The Great Vigil of Easter begins at 6:00 p.m. in the main sanctuary.
The Great Vigil of Easter service begins with the altar party outside the main doors of the church, where an Easter fire is kindled and the Paschal candle is blessed and then lit. Once the candle has been lit, it is carried by a deacon through the nave of the church, itself in complete darkness, stopping three times to chant the acclamation 'Light of Christ', to which the assembly responds 'Thanks be to God'. As the candle proceeds through the church, all present receive candles which are lit from the Paschal candle. The priest now chants the Exsultet, after which the people take their seats as the Liturgy of the Word begins.
The Liturgy of the Word consists of readings from the Old Testament. Each reading is followed by a psalm or biblical canticle and a prayer relating what has been read in the Old Testament to Christ. After these readings conclude, the candles are lit on the altar and the Gloria in Excelsis Deo is sung for the first time since before Lent, and the church bells and the organ, silent since that point on Maundy Thursday, are sounded again. There follows the opening collect, Epistle, singing of the Alleluia, and the Easter Gospel. After the conclusion of the Liturgy of the Word, the water of the baptismal font is solemnly blessed and the congregation renews their baptismal vows and receive the sprinkling of baptismal water. From this point, the Holy Communion continues as usual. This is the first Mass of Easter Day.
Saturday, April 3, 2021 6:00 PM
Saturday, April 3, 2021 8:30 PM