Meaning of Easter Vigil
What is Easter Vigil:
The Easter Vigil is a special and very important liturgical commemoration with which the resurrection of Jesus is celebrated. The Easter Vigil marks the end of the Easter Triduum.
The Easter Vigil takes place on the night of Holy Saturday during the eve of Easter or Resurrection Sunday.
It is a time when Christians rejoice with happiness for the resurrection of Jesus, in all Christian churches a similar ritual is performed in which the symbols of light, water, the word and the Eucharist are used.
Formerly, there was the tradition of baptizing at the Easter Vigil all those people who had not yet received the sacrament of Baptism, hence, today candles and water are used as symbols to renew baptismal promises during this commemoration.
The Easter Vigil is carried out with the celebration of a special liturgy, for which both priests and deacons wear white to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.
See also Easter Triduum.
Parts of the Easter Vigil
The Easter Vigil takes place before midnight on Holy Saturday and is composed of several important parts in order to praise Jesus and renew religious values.
The Vigil begins when the church lights go out and the priest lights a flame of fire, with which he will light the Paschal Candle, which is blessed and carried in procession through the church while it remains in the dark.
From the fire of the paschal candle the other candles that each person carries are lit and others are lit from these. The light of the fire represents the risen Christ.
After the procession, with the candles already lit, the priest sings the Easter Proclamation, an old Easter hymn.
Liturgy of the Word
Once the fire is blessed, the Liturgy of the Word begins, in which the reading of seven stories from the Old Testament referring to God's salvation takes place. Psalms from the New Testament and various songs performed by a choir or cantor are also read.
The Baptismal Liturgy is characterized by dealing with the themes of resurrection and baptism, as terms that complement each other. During this Liturgy the water is blessed and baptismal commitments and promises are renewed.
Liturgy of the Eucharist
It is a much more special Eucharist than those that are held on a daily basis in which songs of joy and praise are sung. Finally, the parishioners receive the blessing.