The Great Vigil of Easter
Saturday, April 15, 7 p.m.
Click this link to view a blog post from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) regarding this service and its connections with Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.
Click this link to view a blog post by our own Jennifer Clark Tinker which tells about her experience and joy related to attending the Great Vigil of Easter each year.
An Introduction to the Vigil of Easter
Like the children of Israel who watched and waited through the night for the Lord of the Exodus, we too come together this night to watch and wait for the Lord of the Resurrection. We come, as Christians have come since the first century, to keep vigil and to prepare ourselves for the arrival of the Bridegroom who is chief host and guest at the Resurrection feast to come.
First, we must break the darkness of the night. Like the virgins in the parable, we must light our vigil lights. Our light will be a very special light, for it is the light of Christ which burns atop the Paschal candle and which dispels the darkness — of night, of sin, of death. Our light will be a constant reminder of the Resurrection victory during the coming season, at every baptism and at every funeral. But for now, it will burn in vigil as we await the Bridegroom.
When we have settled into our pews for the watch, we hear the storytellers among us sharing the stories of our faith — the stories of God’s salvation history and the covenants which he made with our people. These are our “family” stories. We listen. We sing. We watch. And we wait for the feast to come.
After hearing our stories, we make our last minute preparations to meet our Lord. All must be right for the feast. On some years those among us who have not yet joined us are brought into membership with us this night, making all who are here part of the Church family, known as the Bride of Christ. Each year, so that the whole family is prepared, each of us reaffirms our faith through the Apostles Creed. As we interact with the water and the Lord, we hear and we feel that grace which was given to us through our baptism.
We are nearly ready. The time is close. We prepare the room and set the table for the Feast of Victory, the First Holy Communion of this greatest festival day of all. And then at last He comes! The Resurrection victory is won! The Bridegroom has come through the darkness to claim his Bride, the Church, to be his own. This is the feast of victory! In the end flowers and banners must adorn the space, for our time this evening and tomorrow will be a feast to remember.
Our Celebrations of the Resurrection of Jesus
The Great Vigil of Easter – 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 15 – see the introduction below. Shared with Waldeck Lutheran Church.
Easter Sunrise – 6:45 a.m. on Sunday, April 16, at the Carmine Cemetery. Bring a lawn or folding chair for seating. Shared with Waldeck Lutheran Church.
Easter Festival – Sunday April 16. Opportunities at both MLLC and Waldeck
9:00 a.m. – Sunday School
10:00 a.m. – Festival Worship
~11:15 a.m. – Easter Egg Hunt
8:00 a.m. – Festival Worship
~9:00 a.m. – Pot-luck Easter Breakfast – bring an item to share
9:30 a.m./After Breakfast – Easter Egg Hunt