Saint George's Church
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The Great Easter Vigil

The night before Easter is the Christian Passover. We commemorate Jesus passing from death into new life. We begin in the courtyard and light a fire against the darkness of the night. From the fire, we light the Paschal candle, the big candle that represents Christ as the Light of the world. We then light our individual candles from the Paschal candle and process into a darkened church that has been adorned for Easter. The Paschal candle is placed beside the baptismal font and we gather around to hear the cantor sing a beautiful, ancient piece called the Exsultet that expresses the mystery and majesty of this most holy night. Then, we are all seated and hear the story of salvation history, readings from the Old Testament, interspersed with especially lovely music. Then, we proclaim, "Alleluia. Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia! "All of the lights are lit and we ring bells, sing an Easter hymn, and hear the Epistle and Gospel reading. Then we celebrate the Eucharist with special joy and fervor, giving thanks for all that Christ has done and is doing for us and through us. (Note: In the early church, this was THE night for baptism.) We conclude by “breaking our Lenten fast” with a sparkling cider, champagne and chocolate reception. 

Earlier Event: April 19
Good Friday Liturgy (7:30 pm)
Later Event: April 21
Easter Sunday Worship