Peace Lutheran Church of Edgemont
Sunday, May 09, 2021
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Tridumm (Trih-du-um) Continued The Easter Vigil

The Easter Vigil

The celebration of the Easter Vigil tells the whole story of our salvation — from creation to resurrection and beyond.

Because of all the ritual moments this service tends to be on the lengthy side (an average Easter Vigil will last at least 2-2 1/2 hours) and it usually is held later in the evening or into the night. But don’t let the length of time of the celebration detract you from participating what happens in this worship is powerful. The Easter Vigil includes the lighting of the Easter Fire and Paschal Candle (the large candle by the baptismal font that we use throughout the year for baptisms and funeral), the singing of the Exsultet (the Easter Proclamation), the expanded set of Lessons that traces time through the story of our Salvation, the Liturgy of Initiation (where traditionally people are baptized and welcomed into the family of God), and the celebration of the Communion. All these rituals come together for one purpose: to remember and recall the saving deeds of our God on our behalf. Here’s an explanation of two moments from the celebration. Easter Vigil is the inspiration for the now beloved tradition of Candlelight Christmas Eve Lessons and Carols Worship. 

The Singing of the Exsultet

The Easter Proclamation is a hymn that is sung by a lead with congregational responses. This hymn speaks of how God has interceded in our lives on our behalf. The Exsultet especially recalls the Holy Night when Jesus Christ rose from the dead. What makes this moment particularly dramatic is that the Exsultet is sung in a church lit only with the light of the Paschal Candle and other smaller candles, which people are holding. In order to pray this hymn along with the leader. If you look on Wikipedia you can find the words try reflecting on them throughout Holy Saturday.

The Lessons

The expanded set of lessons is comprised of nine readings and seven responsive psalms. The first reading begins with the story of Creation and then, each subsequent reading recounts the story  of our faith lives through history. You’ll hear the story of Isaac and Abraham, the story of Moses and the Exodus, and more. All of these readings lead up to the singing of the Gloria when all the lights come on in the church, and then the final reading, the Resurrection of Christ, is proclaimed. Why so many readings? Again, like the singing of the Exsultet, the readings recount the many ways in which God has interceded on our behalf throughout history.  While we may want to stay in our morning and be anxious about the death of Jesus on Friday, Saturday we are reminded of how faithful God has always been to us and to the Holy People.  Begging us to ask “While why would we think God is done with us now?”

Most churches do not do the entire set of nine readings (for time’s sake). But keep in mind that the point is to recall how God has interceded on humanity’s behalf from the very beginning of time and that through this Easter Vigil we celebrate that God is present and always working in our lives, even still today.


Throughout these three days, we experience the highs and lows in our faith, ending with the ultimate high — the new life of the resurrection. The Easter Season begins with the Easter Vigil, and we enter 50 days when endless “Alleluias” will ring out throughout all of our celebrations.

May you experience the joy of new life in your own way this Easter Season.


Have a happy and blessed Easter!