Vol: 44, No.25 THE EASTER VIGIL ( A) April 15 2017  
 
The word VIGIL means WATCH. The early Christians used to keep watch the whole night on the eve of big feasts. Yet, theirs was not a watch of fear, but rather, a watch of longing for the coming of someone: the guest they waited for was Christ. The Easter Vigil liturgy has four parts: 1. The Service of Light (Blessing of the Fire and Lighting of the Easter Candle.) 2. The Liturgy of the Word. 3. The Liturgy of Baptism (Blessing of Water, Baptism and Renewal of Baptismal Promises.) 4. The Liturgy of the Eucharist.
Part I. THE SERVICE OF THE LIGHT
THE BLESSING OF THE FIRE
Cel: Dear brothers and sisters, on this most sacred night, in which our Lord Jesus Christ passed over from death to life, the Church calls upon her sons and daughters, scattered throughout the world, to come together to watch and pray. If we keep the memorial of the Lordís paschal solemnity in this way, listening to his word and celebrating his mysteries, then we shall have the sure hope of sharing his triumph over death and living with him in God.
(The Priest blesses the fire, saying:)
Cel: Let us pray. O God, who through your Son bestowed upon the faithful the fire of your glory, sanctify + this new fire, we pray, and grant that, by these paschal celebrations, we may be so inflamed with heavenly desires, that with minds made pure we may attain festivities of unending splendour. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
PREPARATION OF THE CANDLE
(After the blessing of the new fire, one of the ministers brings the paschal candle to the Priest, who cuts a cross into the candle with a stylus. Then he makes the Greek letter Alpha above the cross, the letter Omega below, and the four numerals of the current year between the arms of the cross, meanwhile saying:)
 
  1. Christ yesterday and today image
    (he cuts a vertical line);
  2. the Beginning and the End
    (he cuts a horizontal line);
  3. the Alpha
    (he cuts the letter Alpha
    above the vertical line);
  4. and the Omega (he cuts the letter Omega below the vertical line);
  5. all time belongs to him (he cuts the first numeral of the current year in the upper left corner of the cross);
  6. and all the ages (he cuts the second numeral of the current year in the upper right corner of the cross);
  7. to him be glory and power (he cuts the third numeral of the current year in the lower left corner of the cross);
  8. through every age and for ever. Amen. (He cuts the fourth numeral of the current year in the lower right corner of the cross).
(The Priest inserts five grains of incense into the candle in the form of a cross, meanwhile saying:)
  1. By his holy
  2. and glorious wounds
  3. may Christ the Lord
  4. guard us
  5. and protect us. Amen.
Forthcoming Issues
THE EASTER VIGIL
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Cycle A
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