Quick Answer: What happens at a Catholic Easter Vigil?

The vigil begins between sunset on Holy Saturday and sunrise on Easter Sunday outside the church, where an Easter fire is kindled and the Paschal candle is blessed and then lit. … As the candle proceeds through the church, the small candles held by those present are gradually lit from the Paschal candle.

How long is a Catholic Easter Vigil?

The Easter Vigil service under Benedict XVI would typically run nearly three hours.

Why do Catholics celebrate the Easter Vigil?

Easter Vigil (Paschal Vigil or the Great Vigil of Easter), is the first official celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus. This is done as a pious service in the traditional Christian churches all over the world during Easter.

Why does the Easter Vigil take place at night?

The night vigil Holy Saturday is a sacred day as Christians believe the Lord rests on this day. It is therefore also called the “Second Sabbath” after creation. This is the calmest and quiet day of the entire Church year, when the followers of Jesus Christ mourn his death.

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What happens during vigil Mass?

It may be held at a Catholic church, a funeral home, the family home or an alternate location. During this time, those in attendance offer prayers and condolences to the family and may observe the scripture through readings and reflections. Eulogies, singing and poetry readings may also be offered during the vigil.

What happens at the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday?

The observance commemorates the final day of Christ’s death, which is traditionally associated with his triumphant descent into hell. … The vigil celebration may include lighting fires and candles to symbolize Christ’s passing from death to life and tolling bells to signify the joyous end of Lent.

How is a vigil different from a mass?

The readings and prayers of such vigil Masses differ from the texts in the Masses to be celebrated on the day itself. The solemnities that have a vigil Mass are: Easter Sunday. The Ascension of the Lord.

What do we reflect upon on Holy Saturday?

Holy Saturday is the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday in the Catholic Liturgical Calendar. The day celebrates the vigil that Christ’s followers held for him outside of his tomb, waiting for his resurrection. Fasting is not required, and the only mass held is an Easter Vigil at sundown on Saturday.

What is Saturday vigil in Catholic Church?

Vigil Mass in British English

noun. Roman Catholic Church. a Mass held on Saturday evening, attendance at which fulfils one’s obligation to attend Mass on Sunday.

What does the term Eastertide mean?

Definition of Eastertide

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: the period from Easter to Ascension Day, to Whitsunday, or to Trinity Sunday.

Does Lent End after Easter Vigil?

Holy Week and the season of Lent, depending on denomination and local custom, end with Easter Vigil at sundown on Holy Saturday or on the morning of Easter Sunday.

What are the symbols of the Easter Vigil?

Five grains of incense (most often red), which are embedded in the candle (sometimes encased in wax “nails”) during the Easter Vigil to represent the five wounds of Jesus: the three nails that pierced his hands and feet, the spear thrust into his side, and the thorns that crowned his head.

What are the main symbols for the Easter Vigil?


The Easter candle is the dominant symbol for the Easter season. Right from the beginning of the Easter Vigil our voices proclaim the light of the risen Christ. This symbol is also central at baptisms and funerals throughout the year.

What is a vigil after someone dies?

The central and most profound experience of the home funeral is the vigil or home wake. It usually involves keeping the body of the deceased in the home for one to three days after death. … The actual vigil begins after the body is washed, dressed, cooled and laid in honor. (See Care of the Body.)

Does Easter Vigil fulfill Sunday obligation?

A Saturday evening Easter Vigil Mass is seen by the Roman Catholic Church as a fulfillment of a Catholic’s “Sunday Duty.”

How long are Easter Vigil Masses?

You can expect the main part of the Mass to begin about 45 minutes to an hour after the start of the ceremonies. In total you can expect to be in church for 1.5 to 2 hours, maybe a little longer if there are adult catechumens to be baptised rather than just the general renewal of baptismal vows.

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