- This event has passed.
The Great Vigil of Easter
April 8 @ 9:00 pm - 11:00 pmFree
The Easter Vigil is the first and, arguably, the primary celebration of Easter. It is also known as the Great Vigil. This important worship starts at 9:00 pm on Saturday, April 8, running 2-3 hours.
The service begins in darkness. It consists of four parts:
The Service of Light. This starts the service with the kindling of new fire and the lighting the Paschal candle.
The Service of Lessons. This has readings from the Hebrew Scriptures interspersed with psalms, canticles, and prayers.
Christian Initiation. This is the sacrament of Holy Baptism and/or the Renewal of Baptismal Vows by all present.
The Eucharist. This celebrates the sacrament of Christ’s body and blood, and is the principal act of Christian worship. The word Eucharist is from the Greek word for “thanksgiving.” Christ’s body and blood are really present in the sacrament of the Eucharist and received by faith. Christ’s presence is also known in the gathered eucharistic community.
This liturgy recovers an ancient practice of keeping the Easter feast. Believers gathered in the hours of darkness ending at dawn on Easter to hear scripture and offer prayer. This night-long service of prayerful watching anticipated the baptisms that would come at first light and the following Easter Eucharist.