Easter Vigil

The Easter Vigil that followeth shall not be said except after sunset, nor shall it in any wise displace the services already ordered in the Book of Common Prayer.

At such time when the Service is to begin, the Ministers shall enter in silence. When that light is lit by which the Lessons are to be read, the Priest shall pray the Collect which followeth.

Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord; and by thy great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of thy only Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Then shall he address the people in these or other such like words.

On this most holy night, dearly beloved brethren, our holy mother the Church, calling to mind the death and burial of our Lord Jesus Christ, rendereth unto him love for love, and keepeth vigil: and awaiting his glorious resurrection, rejoiceth with great gladness. Wherefore let us hear the record of God’s saving deeds, remembering how he of his great mercy hath saved his people in times past, and in the fullness of time did send his only-begotten Son to be our Redeemer; and let us beseech our heavenly Father his everlasting mercies, that in his Son we may be found pure and blameless.

The Collect of Easter Even.

Grant, O Lord, that as we are baptized into the death of thy blessed Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, so by continually mortifying our corrupt affections we may be buried with him; and that through the grave, and gate of death, we may pass to our joyful resurrection; for his merits, who died, and was buried, and rose again for us, thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Then shall be sung the two Psalms following.

As pants the hart, Psalm 42.

God, how are my foes increas’d, Psalm 3.

Here follow seven Lessons from the Old Testament.

Genesis 7.1–8.22.

And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation. Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth. For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth. And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him. And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth. And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood. Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and of every thing that creepeth upon the earth, there went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah. And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth. In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights. In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark; they, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort. And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life. And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in. And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth. And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: all in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark. And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days. And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged; the fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained; and the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated. And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat. And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen. And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made: and he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth. Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground; but the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark. And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark; and the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth. And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more. And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry. And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried. And God spake unto Noah, saying, Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives with thee. Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth. And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him: every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark. And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

Here may follow Psalm 69.

Genesis 22.1–18.

And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen. And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, and said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

Here may follow Psalm 112.

Exodus 14.24–15.2.

And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the LORD looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians, and took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the LORD fighteth for them against the Egyptians. And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen. And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them. But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. Thus the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the seashore. And Israel saw that great work which the LORD did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD, and his servant Moses. Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him a habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.

Here may follow Psalm 95.

Ezekiel 37.1–14.

The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, and caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest. Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: and I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD. So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, and shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.

Here may follow Psalm 14.

Jeremiah 31.15–37.

Thus saith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not. Thus saith the LORD; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the LORD; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy. And there is hope in thine end, saith the LORD, that thy children shall come again to their own border. I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the LORD my God. Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth. Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a pleasant child? for since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my bowels are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the LORD. Set thee up waymarks, make thee high heaps: set thine heart toward the highway, even the way which thou wentest: turn again, O virgin of Israel, turn again to these thy cities. How long wilt thou go about, O thou backsliding daughter? for the LORD hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; As yet they shall use this speech in the land of Judah and in the cities thereof, when I shall bring again their captivity; The LORD bless thee, O habitation of justice, and mountain of holiness. And there shall dwell in Judah itself, and in all the cities thereof together, husbandmen, and they that go forth with flocks. For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul. Upon this I awaked, and beheld; and my sleep was sweet unto me. Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast. And it shall come to pass, that like as I have watched over them, to pluck up, and to break down, and to throw down, and to destroy, and to afflict; so will I watch over them, to build, and to plant, saith the LORD. In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children’s teeth are set on edge. But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge. Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.

Here may follow Psalm 40.

Jonah 1–3.

Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not. And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah. Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou? And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land. Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them. Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous. And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you. Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them. Wherefore they cried unto the LORD, and said, We beseech thee, O LORD, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O LORD, hast done as it pleased thee. So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging. Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made vows. Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish’s belly, And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice. For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me. Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple. The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head. I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God. When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple. They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy. But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD. And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land. And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee. So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days’ journey. And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

Here may follow Psalm 2.

Daniel 3.

Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. Then the princes, the governors, and captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together unto the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages, That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up: and whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of musick, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. Wherefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near, and accused the Jews. They spake and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live for ever. Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, shall fall down and worship the golden image: and whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up? Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made ; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated. And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Therefore because the king’s commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire. And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them. Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God. Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort. Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon.

Benedicite, opera omnia.

O all ye Works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Angels of the Lord, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Heavens, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Waters that be above the Firmament, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O all ye Powers of the Lord, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Sun and Moon, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever;
O ye Stars of Heaven, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Showers and Dew, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Winds of God, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Fire and Heat, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Winter and Summer, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Dews and Frosts, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Frost and Cold, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Ice and Snow, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Nights and Days, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Light and Darkness, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Lightnings and Clouds, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O let the Earth bless the Lord : yea, let it praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Mountains and Hills, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O all ye Green Things upon the Earth, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Wells, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Seas and Floods, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Whales, and all that move in the Waters, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O all ye Fowls of the Air, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O all ye Beasts and Cattle, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Children of Men, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O let Israel bless the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Priests of the Lord, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Servants of the Lord, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Spirits and Souls of the Righteous, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye holy and humble Men of heart, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O Ananias, Azarias, and Misael, bless : ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.

Then shall the Litany be said, with this Psalm following.

Dominus illuminatio, Psalm 27.

The Lord is my light, and my salvation; whom then shall I fear : the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom then shall I be afraid?
When the wicked, even mine enemies, and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh : they stumbled and fell.
Though an host of men were laid against me, yet shall not my heart be afraid : and though there rose up war against me, yet will I put my trust in him.
One thing have I desired of the Lord, which I will require : even that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the fair beauty of the Lord, and to visit his temple.
For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his tabernacle : yea, in the secret place of his dwelling shall he hide me, and set me up upon a rock of stone.
And now shall he lift up mine head : above mine enemies round about me.
Therefore will I offer in his dwelling an oblation with great gladness : I will sing, and speak praises unto the Lord.
Hearken unto my voice, O Lord, when I cry unto thee : have mercy upon me, and hear me.
My heart hath talked of thee, Seek ye my face : Thy face, Lord, will I seek.
O hide not thou thy face from me : nor cast thy servant away in displeasure.
Thou hast been my succour : leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.
When my father and my mother forsake me : the Lord taketh me up.
Teach me thy way, O Lord : and lead me in the right way, because of mine enemies.
Deliver me not over into the will of mine adversaries : for there are false witnesses risen up against me, and such as speak wrong.
I should utterly have fainted : but that I believe verily to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
O tarry thou the Lord’s leisure : be strong, and he shall comfort thine heart; and put thou thy trust in the Lord.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.

Which done, the Priest shall give this blessing closing the Litany.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore. Amen.

Then the Priest shall leave the body of the church, and there shall be kept a solemn and awful silence, about the space of half an hour.

And the Priest, returning to the west end of the church, shall enter with new fire; and he shall sing,

Blest Lord, Creator of the glowing light,
At Whose behest the hours successive move,
The sun has set: black darkness broods above:
Christ! light Thy faithful through the coming night.

Thy courts are lit with stars unnumberèd,
And in the cloudless vault the pale moon rides;
Yet Thou dost bid us seek the fire that hides
Till swift we strike it from its flinty bed.

So man may learn that in Christ’s body came
The hidden hope of light to mortals given:
He is the Rock – ’tis his own word – that riven
Sends forth to all our race the eternal flame.

So by Thy gifts, great Father, hearth and hall
Are all ablaze with points of twinkling light
That vie with daylight spent; and vanquished Night
Rends, as she flies away, her sable pall.

Through Christ thy Kingdom shall for ever be,
Thy grace, might, wisdom, glory ever shine,
As in the triune majesty benign
He reigns for all eternity with thee.

Then shall the Deacon read this Paschal Proclamation, a large Paschal candle being lit and other candles being lit from it throughout the church.

Rejoice now, all ye heavenly legions of angels, all high things that pass understanding: for the King that cometh with victory, let the trumpet proclaim salvation. Sing with joy, O earth, illumined with this celestial radiancy: and enlightened by the eternal God, thy glory, believe and know that thou hast put away all the darkness of all mankind. So likewise let our mother, his holy Church, welcome the bright beams of light shed upon her: and let his holy courts be filled with the praises of his people. I pray and beseech you therefore, dearly beloved, that all ye who here are present seeking this heavenly brightness should make your supplication with me to the Almighty, that he would show forth his mercy toward me: that he, who in my unworthiness hath numbered me among his ministers and called me to do him service, so also may vouchsafe to lighten my darkness, making me meet to praise his glorious Name with thankfulness; through Jesus Christ our Lord our mediator and redeemer: who liveth and reigneth with him in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

Deacon. The Lord be with you;
Answer. And with thy spirit.
Deacon. Lift up your hearts
Answer. We lift them up unto the Lord.
Deacon. Let us give thanks unto our Lord God;
Answer. It is meet and right so to do.

Deacon.

It is very meet and right, that with the service of our lips we should glorify and praise, with heart and soul, God the invisible and almighty, and likewise his only-begotten Son Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, who for us did pay to the eternal Father the debt of Adam’s transgression, and with his dear blood wipe away the reproach of our former offences.

(1) Now, therefore, we sacrifice our Passover, wherein for us the very Lamb of God is slain, by whose blood the doors of his faithful people are made holy.

(2) The night is come, wherein, when our fathers, the children of Israel, were led forth out of Egypt, thou dividedst the sea and made them to pass over as on dry land.

(3) Yea, the night is come, that with the fiery pillar hath purged away the darkness of our condemnation.

(4) The night is come, whereby all that believe in Christ upon the face of all the earth, delivered from this naughty world and out of the shadow of death, are renewed unto grace, and are made partakers of eternal life.

(5) The night is come, wherein the bonds of death were loosed, and Christ harrowing hell rose again in triumph. For wherefore should man be born into this world, save that being born he might be redeemed? How wonderful then, O God, is thy loving kindness unto us thy children! Behold what manner of love he hath bestowed upon us: who, to redeem a servant, delivered up his only Son! O wonderful providence of Adam’s transgression, that by such a death sin might be done away! O blessed iniquity, for whose redemption such a price was paid by such a Saviour.

(6) O night verily blessed, to whom alone that time and that hour were made manifest, when our Saviour Christ rose again from death unto life.

(7) The night is come, whereof David said: behold the night is as clear as the day: then shall my night be turned into day. The mystery therefore of this most holy night putteth to flight the deeds of darkness, and purgeth away sin; restoreth innocence to the fallen, and gladness unto them that mourn; casteth out hatred, bringeth peace to all mankind, and boweth down mighty princes.

Therefore in this thy favourable time, accept, O holy Father, this our evening sacrifice of incense: which as at this time thy holy Church maketh unto thee, and offereth to thee by the hands of thy servants, the works of the creatures thou hast made.

Ye hear, brethren, the meaning of this pillar we have set up, which in God’s honour the bright flame of fire doth set alight. Which though it be never so much divided, yet knoweth not variableness nor loseth ought of its splendour. For the wax that melteth doth feed the flame, for thereunto have the creatures of God’s hands brought it forth, that it should give light in darkness. O night, verily blessed, which did spoil the people of Egypt and magnify the Hebrews! O night, wherein heaven and earth are joined, and mankind partaketh with the Godhead.

We pray thee, therefore, O most merciful, that the candles which thou hast lighted and consecrated within thy sons, by thy Holy Spirit, may continue to shine forth without ceasing, and may vanquish all the shades of darkness: that being accepted before thee as a sweet savour, they may be numbered with the lights that thou hast kindled. May the Daystar find them burning when he dawneth into day, the daystar that riseth and knoweth not his going down, but coming forth from the place of darkness doth gladly give light to all creation.

We beseech thee, therefore, O most merciful: that thou wouldst direct and guide us thy servants, and the hearts of all thy faithful family, and all those also that minister in thy service, especially thy servant N. our Bishop, so helping us with continual grace, that we may pass our time in rest and quietness, in the glad solemnity of our redemption. Guide and defend those who are put in authority over us, especially thy servant the President of the United States, that we may be godly and quietly governed, and come to the joys of thine eternal Kingdom, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, our Mediator and Redeemer, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit: ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Here may be sung John Damascene’s hymn, The day of Resurrection.

Priest.

Alleluia. Christ is risen.

Answer.

He is risen indeed. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

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