Easter Vigil

Before proceeding to the Holy Communion, the Priest shall exhort the people, saying,

This is the day of Resurrection: let us be radiant for the festival and let us embrace one another; let us say, O brethren, even to those that hate us; let us forgive all things on the Resurrection, and thus let us cry:

Christ is risen from the dead, Trampling down death by death, And upon those in the tombs Bestowing life!

And he shall continue in these words.

If anyone is devout and a lover of God, let him enjoy this beautiful and radiant festival. If anyone is a wise servant, let him, rejoicing, enter into the joy of his Lord. If anyone hath wearied himself in fasting, let him now receive his recompense. If any man be devout and love God, let him enjoy this fair and radiant triumphal feast. If any man be a wise servant, let him rejoicing enter into the joy of his Lord. If any have labored long in fasting, let him now receive his recompense. If any have wrought from the first hour, let him today receive his just reward. If any have come at the third hour, let him with thankfulness keep the feast. If any have arrived at the sixth hour, let him have no misgivings; because he shall in no wise be deprived therefore. If any have delayed until the ninth hour, let him draw near, fearing nothing. If any have tarried even until the eleventh hour, let him, also, be not alarmed at his tardiness; for the Lord, who is jealous of his honour, will accept the last even as the first; he gives rest unto him who comes at the eleventh hour, even as unto him who has wrought from the first hour. And he shows mercy upon the last, and cares for the first; and to the one he gives, and upon the other he bestows gifts. And he both accepts the deeds, and welcomes the intention, and honours the acts and praises the offering. Wherefore, enter you all into the joy of your Lord; and receive your reward, both the first, and likewise the second. Ye rich and poor together, hold high festival. Ye sober and ye heedless, honour the day. Rejoice today, ye both who have fasted and who have disregarded the fast. The table is full-laden; feast ye all richly. The calf is fatted; let no one go hungry away. Enjoy ye all the feast of faith: Receive ye all the riches of loving-kindness. Let no one bewail his poverty, for the universal kingdom is revealed. Let no one weep for his iniquities, for pardon is shewn forth from the grave. Let no one fear death, for the Saviour’s death hath set us free. He that was held prisoner of it hath annihilated it. By descending into Hell, He took Hell captive. He embittered it when it tasted of his flesh. And Isaiah, foretelling this, did cry: Hell, said he, was embittered, when it encountered thee in the lower regions. It was embittered, for it was abolished. It was embittered, for it was mocked. It was embittered, for it was slain. It was embittered, for it was overthrown. It was embittered, for it was fettered in chains. It took a body, and met God face to face. It took earth, and encountered Heaven. It took that which was seen, and fell upon the unseen. O Death, where is thy sting? O Hell, where is thy victory? Christ is risen, and ye are overthrown! Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen! Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice! Christ is risen, and life reigns! Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave! For Christ, being risen from the dead, is become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. To him be glory and dominion, world without end. Amen.

Shortly thereafter shall begin the Holy Communion, with Psalm 16 for the Introit, Psalms 113–14 for the Offertory, and Psalms 115–18 before the Gloria.

Both the post-communion prayers O Lord and heavenly Father, and Almighty and everliving God, may upon this feast be said in succession at the same service.

Church bells may be rung during and after the Gloria.


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