Easter Vigil

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April 16, 2022

Vigil of Easter: A Celebration of Our Lord’s Resurrection and Our Baptism

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

On this most holy night, in which our Lord Jesus Christ passed over from death to life, we are gathered here in vigil and prayer.  This is the Passover of the Lord in which, by hearing his Word and celebrating his sacraments, we share in his victory over death.

O God, you are like a refiner’s fire, and your Spirit kindles the hearts of your faithful people with the fire of your love. Bless, we ask you, this new flame and those who keep this joyful Easter festival. Burning with desire for life with you, may we be found rightly prepared to share in the Feast of Light which has no end, through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Amen.

The minister traces the cross and the Greek letters Α and Ω (Alpha and Omega) upon it, saying:
Christ Jesus, the same yesterday, today, and forever, the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega.

The minister traces the year upon the candle, saying:
His are time and eternity; his are the glory and dominion now and forever.

Then, as the attendant lights the candle from the newly kindled fire, the minister says:
May the light of Christ, who is risen in glory from the dead, scatter all the darkness of our hearts and minds.

Almighty and most merciful Father, once we were darkness, but now we are light in Jesus Christ our Lord. Bless abundantly all who joyfully celebrate this night in faith in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Fill them with your heavenly blessing in him, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever.
Amen.

Please light your candle from the paschal candle. 

Three times the “The Light of Christ” will be spoken. The congregation will respond by thanking God for his gift.  

The light of Christ.
Thanks be to God.

Exsultet

Candle Bearer: Rejoice now, all you heavenly choirs of angels; rejoice now, all creation; sound forth, trumpet of salvation, and proclaim the triumph of our King.
  Rejoice too, all the earth, in the radiance of the light now poured upon you and made brilliant by the brightness of the everlasting King; know that the ancient darkness has been forever banished.
  Rejoice, O Church of Christ, clothed in the brightness of this light; let all this house of God ring out with rejoicing, with the praises of all God’s faithful people.

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give him thanks and praise.

It is truly good and right that we should at all times and in all places, with all our hearts and minds and voices, praise you, O Lord, Holy Father, almighty and everlasting God, and your one and only Son, Jesus Christ.
For he is the true Paschal Lamb, who offered himself for the sin of the world, who has cleansed us by the shedding of his precious blood.

We celebrate the day when you brought our forefathers, the children of Israel, out of bondage in Egypt and led them through the Red Sea on dry ground.
We celebrate the day when all who believe in Christ are delivered from bondage to sin and are restored to life and immortality.

We celebrate the day when Christ, the Life, arose from the dead. The seal of the grave was broken and the morning of the new creation broke forth out of night.
Oh, how wonderful and beyond all telling is your mercy toward us, O God, that to redeem a slave you gave your Son.

How holy is the night when all wickedness is put to flight and sin is washed away.
How holy is the night when innocence is restored to the fallen and joy is given to those downcast.

How blessed are we this night when man is reconciled to God in Christ.
Holy Father, accept now the evening sacrifices of our thanksgiving and praise.

Let Christ, the true Light and Morning Star, shine in our hearts, he who gives light to all creation, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Amen.

The congregation extinguishes its candles. 

Service of Lessons

It was in the darkness that our Savior Christ the Lord broke the power of death and by his resurrection brought life and salvation to all creation. Let us praise the Lord, for he truly keeps his word. The sun of righteousness has dawned on those sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death.  Let us hear the record of God’s saving deeds in history, how he saved his people in ages past; and let us pray that our God will bring each of us to the fullness of redemption.

The lectors chosen from the congregation read the Vigil lessons. Each reading is followed by silence for reflection on God’s Word. The minister says the appointed prayer and the congregation responds.

Creation

1. Genesis 2:4-25

Let us pray.
  Almighty God, you most wonderfully created human nature and yet more wonderfully redeemed it. By your mercy renew us in the image of him who came to share our humanity, your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

The Flood

2. Genesis 6:1-3, 11-14, 17-22, 7:11-12, 7:24-8:1, 13-22, 9:12-16

Let us pray.
  O Lord, whose wrath burned against the evil of humanity, you kill and bring again to life according to your own purpose; you brought the flood on a wicked and perverse generation and yet saved faithful Noah and his family. Gather your elect into your Church, and so complete your work of mercy, that the ends of the earth may know your salvation, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Testing of Abraham

3. Genesis 22:1-18

Let us pray.
  O God, you promised to faithful Abraham that he would be the father of many nations, and through the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, you increase your chosen people throughout the world. Give to your Church a living trust in all your promises, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Israel’s Deliverance at the Red Sea

4. Exodus 14:10–15:1

Let us pray.
  O God, you once delivered your people Israel from slavery under Pharaoh and led them safely through the Red Sea. By this you gave us a picture of Baptism. Lead us always to rejoice in your baptismal promise, that we may live in its grace and declare to all people your desire to make them children of Abraham, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Salvation Offered Freely to All

5. Isaiah 42:1-9

Let us pray.
  Almighty God, you created and sustain all things by the power of your Word. You send forth your Spirit to renew your creation. Give your saving water of life to all who thirst, that they may bear much fruit in your glorious kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

A New Heart and a New Spirit

6. Ezekiel 36:24-28

Let us pray.
  Almighty and everlasting God, in the miracle of Easter you raised your Son for our justification and through him have given us a new heart and spirit. Give power to your holy people to show in their lives what they confess with their lips, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Faith Strained but Victorious

7. Job 19:20-27

Let us pray.
  Almighty God, by the Passover of your Son, you brought us out of sin into righteousness and out of death to life. Give your servants patience and endurance that, looking in faith to your Son, we may see beyond the trials of this life to the joys of the life to come, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

The Gathering of God’s People

8. Micah 2:12-13

Let us pray.
  O Lord, let all the world see that what has been cast down is raised up, what has grown old is made new, and the work you have begun in your faithful people is being brought to its joyful fulfillment in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Amen.

All You Works of the Lord

The canticle is spoken as the paschal candle is carried to the font.

All you works of the Lord, bless the Lord;
Praise him and magnify him forever.

You angels of the Lord, bless the Lord; 
  you heavens, bless the Lord;
  all you powers of the Lord, bless the Lord;
Praise him and magnify the LORD forever.

You sun and moon, bless the Lord;
  you stars of heaven, bless the Lord;
  you showers and dew, bless the Lord
Praise him and magnify our God forever.

You winds of God, bless the Lord;
  you fire and heat, bless the Lord; 
  you winter and summer, bless the Lord;
Praise him and magnify him forever.

You dews and frost, bless the Lord;
  you frost and cold, bless the Lord;
  you ice and snow, bless the Lord;
Praise him and magnify the LORD forever.

You nights and days, bless the Lord;
  you light and darkness, bless the Lord;
  you lightning and clouds, bless the Lord;
Praise him and magnify our God forever.

Let the earth bless the Lord:
  you mountains and hills, bless the Lord;
  all you green things that grow on the earth, bless the Lord;
Praise him and magnify him forever.

You wells and springs, bless the Lord; 
  you rivers and seas, bless the Lord;
  you whales and all who move in the seas, bless the Lord;
Praise him and magnify the LORD forever.

All you birds of the air, bless the Lord;
  all you beasts and cattle, bless the Lord;
  all you children of mortals, bless the Lord;
Praise him and magnify our God forever.

You people of God, bless the Lord;
  you priests of the Lord, bless the Lord;
  you servants of the Lord, bless the Lord;
Praise him and magnify him forever.

You spirits and souls of the righteous, bless the Lord;
  you pure and humble of heart, bless the Lord;
  let us bless the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit;
Praise him and magnify our God forever.

Service of Holy Baptism

In anticipation of the year’s holiest day, the whole Church of our Lord Jesus Christ recalls his death and burial, rejoicing in the gospel of his glorious resurrection from the dead. Holy Baptism is the precious means of grace by which our Father in heaven connects us with Christ in his life, death, and resurrection. The apostle Paul says:

“Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. 

If we have been united with him in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 
For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin – because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. 

Now if we died with Christ, 
we believe that we will also live with him. 

For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; 
death no longer has mastery over him. 

The death he died, he died to sin once for all; 
but the life he lives, he lives to God. 

In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin 
but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”

All Christians Who Have Been Baptized – CW 682

1 All Christians who have been baptized,
    who know the God of heaven,
and in whose daily life is prized
    the name of Christ once given:
consider now what God has done,
the gifts he gives to ev’ryone
    baptized into Christ Jesus!

2 You were before your day of birth,
    indeed, from your conception,
condemned and lost with all the earth,
    none good, without exception.
For like your parents’ flesh and blood,
turned inward from the highest good,
    you constantly denied him.

3 But all of that was washed away –
    immersed and drowned forever.
The water of your baptism day
    restored again whatever
old Adam and his sin destroyed
and all our sinful selves employed
    according to our nature.

4 In baptism we now put on Christ,
    our shame is fully covered
with all that he once sacrificed
    and freely for us suffered.
For here the flood of his own blood
presents us holy, right, and good
    before our heav’nly Father.

5 O Christian, firmly hold this gift
    and give God thanks forever!
It gives the power to uplift
    in all that you endeavor.
When nothing else revives your soul,
your baptism stands and makes you whole
    and then in death completes you.

6 So use it well! You are made new –
    in Christ a new creation!
As faithful Christians, live and do
    within your own vocation,
until that day when you possess
his glorious robe of righteousness
    bestowed on you forever!

The congregation joins in the following renunciation and profession of faith as a remembrance of their baptisms.

In Holy Baptism, God takes away our sins and gives new life in Christ our Lord. We solemnly renounce the devil and all his works and all his ways; we confess the gift of faith in God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I ask you: Do you reject the devil along with all his lies and empty promises?
Yes, and I ask God to help me continue to reject him.

Do you believe in God, the Father almighty?
Yes, I believe in God, the Father almighty, 
  maker of heaven and earth. 

Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son?
Yes, I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, 
  who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, 
    suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
  He descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. 
  He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
  From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

Do you believe in the Holy Spirit?
Yes, I believe in the Holy Spirit,
  the holy Christian Church, 
    the communion of saints,
  the forgiveness of sins, 
  the resurrection of the body,
  and the life everlasting. Amen.

Do you intend to continue in this faith, to be diligent in the use of Word and sacrament, and in faith and action remain true to God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – as long as you live?
Yes, and I ask God to help me to keep this promise. 

May Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has given you the new birth of water and of the Spirit and has forgiven you all your sins, strengthen you with his grace to life everlasting.
Amen.

The paschal candle is returned to its stand.

Service of Holy Communion

For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.
This is the day the Lord has made; 
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

The Gospel – Mark 16:1-8

  When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” 
  But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. 
  “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ ” 
  Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid. 

Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed!

Prayer of the Day

O God, who made this most holy night to shine with the glory of the resurrection of our Lord, preserve in all your people the Spirit of adoption which you have given, that they may serve you in faith and joy, through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Amen.

Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven,
  hallowed be your name,
  your kingdom come,
  your will be done
    on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
  as we forgive those
  who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
  and the glory are yours
  now and forever. Amen.

The Preface to the Lord’s Supper

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give him thanks and praise!

Holy, Holy, Holy

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts. 
The whole earth is full of your glory.  
  You are my God, and I will exalt you. 
  I will give you thanks, for you have become my salvation. 
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts. 
The whole earth is full of your glory.

The Word of Institution

Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night he was betrayed, took bread; and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

Then he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for you for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

The Word of Peace

The peace of the Lord be with you always.
Amen.

Lamb of God

Lamb of God, pure and holy, 
Who on the cross did suffer,
Ever patient and lowly, 
Yourself to scorn did offer.
All sins you carried for us, 
Else had despair reigned o’er us:  
Have mercy on us, O Jesus!

Distribution of the Lord’s Supper

Distribution Hymn

Awake, My Heart, with Gladness – CW 443

1 Awake, my heart, with gladness –
    see what today is done!
Now, after gloom and sadness,
    comes forth the glorious sun.
My Savior there was laid
where our bed must be made
    when to the realms of light
    our spirit wings its flight.

2 The foe in triumph shouted
    when Christ lay in the tomb;
but lo, he now is routed,
    his boast is turned to gloom.
For Christ again is free;
in glorious victory
    he who is strong to save
    has triumphed o’er the grave.

3 This is a sight that gladdens –
    what peace it does impart!
Now nothing ever saddens
    the joy within my heart.
No gloom shall ever shake,
no foe shall ever take
    the hope which God’s own Son
    in love for me has won.

4 Now I will cling forever
    to Christ, my Savior dear.
My Lord will leave me never;
    with him I need not fear.
He rends death’s iron chain;
he breaks through sin and pain.
    He shatters hell’s dark thrall;
    I follow him through all.

5 He brings me to the portal
    that leads to bliss untold,
whereon this rhyme immortal
    is found in script of gold:
“Who there my cross has shared
finds here a crown prepared;
    who there with me has died
    shall here be glorified.”

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his mercy endures forever.

Whenever we eat this bread and drink this cup,
we proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

Prayer

Almighty God, you give us the joy of celebrating our Lord’s resurrection. Give us also the joys of life in your service, and bring us at last to the full joy of life eternal, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 
Amen.

Blessing

The Lord bless you and keep you.
  The Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you.
    The Lord look on you with favor and give you peace.  
Amen.