This year’s Great Vigil of Easter is on March 31 2018 at 9pm. Our liturgy includes Service of Light, Renewal of Baptismal Vows and Eucharist.
The Great Vigil of Easter is at the heart of the liturgical worship of the Christian church: On the first Easter morning Jesus of Nazareth, who had been crucified, rose triumphantly and conquered death, evil, and sin. All other worship ser-vices find their meaning in and draw from this celebration of the Resurrection.
“The Vigil was already established in the fourth century. The tradition of holding a vigil of readings encompassing the whole history of salvation leading to the eucharist at the beginning of the Lord’s Day […] is very early. The incorpora-tion of baptism into the Vigil between the readings and the eucharist resulted from the fixing of Easter as the great bap-tismal feast, probably in the second or third century.
The Easter Vigil, like the Holy Week services, was reintroduced […] into Anglicanism in the nineteenth century in the wake of the Oxford Movement [in the Church of England].
In its present form, the Great Vigil consists of four parts:
- the service of Light;
- the service of Lessons;
- Christian Initiation [i.e. Baptism]; and
- The Holy Eucharist.” (Lent, Holy Week, Easter, and the Great Fifty Days, p. 84-86)
All these parts help us to grasp with all our senses the good news of Easter: Jesus lives!