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. History says that during Vigil, the people are baptized and the adult catechumens are taken into complete communion with the Holy Church.
Vigil takes place during the dark hours between Holy Saturday sunset and Easter Day sunrise. The most common time for Easter Vigil is during the evening of Holy Saturday or midnight. This is the first ceremony of celebrating Easter, traditionally it used to take place during sunset on the previous day.Significance of Easter Vigil
Easter Vigil is considered as the most important service of public reverence and Masses of the liturgical year. It is religiously followed and attended by the western churches, namely Catholic Church, Lutheran churches, and the Anglican Communion. Easter Vigil started since the beginning of Lent of the "Alleluia", which is a specialty of the Easter season.
Easter Vigil is celebrated in an elaborate and festive way amongst Oriental Orthodox churches, Eastern Orthodox churches, and other traditional sects of Eastern Christianity. The celebrations are done along with the Divine Liturgy on the same night and are a very important event of the liturgical year.How is Easter Vigil Done?
It is celebrated on Holy Saturday evening. This dramatic event marking the beginning of Easter, expects the return of Christ with the lamps burning, so that he shall find his followers awake and gather them at the dinner table. This beautiful service procedure is divided into four parts, namely Service of Light, Liturgy of the Word, Liturgy of Baptism, and Liturgy of the Eucharist.
Easter Vigil is the event where everyone shows their fellowship and brotherhood for each other. They join together to eat and drink Christ’s blood and flesh, followed by a meditating time, where everyone prays together. Christians consider this to be the best time of the night as they learn and feel about Jesus and about his Holy deeds. Having blessings from the Easter Cross is another vital occurrence during Easter Vigil and this denotes the end of the Mass. Each of the church members is blessed with the Easter Cross by touching it on their foreheads.