The Easter Vigil: The Primary Liturgy. Which Shows The Church As A Sac
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Every year, on the day before Easter, one of the biggest and most important masses of the year happens on that night. The mass is called the Easter Vigil. The Vigil brings out the true and full nature of the Catholic Church and all of its people. It celebrates Jesus Christ, as he rises from the dead and ascends into heaven. Since this mass is so large, it is split into four parts. The first, the Service of Light, and is the most solemn part of the mass the Church celebrates. The second part is the Liturgy of the Word, in which you listen to a reader who reads from the books of the Bible such as Genesis and Exodus. The third part of the celebration is known as the Celebration of the Rites of Initiation. At this point people become part of the Church and receive such sacraments as Baptism, Communion, and Confirmation. The fourth part of the vigil is the Liturgy of the Eucharist. The Liturgy of the Eucharist is the climax of the Easter Vigil. The Easter Vigil is the biggest mass in the Church and it requires four parts in the Service of Light, The Liturgy of the Word, the Celebration of the Rights of Initiation, and the Liturgy of the Eucharist, but also requires much more faith and concentration to fully appreciate it.
The first part of the Easter Vigil is the Service of Light. The Service of Light is the most solemn time during the Easter Vigil and where the people of the Catholic Church show the most respect. All the lights in the Church are turned off. The minister carries the paschal candle slowly into the Church. As the candle is shared with the rest of the congregation, the atmosphere is very dark and glum. As the minister brings the candle towards the altar, the following response is sung by the pastor and by everyone else in the Church. The Deacon or the Celebrant sings “Christ our Light” and everyone responds, “Thanks be to God”. This is done three times and after this the choir sings the Exultet. The focus on signing is of the risen Jesus Christ. After, the paschal candle reaches the altar; it is placed on a stand next to the lantern. This marks the ending of the first part of the Easter Vigil, the Service of light.
The second part of the Easter Vigil is the Liturgy of the Word.