern, and throughout the coming year at baptisms and funerals, prompting all that Christ is "light and life."