The Easter Vigil | April 20, 2019
Old Testament Readings and Psalms
- Genesis 1:1-2:4a and Psalm 136:1-9, 23-26
- Genesis 7:1-5, 11-18; 8:6-18; 9:8-13 and Psalm 46
- Genesis 22:1-18 and Psalm 16
- Exodus 14:10-31; 15:20-21 and Exodus 15:1b-13, 17-18
- Isaiah 55:1-11 and Isaiah 12:2-6
- Baruch 3:9-15, 3:32-4:4 or Proverbs 8:1-8, 19-21; 9:4b-6 and Psalm 19
- Ezekiel 36:24-28 and Psalm 42, 43
- Ezekiel 37:1-14 and Psalm 143
- Zephaniah 3:14-20 and Psalm 98
New Testament Reading and Psalm
- Romans 6:3-11 and Psalm 114
- Luke 24:1-12
But very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. 2 They found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. 3 So they went in, but they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 As they stood there puzzled, two men suddenly appeared to them, clothed in dazzling robes.
5 The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. Then the men asked, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? 6 He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day.”
8 Then they remembered that he had said this. 9 So they rushed back from the tomb to tell his eleven disciples—and everyone else—what had happened. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and several other women who told the apostles what had happened.11 But the story sounded like nonsense to the men, so they didn’t believe it. 12 However, Peter jumped up and ran to the tomb to look. Stooping, he peered in and saw the empty linen wrappings; then he went home again, wondering what had happened.
In some traditions, sunset marks the beginning of the resurrection celebration. Once it gets dark, the congregation gathers (usually outside) around a bonfire, from which is lit the Christ Candle that was extinguished during Good Friday’s service.
From there the congregation moves into the sanctuary and the celebration commences. Many times new members were baptized into the church – in an elaborate and long ceremony with much scripture reading. But after almost 24 hours of waiting – we look forward to the coming celebration tomorrow morning! It won’t be long…