Updated: April, 2010

MLC Home Page: Easter Vilil

Montreal Lutheran Council
Conseil Lutherienne de Montréal

Easter Vigil

A new fire is kindled...

On this Holy Night...
We gather with Christians around the world to celebrate Christ's passover from death to life. The early Christians continued to observe the first passover in which God delivered the Hebrews from slavery at the hands of Pharoah. They saw the death and resurrection of Christ as their passing over from death to life, from darkness to light, from bondage to freedom. On the night before Easter they baptised those who had been prepared during Lent, and observed a night vigil, a waiting for the coming of the Lord.

As our celebration of the Three Days of Jesus' death and resurrection comes to culmination, we too gather in vigil and prayer. A new fire is kindled, representing the new creation we share in Christ. We follow the paschal (Easter) candle in procession, a pillar of fire which is for the light of Christ's resurrection. As the light spreads among us, we sing an ancient hymn that extols the great joy and glory of this night of nights. Then, using primal narratives from the Hebrew scriptures, we tell some of the greatest stories of our faith. These are more than stories from long ago; they are pictures and icons of the resurrection. Their power is unleashed for us today as we partake of the new life of Jesus's death and resurrection.

Next we gather around the baptismal font. On this night we join with Christians around the world as new brothers and sisters in Christ are plunged into the waters of death, reborn as children of God. Surrounded by the newly baptized and the saints through the ages we renew our baptismal vows, promising, with God's help, to live as the body of Christ in the coming year of grace.

At the Lord's table we meet our risen Lord, as we feast on the food of the promised land. But this night is only the beginning of the great fifty days of Easter, in which we shout our alleluias and celebrate the great banquet of victory.

Pastor Eric Dyck (Preface to the Easter Vigil Programme)


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