liturgy@creighton.edu
 

A Sample Planning for Easter Vigil

 

[The Introduction to "A Sample Planning for Holy Thursday" provides information about the parish in which this Easter Vigil was realized.]

 

Introduction | Service of Light | Exsultet | Liturgy of the Word |

Liturgy of Christian Initiation
Litany of the Saints | Blessing of the Water | Liturgy of Baptism | Confirmation | General Intercessions

Liturgy of the Eucharist | Dismissal

 

 

Introduction

Before the Lights are extinguished, the House Manager makes any necessary announcements.

House Manager: "Good evening. A word of instruction for you before we turn off the lights... [Several brief instructions]...

"After the fire and the Easter Candle have been lit outside, and upon entering the church, please find your way to your place safely. The presider and the Candle Bearer will process throughout the church with the Paschal Candle so that its light may spread throughout the community.

"A final word, we will leave our candles lit until after the presider's prayer that concludes the reading about Creation. When the presider extinguishes his candle, that will be our sign to do the same. Thank you."

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After a moment's pause, and before the Lights are extinguished, the House Manager continues:

"Good evening and welcome to the community of the Immaculate Heart of Mary for this celebration of the Easter Vigil.

"We begin tonight, in just a moment, in the darkness of night.

"It is the night of blindness and sin, it is the night of separation and alienation from God.

"It is the night of the tomb Jesus was buried in.

"You are invited to recall the ways in which you have experienced night this Lent and this Holy Week as we sit in its darkness and wait for the Light."

 

Service of Light

House Manager & Light Tech:
___ ALL LIGHTS in the church are extinguished after the final announcement
___ ALL MICS OFF !!
___ The PRESIDER stands in front of the altar for three (3) minutes before proceeding outside for the lighting of the new fire.
___ However, some clever person near the presider will have secreted away a small penlight to help the presider see on his way out
___ The Candle Bearer collects the Candle on the way outside
___
The Fire Tech will have the implements ready to start the New Fire
___ Weather permitting, the New Fire will be lit outside. Otherwise, it will be done under the canopy of IHM.

 

Lighting of the New Fire

-- Greeting & Instruction:

The Presider lights the fire.

Presider: Dear friends in Christ, on this most holy night,
when our Lord Jesus Christ passed from death to life,
the Church invites her children throughout the world
to gather in vigil and prayer.

This is the Passover of the Lord:
if we honor the memory of his death and resurrection
by hearing his word and celebrating his mysteries,
then we may be confident
that we shall share his victory over death and live with him forever in God.

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The presider then blesses the New Fire.

Presider: Let us pray,
Father we share in the brightness of your glory
through your Son, the light of the world.
Make this new fire + holy, and inflame us with new hope.

By this Paschal feast,
may our minds and hearts so burn with godly desires
that we may one day rejoice at your festival of everlasting light.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

 

The presider then prepares the Easter Candle.

Presider: Christ yesterday and today,
the beginning and the end,
Alpha and Omega.
All time belongs to Christ
and all the ages.

To him be glory and power
through every age for ever.

R. Amen.

The presider then lights the Easter Candle from the New Fire.

Presider: May the light of Christ, rising in glory,
dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds.

 

The presider and Candle Bearer lead the community into the church.

Presider: Just outside the front door, he sings, "Christ our Light".

The people respond, "Thanks be to God!"

___ Light Tech: turns on the perimeter lights of the church, LOW.
___ FIRE TECH brings in those implements used to start the fire that can be brought in (!)
___ N.B. The ELECT DO NOT RECEIVE CANDLES ! ! ! ! ! !

The Paschal Candle proceeds through the church.

___ People have been chosen to help pass the light in their rows;
they come forth when the Candle comes to them.

Proceeding through the church, the presider sings out a number of times, "Christ our Light!" and the congregation responds, "Thanks be to God."

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The Creation of Adam
Michaelangelo -- Sistine Chapel

 

-- Easter Proclamation / Exsultet:

The two singers of the Exsultet
begin inside of the front doors of the church.
They sing, one then the other.
When one finishes singing her part,
she moves slowly and reverently down the side aisles.
The two singers eventually meet in the front of the altar
to complete the proclamation of the Exsultet.

___ Each will be accompanied by two extra candle bearers.

Singer 1: ____________________

Singer 2: ____________________

At the end of the Exsultet, all remain standing.
The presider steps up on the first step and prays:

Presider: Dear friends in Christ,
we have begun our solemn vigil.
Let us now listen attentively to the Word of God,
recalling how our God saved Israel throughout history
and, in the fullness of time,
sent the only Son, Jesus the Christ, to be our Redeemer.

Through this Easter celebration,
may God bring to completion
the saving work already begun in us
by the divine mercy.

Let us attend to the Word of God.

 

At the end of the Prayer,
the presider invites the congregation to be seated
by means of a simple and gracious gesture
.

 

Light Tech:
___ LIGHTS on the front of the altar and over the choir are turned on LOW
___ Small light on lectern is available for the lectors WITH BLUE TISSUE.

 

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Liturgy of the Word

I

Genesis 1:1ff / Creation / proclaimed by _______________________

MUSIC: The Earth is Full of the Goodness of the Lord
--
Tim Manion -- choir & congregation

Prayer: After a short pause
(length of a Hail Mary)
the PRESIDER invites all to stand for the prayer

Presider: Let us pray: [pause]
Almighty and ever-living God,
you made all things in wonderful beauty and order.
Help us now to perceive how still more wonderful
is the new creation by which,
in the fullness of time,
you redeemed your people through the sacrifice of the True Lamb,
Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you forever and ever.

R. Amen.

HERE, the presider blows out his candle,
a signal for all to do so also.

He invites all to be seated
by means of a simple and gracious gesture.

___ Light Tech and House Manager subtlely prowl the church to encourage people to blow out their candles.

 

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II

Exodus 14:15ff / Liberation / proclaimed by ____________________

MUSIC: Let Us Sing to the Lord [refrain only]
-- Roc O'Connor, SJ -- choir & congregation
verses read by the lector

Prayer: After a short pause
(length of a Hail Mary)
the PRESIDER invites all to stand for the prayer

Presider: Let us pray: [pause]
God of Life,
we bless you for the wonders
you worked on behalf of your people, Israel.
You saved them from slavery with mighty signs
and now you offer that salvation to all
through the waters of baptism.

May the peoples of the world
become true children of Abraham and Sarah
and so come to share in the heritage of your holy people.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

Presider gestures graciously for all to be seated.

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III

 

Isaiah 54 / 55 / Baruch - an interweaving of these prophetic readings
proclaimed by ___________________ and _____________________

[CLICK HERE to see the text used in this reading.]

MUSIC: Ps.25: To You, O Lord
-- Marty Haugen -- cantor, choir & congregation

Prayer: After a short pause
(length of a Hail Mary)
the PRESIDER invites all to stand for the prayer

Presider: Let us pray:
Almighty and everliving God,
only hope of the world,
by the preaching of the prophets
you proclaimed the mysteries we are celebrating tonight.

Help us, we pray, to be your faithful people,
for it is by your inspiration alone
that we can grow in goodness.

Weask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

Presider gestures graciously for all to be seated.

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IV

Ezechiel 36:16ff / a New Heart / read by ______________________ MUSIC: Ps. 51: Create in Me
--
David Haas -- choir & congregation

[CLICK HERE to see the text used in this reading.]

Prayer: After a short pause
(length of a Hail Mary)
the PRESIDER invites all to stand for the prayer

Presider: Let us pray:
O God of Mercy and Love,
look with that same mercy and favor
on your entire Church.

Please grant a new heart and a new spirit
to all your people,
so that the world may see the fallen lifted up,
the old made new,
and all things brought to fullness through Christ Jesus
who is their origin.
We ask this through that same Jesus Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

Presider gestures graciously for all to be seated.

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V

 

Romans 6 / Baptized into Christ / read by ______________________

[CLICK HERE to see the text used in this reading.]

MUSIC: Gospel Acclamation - - Ring Bells Here!!!
-- Roc O'Connor, SJ -- choir & congregation

Alleluia begins suddenly at this line: "So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus."

Light Tech: LIGHTS ON FULL at the beginning of the Alleluia.

Christ Preaching
Rembrant

Gospel: Matthew (Cycle A)

Homily: ______________________

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Liturgy of Christian Initiation

 

-- Presentation of the Candidates:

The candidates for Baptism are called first,
N. ____________ and N. ____________.

They stand and come forward
to the front step of the altar's right side
and turn to face the congregation.

Their sponsors do not come forward yet.

Then the candidates for Confirmation are called:
N. __________ and N. ____________.
They come forward to the middle of the group.

All face the congregation.

-- Invitation to Prayer:

Catechist: Dear friends,
let us pray to almighty God for our sister(s) and brother(s):
NN. ________________________________________________________
who are asking for full initiation into the Church tonight.
God has called them and brought them to this moment.

-- Prayer:

Presider: May the Lord grant them light and strength
to follow Christ with resolute hearts
and to profess the faith of the Church.
May God give them the new life of the Holy Spirit,
whom we are about to call down upon this water.

Following the Prayer,
the candidates prostrate themselves in front of the altar.

The ministers and sponsors
spread the Funeral Pall over the candidates ,
then kneel on the steps of the altar.
PRESIDER turns to congregation and says,
"Let us kneel." The congregation kneels.

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-- Litany of the Saints:

MUSIC: Litany of the Saints
--
John Becker -- cantor & congregation

At the conclusion of the Litany,
the presider stands and says the following:

PRESIDER: Awake, O Sleeper, and arise! for Christ shall give you light!

The candidates stand and move back to their chairs.
The SPONSORS go to get the large water jugs.

They pour them forcefully into the pool while the prayer continues:

 

-- Blessing over the Water:

MUSIC: Springs of Water -- -- 1st intervention
-- Kate Boland (unpublished refrain) -- choir and congregation

PRESIDER: Almighty and Ever-living God,
you give grace to your people through sacramental signs
which tell us of the wonders of your unseen power.

In baptism, we use your gift of water,
which you have made a rich symbol of the grace

 

you give us in this sacrament.

At the very dawn of creation,
your Spirit breathed on the waters
making them the wellspring of all holiness.

The waters of the great flood
you made a sign of the waters of baptism
that make an end of sin and a new beginning of goodness.

MUSIC: Springs of Water -- -- 2nd intervention

Through the waters of the Red Sea
you led Israel out of slavery
to be an image of God's holy people
set free from sin by baptism.

In the waters of the Jordan
your Son, Jesus, was baptized by John
and anointed with the Holy Spirit.

As he hung upon the cross,
Jesus Christ willed that water and blood
should flow from his side.

MUSIC: Springs of Water -- -- 3rd intervention

After his resurrection,
Jesus told his disicples,
"Go out and teach all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

O God Most Holy,
we ask that you look upon your Church with love
and unseal for it the fountain of baptism.

By the power of the Holy Spirit
give to this water
the grace of Jesus Christ our Lord
so that in the sacrament of baptism
all those whom you have created in your likeness
may be cleansed from sin
and rise to a new birth of innocence
by water and the Holy Spirit.

MUSIC: Springs of Water -- -- 4th intervention

Toward the end of the prayer,
the presider takes up the Easter Candle
and plunges it three times into the water of the font.

We ask you, O God of Life,
to send the Holy Spirit upon the waters of this font.

May all who are buried with Christ
in the death of baptism
also rise with him to newness of life.

We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

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The Elect, N. _____________ and
N. ___________ come forward.
They stand in front of the altar on the floor.
Their sponsors stand on the first step
behind them, facing the congregation.

The PRESIDER addresses the Elect here directly.

 

-- Renunciation of Sin:[ONLY to the candidates for Baptism]

Presider: Do you reject sin so as to live in the freedom of the children of God?
Elect: I do.

Presider: Do reject the glamour of evil, and refuse to be mastered by sin?
Elect: I do.

Presider: Do you reject the powers of darkness that still manifest themselves in our world?
Elect: I do.

 

-- Profession of Faith:

Presider: Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty,
creator of heaven and earth?

Elect: I do.

Presider:Do you believe in Jesus Christ,
the only Son, our Lord,
who was born of the Virgin Mary,
who was crucified, died, and was buried,
who rose from the dead,
and is now seated at the right hand of the Power?

Elect:
I do.

Presider: Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, [pause]
the holy catholic Church, [pause]
the communion of saints, [pause]
the forgiveness of sins, [pause]
the resurrection of the body, [pause]
and life everlasting?

Elect:
I do.

Presider: This is our faith. This is the faith of the Church in which you are to be baptized. We are proud to profess it in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

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-- Liturgy of Baptism:

Baptism of Christ.
(BNF, Lat 18104) fol. 67 John of Berry's Petites Heures France, Paris 14th Century. (90 x 70 mm)

Each godparent, along with family or friends,
accompanies their candidate to the pool;
Catechist and Presider help the Elect into the water.
The two of them immerse the Elect.
The GODPARENTS
are ready at hand with the large towels.

Presider: N. ___________, are you ready and willing to be baptized into the faith you have just professed?

R: Yes, I am.

The candidates are immersed three times
while the Presider says the formula of baptism.

N.____________,
I baptize you in the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.

When the newly baptized person comes up out of the pool,
the GODPARENTS wrap that one in a large towel.
They then accompany the newly baptized
to a changing room to dry and change clothes.

After EACH PERSON comes up from the font ,
the choir leads the congregation in singing:

MUSIC: You Who Have Put on Christ
--
(Worship, #830) -- choir, congregation

The presider now invites the congregation to renew its baptismal promises, to reject sin and profess faith in God.

 

-- Signing with Water:

PRESIDER: Dear friends,
through the Paschal Mystery
we have been buried with Christ in baptism,
so that we may rise with him to the newness of life.

Now that we have completed our Lenten observance,
let us renew now the promises we made in baptism,
when we rejected sin and
promised to serve God faithfully
in the holy catholic Church.

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- - Renunciation of Sin:

NOW to candidates for Confirmation & whole congregation:

Presider: Do you reject sin so as to live in the freedom of the children of God?
Faithful: I do.

Presider:Do reject the glamour of evil, and refuse to be mastered by sin?
Faithful: I do.

Presider: Do you reject the powers of darkness that still manifest themselves in our world?
Faithful: I do.

 

-- Profession of Faith:

Presider: Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty,
creator of heaven and earth?

Faithful: I do.

Presider:Do you believe in Jesus Christ,
the only Son, our Lord,
who was born of the Virgin Mary,
who was crucified, died, and was buried,
who rose from the dead,
and is now seated at the right hand of the Power?

Faithful:
I do.

Presider: Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, [pause]
the holy catholic Church, [pause]
the communion of saints, [pause]
the forgiveness of sins, [pause]
the resurrection of the body, [pause]
and life everlasting?

Faithful:
I do.

Presider: This is our faith. This is the faith of the Church in which you are to be baptized. We are proud to profess it in Christ Jesus, our Lord.


After the Profession of Faith,
the PRESIDER invites all to come forward
to the baptismal pool
to make the sign of the cross
on the forehead of the person behind them

(BNF, Lat 18104) fol. 89v John of Berry's Petites Heures France, Paris 14th Century.(BNF, Lat 18104) fol. 89v John
Resurrection of Christ.
(BNF, Lat 18104) fol. 141 John of Berry's Petites Heures France, Paris 14th Century. (55 x 45 mm)

with the waters of baptism

on the forehead of the person behind them
with the waters of baptism.

PRESIDER & CATECHIST
go to the pool first and find someone to bless.
Each traces the sign of the cross
on the forehead of the person behind.

MUSIC: Behold the River of Life
-- Roc O'Connor, SJ -- choir & congregation

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-- Confirmation:

When the newly baptized have returned,
they wait by the front doors with their godparents.
The CATECHIST escorts the neophytes to the front.

APPLAUSE HERE is appropriate!

NEOPHYTES & GODPARENTS
stand together in front.
GODPARENTS stand on the first step
behind their candidates,
who remain standing on the floor.
GODPARENTS place both hands
upon their candidate's shoulders.

MUSIC: Veni Sancte Spiritus
--
Roc O'Connor, SJ -- choir & congregation
. . . Refrain to be sung quietly during the following prayers:

 

Catechist: We welcome N.________ and N. ________
to the sacrament of Confirmation.
They have already been baptized as children
and now they present themselves
to receive this sacrament
so that they may live
as full and active members of the Church.

The Catechist addresses all the candidates for Confirmation.

Catechist: You who have put on Christ in baptism,
you are members of Christ
and of this priestly people.
Now you are to share
in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit among us,
the Spirit sent by the Lord
upon his apostles at Pentecost
and given by them and their successors to the baptized.

The promised strength of the Holy Spirit,
which you are to receive,
will make you more like Christ
and help you to be witnesses
to his suffering, death, and resurrection.

It will strengthen you
to be active members of the Church
and to build up the Body of Christ in faith and love.

 

PRESIDER: (continuing) My dear friends,
let us pray to our God Most High
to pour out the Holy Spirit on these candidates
to strengthen them with divine gifts
and anoint them to be more like Christ,
the Chosen One of God.

All pray briefly in silence.

-- Laying on of Hands

The presider goes to each candidate and,
placing his hands on her head,
prays in silence over each one.

Sponsors keep their hands on their candidate's shoulders
and pray also in silence.

PRESIDER:

(invites the whole community to stand
and raise their hands in blessing)

All powerful God,
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
by water and the Holy Spirit
you freed your sons and daughters from sin
and gave them new life.

Send your Holy Spirit upon them, we pray,
to be their helper and guide.
Give them the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of right judgment and courage,
the spirit of knowledge and reverence.
Fill them with the spirit of wonder and awe in you presence.

We ask this through Christ Jesus our Lord.

R. Amen.

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-- Anointing with Chrism:

The presider takes the chrism
and "lavishly" anoints the forehead of each candidate,
making sure each receives a healthy dose of the sacred oil.

Presider: N.____________, be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit. R. Amen.

Presider: Peace be with you.
R. And also with you.

 

-- Giving of Candles to Newly Confirmed:

The CATECHIST makes sure
that the GODPARENTS have their candles in hand;
she then directs them to light their
candles from the Paschal Candle.

Then each presents a candle to the newly confirmed.

PRESIDER: Receive the Light of Christ!
You have been enlightened by Christ.
Walk always as children of the light!
Keep the flame of faith alive in your hearts
so that when the Lord comes
you may go out to meet him with all the saints
in the heavenly reign of God.

R. Amen.

We have completed our rites of baptism and confirmation,
and, in a moment, the newly initiated
will begin to prepare the table for the Eucharistic Banquet.

But, now, let us welcome them
and celebrate the gift God has given to us in the Church.
Let us sing to the glory of God
who continually and mightily renews us in Christ Jesus.

 

-- Procession of Neophytes:

MUSIC: Glory to God
-- John Foley, SJ -- choir & congregation & bells

The PRESIDER leads the NEOPHYTES
and their GODPARENTS through the church
during the singing of the Glory to God.

Bells are rung joyously.

The procession ends when the NEOPHYTES and GODPARENTS come to the front for THE GENERAL INTERCESSIONS. THE GENERAL INTERCESSIONS.

The PRESIDER introduces the intercessions with a prayer.
The newly initiated will read one prayer intention.
The CATECHIST reads the last one.

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-- General Intercessions:

First Neophyte: Our response is: "God of glory, hear our prayer."
For the Church throughout the world. [pause]
That the power of Christ's resurrection
may transform all God's people
that we may live more fully, the Good News of Jesus.

We pray. R. God of glory, hear our prayer.

Second Neophyte: For peace in our world. [pause]
That the light of Christ enlighten the hearts
of all to work for justice, peace and reconciliation
between peoples, tribes, and nations.

We pray. R. God of glory, hear our prayer.

First Godparent: In thanksgiving to God for N. ____ and N. ____ [pause]
as well as for all newly initiated Christians
throughout the Church tonight:
That they all may touch the world
with the mystery of Christ which has touched their lives.

We pray. R. God of glory, hear our prayer.

Second Godparent: For all those who are ill and who bear heavy burdens [pause]
that they may find in Christ's suffering, death, and resurrection
the mystery of their Christian vocation
as well as the healing of their ills.

We pray. R. God of glory, hear our prayer.

CATECHIST: For this community of faith at IHM: [pause]
that the joy of the Risen Christ may nourish our hearts
and lead us all to live fully in the presence of God.

We pray. R. God of glory, hear our prayer.

PRESIDER concludes with a prayer.
At the end of the prayers, all go to the back
and prepare to help set the table
and to bring up the gifts and altar decorations.

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Liturgy of the Eucharist

After the General Intercessions, all are seated.
some members of the community join with the neophytes and their godparents to set the table with altar cloth, flowers. . .
then lit candles and their holders...
then books and vessels.

The NEOPHYTES and GODPARENTS
bring up the gifts of bread and wine.

MUSIC: What Wondrous Love
-- (Worship #600) -- choir & congregation.

 

-- Eucharistic Prayer & Acclamation:

MUSIC: Acclamations
Mass of Creation
-- Marty Haugen -- choir & congregation

 

-- Communion Hymn:

MUSIC:: Taste and See
-- James Moore -- choir & congregation

 

-- Blessing & Dismissal:

The presider sings the TRIPLE ALLELUIA.

-- Recessional:

MUSIC: Jesus Christ is Risen Today
Traditional -- choir & congregation

-- Reception in the Community Room:

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