The Vigil of Easter

This Easter, we’re doing something new ... wait, scratch that, we’re doing something very old!

On Saturday, April 20 at 7:29pm, we will celebrate the great Vigil of Easter.Why such a strange time? That is the moment of sunset, which is the beginning of “the third day” on which Jesus rose victorious from the dead.(As heirs to Israel, the church marks time using the Jewish day, which begins and ends at sundown.) At some time known only to God between sunset and early morning, when the women found the tomb empty, Jesus was raised from the dead. Early Christians, therefore, spent this night in vigil, staying awake and watching together for the moment of resurrection.

During this vigil, the great stories of the faith were told, those who had spent Lent studying the faith and memorizing the creed were welcomed and baptized, and Communion was shared. Even though we won’t stay up all night (because the new pastor is getting too old to stay awake that long),we will join our great grandparents in this tradition. And we will spend Lent preparing to experience those great stories at the Vigil by exploring them on Wednesday nights with soup supper. Thanks to Caitlin Arndt, this will not be just Bible study or Scripture readings as usual. We will engage the readings in various, creative, multi-sensory ways to prepare to experience them afresh on April 20 as we wait and watch for Easter to erupt.

Be prepared to experience the darkest and longest service of the year, but also the most dramatic. It will probably take two hours, but like a good movie, the vigil doesn’t feel that long. There is no sermon; the liturgy says it all.

The vigil of the rising of the Son begins at the setting of the sun, when we will gather in the SOV courtyard. Saturday, April 20, 7:29pm. Be there.

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