The Easter Vigil
With this celebration we remember the central mystery of our Christian faith: The Son of God rises from the dead to share with us, by baptism and faith, His victory over death and sin.
The Easter Vigil is one of the greatest liturgies of the Church year. In the early Church the community kept vigil for much of the night to await the dawn and to bring those joining the Christian community to the Sacraments of new life.
The Easter Vigil consists of four parts: the first one is the liturgy of light, where we have the Easter candle, a sign of Christ, light of nations. We begin in darkness and experience it. Then a fire is struck and passed around the room. Then a wonderful Eucharistic Prayer is sung exalting the Light among us: “This is the night …”
The second part is the Liturgy of the Word, which is one of the central elements of this holy night. It celebrates the story of our salvation reminding us of the various moments of God’s revelation to us in the Sacred Scriptures, recognizing that God never ceases to speak to us and continues to seek us and offer us his tender love. The third part is the baptismal Liturgy, which is preserved as a beautiful tradition, since the first Christians celebrated baptisms on this blessed night. The fourth part is the Liturgy of the Eucharist, where we recognize Christ alive in the breaking of bread.
Tonight, we are the people who believe the Good News. Jesus is alive! And, Death has no power over us! Let us renew our faith and our desire to meet our God who breaks the silence of death and manifests Himself in life, in the resurrection.
Brothers and sisters: Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life. For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his, we shall also be united with him in the resurrection. (Rom 6:3-11)
O Lord, How amazing is your love,
A love that overcomes, endures and redeems.
How astounding is your life,
A life that sustains, heals and creates.
How awesome is your hope,
A hope that promises, restores and inspires.
How absorbing is your truth,
A truth that releases, changes and rebuilds.
How we worship you, as we remember the moment when your love conquered. When out of the cave of sorrow Jesus arose to release forgiveness to the world. And each time we encounter this resurrection day we are again lifted to an eternal place. Our sin, brokenness and darkness fall away and your light and peace flood our lives. How we thank you for this incredible celebration that is Easter.
Fr. Vidal Martinez, OSM