Easter Vigil

Easter Vigil, also called the Paschal Vigil or the Great Vigil of Easter, is a service held in traditional Christian churches as the first official celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus. Historically, it is during this service that people are baptized and that adult catechumens are received into full communion with the Church. It is held in the hours of darkness between sunset on Holy Saturday and sunrise on Easter Day — most commonly in the evening of Holy Saturday or midnight — and is the first celebration of Easter, days traditionally being considered to begin at sunset.

In the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox churches, Oriental Orthodox churches, the Anglican Communion, and Lutheran churches, the Easter Vigil is the most important service of public worship and Mass of the liturgical year; in the West it is the first celebration of the Gloria during the fifty-day long celebration of Easter, marked by the first use since the beginning of Lent of the exclamatory "Alleluia", a distinctive feature of the Easter season. Similarly, in the East, the extremely festive ceremonies and Divine Liturgy which are celebrated during the Easter Vigil are unique to that night and are the most elaborate and important of the ecclesiastical year and usher in the fifty-day long celebration and many people who only attend church services once a year do so at midnight for Easter.

Read more about Easter VigilEarliest Known Form of The Easter Vigil, Roman Catholicism, Byzantine Christianity: Eastern Orthodoxy and Greek Catholicism, Anglican Communion, Lutheran Churches, Citations

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Famous quotes containing the words vigil and/or easter:

    This day is called the Feast of Crispian.
    He that outlives this day and comes safe home
    Will stand a-tiptoe when this day is nam’d
    And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
    He that shall live this day, and see old age,
    Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours
    And say, “Tomorrow is Saint Crispian.”
    William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

    In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it,
    You’ll be the grandest lady in the Easter parade.
    Irving Berlin (1888–1989)