Sunday, March 29, 2015
The Easter Vigil
The Easter Vigil in the Way takes approximately 6-7 hours. Preparation for the Vigil starts on Saturday morning. The community gets together for morning prayer and then breaks up into groups. Many communities have their Easter Vigil at a hotel. There would be a set up group setting up the place, a cantors practice, and readers practicing the readings and their admonitions on that day. By the afternoon, everything would be set up, and members would go home to prepare for their agape. Some communities do not need to prepare their agapes because the hotel provides it.
The Easter Vigil usually starts at 10:00 or 11:00 pm. The community does not go to the regular parish Mass for Easter Vigil. Why? Because they are at home sleeping. We need to sleep in order to attend the NCW Easter Vigil. Those who are in the NCW already know that the preparations have all been set up since Saturday morning after morning prayer. The NCW Easter Vigil also do not start until an hour or two hours after the parish Easter Vigil ends. And the NCW members know that they need to sleep after the preparation in order to keep awake for the next 6 or 7 hours during the Easter Vigil.
It is only during Holy Thursday and Good Friday that we attend the parish Mass before going to our own community celebration, which always takes place in the home. And even then, we do not rush out of Church early because the home celebrations have already been set up in the morning.
What I find even more remarkable about the Easter Vigil is that people (especially the youths and the children) stay up for six or seven hours celebrating the Easter Mass. It is a long night, but no one feels the time because everyone (including the young children) participate in the celebration. Below is a video of children participating in our 6-7 hour Easter Vigil.