The Easter Vigil is the pinnacle of the church year. Held between sunset on Holy Saturday and sunrise on Easter morning, it is the first celebration of Easter (traditionally holy days are considered to begin at sunset).
The Easter Vigil begins outside of the church building where a new paschal candle is blessed.
Worshipers are reminded of the connection between the Passover of ancient Israel and the new Passover, which is Christ’s victory over sin and death.
The alleluia is used for the first time since the beginning of Lent.
Baptism and affirmation of baptism
During a service of new beginnings, new brothers and sisters in Christ are baptized and new members are received through confirmation or the profession of faith.
In “Evangelical Lutheran Worship” there are 12 Old Testament readings that are appointed for this service, which recount the acts of salvation throughout history. Some of the readings may be omitted leaving four that should not be excluded — the story of creation, the deliverance at the Red Sea, salvation freely offered from Isaiah and Daniel’s deliverance from the fiery furnace.