Easter Vigil Liturgy April 2020

He is risen

St. Paul’s Athens


We gather outside in the church garden for the Service of Light.


Blessing of the new Paschal Candle

Priest:  May the light of Christ, rising in glory, banish all darkness from our hearts and minds.

As we enter the church with the priest carrying the candle:

Priest: The light of Christ   All: Thanks be to God  (three times as the peoples candles are lit.

When the Paschal Candle has been placed in the stand the priest sings:

The Exultet  (this is an ancient hymn that records God’s saving action in Christ)

Priest: As we await the risen Christ, let us hear the record of God’s saving deeds in history recalling how he saved his people in ages past, and in the fulness of time, sent his Son to be our Redeemer: and let us pray that through this Easter celebration God may bring to perfection in each of us the saving work he has begun. As we keep vigil we receive and respond to scriptural readings that tell of ‘renewal’ that comes from God.

Readings: (please sit) Between each reading the priest prays a Collect.

Genesis 1,1-2,4

Exodus 12, 1-24

Ezekiel 36, 24-28

Easter Acclamation (please stand)

Priest:  Alleluia, Christ is risen.

All:       He is risen indeed, Alleluia.


1.Glory in the highest                   2.  Jesus Christ is risen

to the God of heaven                    God the Father’s  Son

Peace to all your people               With the Holy Spirit

through the earth be given.        You are Lord a lone.

Mighty God and Father,               Lamb once killed for sinners,

Thanks and praise we bring         all our guilt to bear;

Singing alleluia                               Show us now your mercy

To our heavenly king.                  now receive our prayer.


3.Christ the world’s true Saviour,

High and holy one

Seated now and reigning

from your Father’s throne:

Lord and God we praise you!

Highest heaven adores:

In the Father’s glory,

all the praise be yours.


Priest: Let us pray that we may reign with the risen Christ in glory

Lord of all life and power, who through the mighty resurrection of your Son

overcame the old order of sin and death to make all things new in him:

grant that we, being dead to sin and alive to you in Jesus Christ, may reign with him

in glory; to whom with you and the Holy Spirit be praise and honour, glory and might,

now and in all eternity. Amen.

New Testament Reading:  (please sit)  Romans 6, 3-11


Gospel Hymn   120         Thine be the glory


Priest:  Alleluia, Jesus Christ is risen from the dead

All:       Alleluia.

Priest: He has defeated the powers of death

All:       Alleluia.

Priest: The Lord be with you

All:       and also with you

Priest:  Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. Mark (Mark 16, 1-8)

All:       Glory you, O Lord

At the end

Priest:  This is the gospel of the Lord

All:       Praise to you, O Christ.


Please turn towards the font


     Renewal of Baptismal belief

In baptism, God calls us out of darkness into his marvellous light. To follow Christ means dying to sin and rising to new life with him. Therefore I ask:

Priest: Do you reject the devil and all rebellion against God?

All:      I reject them.

Priest: Do you renounce the deceit and corruption of evil?

All:      I renounce them.

Priest: Do you repent of the sins that separate us from God and neighbour?

All:      I repent of them.

Priest: Do you turn to Christ as Saviour?

All:      I turn to Christ.

Priest: Do you submit to Christ as Lord?

All:      I submit to Christ.

Priest: Do you come to Christ, the way, the truth and the life?

All:      I come to Christ.

Sanctification of the baptismal water

Priest: We praise you, loving Father, for the gift of your Son Jesus. He was baptized in the River     Jordan, where your Spirit came upon him and revealed him as the Son you love. He sent his followers to baptize all who turn to him. Now, Father, we ask you to bless this water, that those who are baptized in it may be cleansed in the water of life, and, filled with your Spirit, may know that they are loved as your children, safe in Christ for ever.  Amen.


Priest:  Do you believe and trust in God the Father?

All:        I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

Priest:   Do you believe and trust in his Son Jesus Christ?

All:        I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate,  was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

Priest: Do you believe and trust in the Holy Spirit?

All:      I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.


We are then reminded of our baptism by the sprinkling of waters from the font

 Peace:  The risen Christ came and stood among his disciples and said, Peace be with you. Then were they glad when they saw the risen Lord. Alleluia.

The peace of the Lord be always with you

All:         and also with you. Alleluia

Hymn:   110   Jesus Christ is risen today


Priest: Be present, be present Lord Jesus Christ, our risen high priest: make yourself known in the breaking of bread.  Amen.


The Great Thanksgiving Prayer ( Please remain standing for this)

Priest:  The Lord be with you

All:        and also with you

Priest:  Lift up your hearts

All:        We lift them to the Lord

Priest:  Let us give thanks to the Lord our God

All:        It is right to give thanks and praise

The priest then continues singing the prayer to which we all listen with prayerful hearts until

‘for evermore praising you and singing’…

All: Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Glory be to thee O Lord most high. Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

Priest: Lord, you are holy indeed, the source of all holiness; grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit, and according to your holy will these gifts of bread and wine may be to us the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ;

who, in the same night that he was betrayed, took bread and gave you thanks; he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of me.

In the same way, after supper he took the cup and gave you thanks; he gave it to them, saying: Drink this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.


Priest :  Great is the mystery of faith

All:  Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

And so, Father, calling to mind his death on the cross, his perfect sacrifice made once for the sins of the whole world; rejoicing in his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension, and looking for his coming in glory, we celebrate this memorial of our redemption.

As we offer you this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, we bring before you this bread and this cup and we thank you for counting us worthy to stand in your presence and serve you.

Send the Holy Spirit on your people and gather into one in your kingdom all who share this one bread and one cup, so that we, in the company of the Holy Mother of God, St. Paul, and all the saints, may praise and glorify you for ever, through Jesus Christ our Lord;

by whom, and with whom, and in whom, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honour and glory be yours, almighty Father, for ever and ever.

All:   Amen. Alleluia!


The Lord’s Prayer:  (to be prayed in your own language)

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come;  thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.


Priest: We break this bread to share in the body of the risen Christ.

All:       Though we are many, we are one body, because we all share in one bread.


Invitation to Holy Communion

Priest:  Alleluia! Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us     Communion

All:       Therefore let us keep the feast. Alleluia!


Sung:   O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. (x2)

             O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world, grant us peace.

All baptized Christians may come forward to receive the body and blood of Christ. If you wish you may receive a blessing. Please let the Sides-people guide you forward.  

Communion Hymn:  118  The Lord is risen indeed

Priest:  God of life, who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son to the death of the

Cross, and by his glorious resurrection delivered us from the power of our enemy: grant

us so to die daily to sin, that we evermore live with him in the joy of his risen life:

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


All: You have opened to us the Scriptures, O Christ, and you have made yourself known in the breaking of bread. Abide with us, we pray, that blessed by your royal presence, we may walk with you all the days of our life, and at its end behold you in the glory of the eternal Trinity, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Post Communion Hymn:    121  This joyful Eastertide

Priest:     God, who through the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ has given us the victory, give you joy and peace in your faith. And the blessing…

Priest:     Go in the peace of Christ. Alleluia! Alleluia!

All:           Thanks be to God. Alleluia! Alleluia!


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