From this point on, our Christian worship is a continuum through to Easter Morning.
EasterEve the Easter Liturgy consists of four main parts intended to form a single whole – a Vigil, a Service of Light, a Service of Baptism (or renewal of Baptism Vows), Holy Communion.
Vigil is watching and waiting for some or all of this night. It is an important preparation for the celebration of Easter Day.
The Service of Light proclaims in spoken word and in high drama the Resurrection. The Easter candle and individual candles and the Easter fire are all part of this part of the liturgy. Procession can also be meaningful here to speak of the journey from darkness to light from death to life.
The Renewal of Baptism Vows / Baptism (in some places Confirmation) mark the intimate and ancient link between Baptism and Easter, as new converts then sacramentally entered into Christ’s redeeming death and resurrection, at the same time the whole church celebrated the memorial of those events. (Ideally Lenten preparation should lead up to this renewal).
The natural and proper climax of the whole Easter Liturgy is the Eucharist in which we are sacramentally reunited with our risen Lord. The most appropriate time for this is as close to dawn on Easter Day as possible. If it is celebrated during the night it should be after midnight !
(There are No Bells on Holy Saturday – Christ is in the grave)
Print this off and light your own firebowl if you have one and use candles too / or instead. An Outdoor Vigil provides good opportunity to listen to the sounds of the night.
Around your firebowl Outdoors or candles Indoors:
=listen to the Exsultet
=reflect on and/or renew your baptism promises
=light a big Candle which in your home you will go on to use as your Easter Candle
Gather around God’s Word
Attendees of the Holy Saturday service here at St Catherine’s, as shared with the Old Catholics and also the Leonhardsgemeinde, usually hear the Exsultet in German so it is a rare treat to hear it in English, as taken from Common Worship.
The Exsultet is a scripture journey of what this night means,
as such it has echoes of Christmas eve ‘this night… this night… this night…’
or the ’story telling’ aspect of a Carol Service say.
Take time to listen to it more than once of you can
(it’s only 10 minutes long)
The Easter Candle
May the light of Christ, rising in glory,
banish all darkness from our hearts and minds.
The light of Christ
Thanks be to God.
The Holy Saturday Collect:
In the depths of our isolation we cry to you Lord God:
Give light in our darkness
and bring us out of the prison of our despair;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Baptism Promises
light your baptism candle if you have one (or confirmation candle)
Lent begins with the story of Jesus’ Baptism and end her with the invitation for us to renew the promises made at our baptism.
These have two parts: to affirm our allegiance our belonging to Christ AND to turn our backs on any and all forms of evil.
Firstly- our belonging
Do you turn to Christ ?
Do you put your trust in him?
Secondly – our rejection of all that compromises our belonging
Do you turn away from sin?
Do you renounce evil ?
Reflect on these promises, talk about them if you don’t live alone,
share the replies to these promises.
Complete the evening with a light supper of boiled eggs and…