Here comes the second to the last post for my Holy Week entries. The Easter Vigil Mass is traditionally done in churches as the first official celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Traditionally, it is celebrated every evening of the Holy Saturday. I personally find the vigil mass as the most solemn and most uplifting high mass. The mass is consist of Four parts and usually last for more than two hours. The first part is known as the “Service of Light”. In this phase, the church is initially close and so as all the lights inside. The so-called “Easter Fire” is kindled outside the church where the paschal candle will be blessed and lit.
Once the candle has been lit there follows the ancient and dramatic rite of the Lucernarium, in which the candle is carried by a deacon through the nave of the church, itself in complete darkness, stopping three times to chant an acclamation such as ‘Christ our Light’ or ‘Light of Christ’, to which the assembly responds ‘Thanks be to God’. As the candle proceeds through the church, all present receive candles (most of us bring our own candles) which are lit from the Paschal candle. As this symbolic “Light of Christ” spreads throughout those gathered, the darkness is decreased. The priest will then chant the so called Easter Proclamation.
This is followed by the second part of the Vigil which is the “Liturgy of Word”. It is consisted of reading from the Old Testament. Once the readings are done and concluded, the lights of the church will be turned on and it is followed by a performance from the Youth Ministry while the choir is singing “Gloria in Exelsis Deo”. The image of the Resurrected Christ will be unveiled too.
It is also followed by the Renewal of Baptismal Vows (the priest and the lay ministers will sprinkle the baptismal water afterwards and the Holy Eucharist as the third and fourth parts of the mass respectively.