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26 Mar

Holy Saturday

Preparing for the Easter Vigil

Article

The Easter Vigil has always been a deeply significant event for many who share in its celebration, and I commend it to you as a treasure of the church's heritage of worship well worth the effort of recovering.  

Preparing for the Easter Vigil »

Reflecting on the Easter Vigil: An Exercise in Mystagogy

Article

Mystagogy means "leading into the mystery." It is a term that has been used in many religions, including early Christianity, to describe how people move from a first experience of an event or ritual into a growing appreciation and understanding of it over time.  

Reflecting on the Easter Vigil: An Exercise in Mystagogy »

EASTER VIGIL OR THE FIRST SERVICE OF EASTER

Liturgy

During the Great Three Days, from sunset Holy Thursday to sunset Easter Day, we celebrate the saving events of Jesus Christ's suffering, death, and resurrection. In the development of Christian worship, each event came to be remembered on a separate day. In the earliest centuries, however, these events were celebrated as a unity in an extraordinary single liturgy that began Saturday night and continued until the dawn of Easter Day. It was known as the great Paschal (Easter) Vigil. Preceded by a fast day, it was the most holy and joyful night of the entire Christian year, for it proclaimed and celebrated the whole of salvation history and Christ's saving work. It is the most appropriate time for baptisms; persons baptized symbolically die and rise with Christ (Romans 6:3 –11). It has also come to be seen as a most appropriate time for congregational reaffirmation of the Baptismal Covenant.

EASTER VIGIL OR THE FIRST SERVICE OF EASTER »