Great Vigil of EasterHoly Saturday, April 11, 2020
The Great Vigil of Easter begins in darkness. A fire is lit and from that the Paschal Candle and then all the individual candles are lit, and the Deacon sings the Exsultet. Readings take us from the Creation all the way to Wisdom literature. The Font is then our focus – Baptism and Renewal of Vows. The Resurrection is announced and the 1st Eucharist of Easter celebrated.
THE GREAT VIGIL OF EASTER
THE FIRST READING: The Culmination of CreationGenesis 1: 1, 25b, 26-28, 30b—2:2 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth… And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” And it was so. God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. Psalm 136: 1, 5-9, 25-26 1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, * for his mercy endures for ever. 5 Who by wisdom made the heavens, * for his mercy endures for ever; 6 Who spread out the earth upon the waters, * for his mercy endures for ever; 7 Who created great lights, * for his mercy endures for ever; 8 The sun to rule the day, * for his mercy endures for ever; 9 The moon and the stars to govern the night, * for his mercy endures for ever. 25 Who gives food to all creatures, * for his mercy endures for ever. 26 Give thanks to the God of heaven, * for his mercy endures for ever. Silent Prayer & CollectO God, who wonderfully created, and yet more wonderfully restored, the dignity of human nature: Grant that we may share the divine life of him who humbled himself to share our humanity, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.THE SECOND READING: Abraham’s Sacrifice of IsaacGenesis 22:1-4, 9-12a, 16-18 God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; he cut the wood for the burnt offering, and set out and went to the place in the distance that God had shown him. When they came to the place that God had shown him, Abraham built an altar there and laid the wood in order. He bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to kill his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” “By myself I have sworn, says the Lord: Because you have done this, and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will indeed bless you, and I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of their enemies, and by your offspring shall all the nations of the earth gain blessing for themselves, because you have obeyed my voice.”Psalm 16: 5-11 5 O Lord, you are my portion and my cup; * it is you who uphold my lot.6 My boundaries enclose a pleasant land; * indeed, I have a goodly heritage.7 I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel; * my heart teaches me, night after night.8 I have set the Lord always before me; * because he is at my right hand I shall not fall.9 My heart, therefore, is glad, and my spirit rejoices; * my body also shall rest in hope.10 For you will not abandon me to the grave, * nor let your holy one see the Pit.11 You will show me the path of life; * in your presence there is fullness of joy, and in your right hand are pleasures for evermore. Silent Prayer & CollectGod and Father of all believers, for the glory of your Namemultiply, by the grace of the Paschal sacrament, the numberof your children; that your Church may rejoice to see fulfilledyour promise to our father Abraham; through Jesus Christour Lord. Amen. THE THIRD READING: Israel’s Deliverance at the Red SeaExodus 14:10-13a, 21-23, 26-27, 31; 15: 20-21 As Pharaoh drew near, the Israelites looked back, and there were the Egyptians advancing on them. In great fear the Israelites cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us, bringing us out of Egypt? Is this not the very thing we told you in Egypt, ‘Let us alone and let us serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” But Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the Lord will accomplish for you today. Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided. The Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. The Egyptians pursued, and went into the sea after them, all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and chariot drivers. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and chariot drivers.” So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea returned to its normal depth. As the Egyptians fled before it, the Lord tossed the Egyptians into the sea… Israel saw the great work that the Lord did against the Egyptians. So the people feared the Lord and believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses. Then the prophet Miriam, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dancing. And Miriam sang to them: “Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; horse and rider he has thrown into the sea.”Canticle 8 (The Song of Moses) "The Horse and Rider" I will sing unto the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously; the horse and rider thrown into the sea. The Lord, my God, my strength and song is now become my victory. The Lord is God and I will praise Him, my father's God and I will exalt him. Silent Prayer & CollectO God, whose wonderful deeds of old shine forth even to our own day, you once delivered by the power of your mighty arm your chosen people from slavery under Pharaoh, to be a sign for us of the salvation of all nations by the water of Baptism: Grant that all the peoples of the earth may be numbered among the offspring of Abraham, and rejoice in the inheritance of Israel; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.THE FOURTH READING: The Valley of Dry BonesEzekiel 37:1-8a, 10b-11a, 12b-14 The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the Word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.” So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them... and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude. Then he said to me, “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel… Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act,” says the Lord. Psalm 143: 1-8 1 Lord, hear my prayer, and in your faithfulness heed my supplications; * answer me in your righteousness. 2 Enter not into judgment with your servant, * for in your sight shall no one living be justified. 3 For my enemy has sought my life; he has crushed me to the ground; * he has made me live in dark places like those who are long dead. 4 My spirit faints within me; * my heart within me is desolate. 5 I remember the time past; I muse upon all your deeds; * I consider the works of your hands. 6 I spread out my hands to you; * my soul gasps to you like a thirsty land. 7 O Lord, make haste to answer me; my spirit fails me; * do not hide your face from me or I shall be like those who go down to the Pit. 8 Let me hear of your loving-kindness in the morning, for I put my trust in you; * show me the road that I must walk, for I lift up my soul to you. Silent Prayer & CollectAlmighty God, by the Passover of your Son you have brought us out of sin into righteousness and out of death into life: Grant to those who are sealed by your Holy Spirit the will and the power to proclaim you to all the world; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.THE FIFTH READING: The Invitation of Lady WisdomProverbs 8:1-8a, 19-21, 9: 4b-6 Does not wisdom call, and does not understanding raise her voice? On the heights, beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand; beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries out: “To you, O people, I call, and my cry is to all that live. O simple ones, learn prudence; acquire intelligence, you who lack it. Hear, for I will speak noble things, and from my lips will come what is right; for my mouth will utter truth; wickedness is an abomination to my lips. All the words of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing twisted or crooked in them. My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold, and my yield than choice silver. I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice, endowing with wealth those who love me, and filling their treasuries.” To those without sense she says, “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. Lay aside immaturity, and live, and walk in the way of insight.” Psalm 19: 1-4, 7-8, 14 1 The heavens declare the glory of God, * and the firmament shows his handiwork. 2 One day tells its tale to another, * and one night imparts knowledge to another. 3 Although they have no words or language, * and their voices are not heard, 4 Their sound has gone out into all lands, * and their message to the ends of the world. 7 The law of the Lord is perfect and revives the soul; * the testimony of the Lord is sure and gives wisdom to the innocent. 8 The statutes of the Lord are just and rejoice the heart; * the commandment of the Lord is clear and gives light to the eyes. 14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, * O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.Silent Prayer & CollectO God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquility the plan of salvation; let the whole world see and know that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. COLLECT & READINGS AT THE EUCHARISTCollect of EasterO God, who made this most holy night to shine with the glory of the Lord’s resurrection: Stir up in your Church that Spirit of adoption which is given to us in Baptism, that we, being renewed both in body and mind, may worship you in sincerity and truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. Christian Scripture Reading: Romans 6:3-11 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For whoever has died is freed from sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Holy Gospel: Matthew 28:1-10After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, MaryMagdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”