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Easter Vigil, Saturday, April 15 – 8:00 p.m.*+

The Great Vigil of Easter begins in darkness. Out of this darkness, a new fire is kindled, from which we light the Paschal Candle, a symbol of the Christian Passover, in both its association with the pillar of fire that led the Israelites during their exodus from Egypt, as well as its association with our “passing over” from death to life through Christ. Next, we hear the Exsultet, an ancient hymn in which vivid imagery illumines our purpose in gathering: “Rejoice and sing now, all the round earth, bright with glorious splendor, for darkness has been vanquished by our eternal King.” Then we hear stories from the Hebrew Scriptures describing God’s gracious care, generosity, and saving power. Following the readings we turn to the baptismal font. Christian baptism is a participation in the death and resurrection of Christ, a dying to sin in order to be reborn in him, and from the earliest times the Great Vigil has been the most appropriate occasion to welcome new members into the body of Christ. Each symbol of the liturgy having built upon the last, we finally proclaim the joy of Easter and hear again the story of Christ’s empty tomb. Alleluia is sung, bells are rung, and the first Eucharist of Easter is celebrated.

+ Incense  * Childcare

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