Today is Holy Saturday, the day before Easter, and this evening churches across the world will celebrate what is called the “Easter Vigil,” a beautiful, candle-lit service marking the arrival of Easter. If you are in New Haven this evening, I invite you to attend the vigil at the Episcopal Church at Yale, done with our ecumenical partners from Luther House at Yale, held at 11PM in Dwight Hall Chapel on Old Campus. To give you a taste of what vigil is all about, below is a series of prayers for Easter Vigil from the book Celtic Daily Prayer.
This is now the night when first You freed Your people, and led Israel’s children out from slavery in Egypt.
Dry-shod, they walked through the sea.
This is now the night when the pillar of fire destroyed the darkness of sin!
This night, Christians everywhere, washed clean, and free from any blemish, are renewed in hope, and learn to grow together as one.
This night, Jesus our mighty Lord broke the chains of death, and returned to us, undefeated.
He is become our Champion.
What good would life have been to us, had the Son of the Most High not come to redeem us from our helplessness?
The power of this holy night drives away evil and washes guilt away, restores lost innocence, and turns our mourning into joyful dancing.
It humbles the proud of heart, overturns hatred, and quickens us to peace.
In the joy of this night, Father, receive our offering:
this holy fire, this Easter light.
Let its flame ever-burning break through the darkness of our times.
Let it be a pillar of fire, leading us forward in Your truth.
May the Sun of Justice which never sets find this flame still burning;
May Christ the Morning Star who came again from the dead find his light brightly burning in our hearts.
In me, Lord, let there be light.
If you are in New Haven this evening, I invite you to join the Episcopal Church at Yale and our ecumenical partners from Luther House at Yale for an Easter Vigil Service, held at Dwight Hall Chapel on Old Campus at 11PM tonight. All are welcome!