The Vigil of Easter 04/08/2023

Brothers and sisters in Christ,

The Lenten sermon series that we have been meditating on included a Promised Treasure for this night where the historic Christian Church has always celebrated the Vigil of Easter.  Traditionally, it is celebrated at the end of Holy Saturday as the conclusion of the sacred Triduum, and ushers in the celebration of the Resurrection of Our Lord on Easter Sunday.  In some places, the people of God would hold vigil, which means keep watch, through the night in expectation of Christ’s return.  The candlelight vigil consists of prayer, psalms and hymns, and readings especially from the Old Testament, culminating with the celebration of the resurrection at dawn with the Lord’s Supper.

The Vigil of Easter is comprised of six parts:

  • The Service of Light;
  • The Service of Readings;
  • The Service of Holy Baptism;
  • The Service of Prayer;
  • The Service of the Word; and
  • The Service of the Sacrament.

Concerning the Service of Readings, although all twelve Old Testament readings may be used, at a minimum, the Creation, Flood, Israel’s Deliverance at the Red Sea, and Fiery Furnace are always read. Following each reading the appointed Collect would be prayed.  Appropriate psalms or canticles may follow each collect.

During the Service of the Word, the Holy Gospel from either Mark 16:1-8, or John 20:1-18 are read.

The theme for the Vigil for this day is “The Oil of Joy and Gladness,” based primarily on the second letter of Saint Paul “to the church of God that is at Corinth,” the second chapter.

In His Service,

Pastor Jim

The Creation                                                    Genesis 1:1–2:3 (or 1:1–3:24)

The Flood                                                        Genesis 7:1-5, 11-18; 8:6-18; 9:8-13

The Testing of Abraham                                  Genesis 22:1-18

Israel’s Deliverance at the Red Sea                 Exodus 14:10–15:1

Salvation Offered Freely to All                       Isaiah 55:1-11

A New Heart and a New Spirit                        Ezekiel 36:24-28

God’s Faithfulness to Israel                             Deuteronomy 31:19-30

The Valley of Dry Bones                                 Ezekiel 37:1-14

Job Confesses the Redeemer                           Job 19:20-27

Jonah Preaches to Nineveh                             Jonah 3:1-10

The Gathering of God’s People                      Zephaniah 3:12-20

The Fiery Furnace                                           Daniel 3:1-30

Epistle                                                             2 Corinthians 2:12-17

Holy Gospel                                                    Mark 6:7-13

Sermon                                                           “The Oil of Joy and Gladness”

Hymn of the Day   “Awake, My Heart, with Gladness”    LSB 467