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  • Writer's pictureFr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Easter Sunrise Vigil (April 17, 2022)

The Holy Eucharist

Easter Day (Year C) - The Great Vigil

April 17, 2022

Watch the Livestream at

Sunday, April 17, at 6:30 a.m. (or anytime afterward)

The Great Vigil of Easter

The Service of Light

The Lighting of the Paschal Candle

[BCP, p. 285]

In the darkness, fire is kindled.

Dear friends in Christ: On this most holy night, in which our Lord Jesus passed over from death to life, the Church invites her members, dispersed throughout the world, to gather in vigil and prayer. For this is the Passover of the Lord, in which, by hearing his Word and celebrating his Sacraments, we share in his victory over death.

Let us pray.

O God, through your Son you have bestowed upon your people the brightness of your light: Sanctify this new fire, and grant that in this Paschal feast we may so burn with heavenly desires, that with pure minds we may attain to the festival of everlasting light; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Paschal Candle is then lighted from the newly kindled fire, and the Deacon (the Celebrant if there is no deacon) bearing the Candle, leads the procession to the chancel, pausing three times and singing:

Viewers may light candles in their homes at this time.

The Exsultet

[BCP, p. 286]

Rejoice now, heavenly hosts and choirs of angels, and let your trumpets shout Salvation for the victory of our mighty King.

Rejoice and sing now, all the round earth, bright with a glorious splendor, for darkness has been vanquished by our eternal King.

Rejoice and be glad now, Mother Church, and let your holy courts, in radiant light, resound with the praises of your people.

All you who stand near this marvelous and holy flame, pray with me to God the Almighty for the grace to sing the worthy praise of this great light; through Jesus Christ his Son our Lord who lives and reigns with him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, ...

It is truly right and good, always and everywhere, with our whole heart and mind and voice, to praise you, the invisible, almighty, and eternal God, and your only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ our Lord; for he is the true Paschal Lamb, who at the feast of the Passover paid for us the debt of Adam's sin, and by his blood delivered your faithful people.

This is the night, when you brought our fathers, the children of Israel, out of bondage in Egypt, and led them through the Red Sea on dry land.

This is the night, when all who believe in Christ are delivered from the gloom of sin, and are restored to grace and holiness of life.

This is the night, when Christ broke the bonds of death and hell, and rose victorious from the grave.

How wonderful and beyond our knowing, O God, is your mercy and loving-kindness to us, that to redeem a slave, you gave a Son.

How holy is this night, when wickedness is put to flight, and sin is washed away. It restores innocence to the fallen, and joy to those who mourn. It casts out pride and hatred, and brings peace and concord.

How blessed is this night, when earth and heaven are joined and [humanity] is reconciled to God.

Holy Father, accept our evening sacrifice, the offering of this candle in your honor. May it shine continually to drive away all darkness. May Christ, the Morning Star who knows no setting, find it ever burning--he who gives his light to all creation, ...

It is customary that the Paschal Candle burn at all services from Easter Day through the Day of Pentecost

The Service of Lessons

The Liturgy of the Word

[BCP, p. 288]

Let us hear the record of God's saving deeds in history, how he saved his people in ages past; and let us pray that our God will bring each of us to the fullness of redemption.

A Reading from the Book of Exodus (14:10-31, 20-21)

As Pharaoh drew near, the Israelites looked back, and there were the Egyptians advancing on them. In great fear the Israelites cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, "Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us, bringing us out of Egypt? Is this not the very thing we told you in Egypt, 'Let us alone and let us serve the Egyptians'? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness." But Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the Lord will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still."

Then the Lord said to Moses, "Why do you cry out to me? Tell the Israelites to go forward. But you lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the Israelites may go into the sea on dry ground. Then I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them; and so I will gain glory for myself over Pharaoh and all his army, his chariots, and his chariot drivers. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gained glory for myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his chariot drivers."

The angel of God who was going before the Israelite army moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and took its place behind them. It came between the army of Egypt and the army of Israel. And so the cloud was there with the darkness, and it lit up the night; one did not come near the other all night.

Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided. The Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. The Egyptians pursued, and went into the sea after them, all of Pharaoh's horses, chariots, and chariot drivers. At the morning watch the Lord in the pillar of fire and cloud looked down upon the Egyptian army, and threw the Egyptian army into panic. He clogged their chariot wheels so that they turned with difficulty. The Egyptians said, "Let us flee from the Israelites, for the Lord is fighting for them against Egypt."

Then the Lord said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and chariot drivers." So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea returned to its normal depth. As the Egyptians fled before it, the Lord tossed the Egyptians into the sea. The waters returned and covered the chariots and the chariot drivers, the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not one of them remained. But the Israelites walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left.

Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Israel saw the great work that the Lord did against the Egyptians. So the people feared the Lord and believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses.

Then the prophet Miriam, Aaron's sister, took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dancing. And Miriam sang to them: "Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; horse and rider he has thrown into the sea."

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

LEV #143: Wade in the Water

[Verses 1-4]


Wade in the water,

wade in the water, children,

Wade in the water,

God’s a-gonna trouble the water.

1 See that host all dressed in white,

God’s a-gonna trouble the water.

The leader looks like the Israelite,

God’s a-gonna trouble the water. [Refrain]

2 See that band all dressed in red,

God’s a-gonna trouble the water.

Looks like the band that Moses led,

God’s a-gonna trouble the water. [Refrain]

3 Look over yonder, what do I see?

God’s a-gonna trouble the water.

The Holy Ghost a-coming on me,

God’s a-gonna trouble the water. [Refrain]

4 If you don’t believe I’ve been redeemed,

God’s a-gonna trouble the water.

Just follow me down to Jordan’s stream,

God’s a-gonna trouble the water. [Refrain]

Words: Traditional, Public Domain. Music: Negro Spiritual, Public Domain; arr. Carl Haywood from The Haywood Collection of Negro Spirituals © 1992 Carl Haywood. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #87854. All rights reserved.

Israel's Deliverance at the Red Sea

[BCP, p. 289]

Let us pray.

O God, whose wonderful deeds of old shine forth even to our own day, you once delivered by the power of your mighty arm your chosen people from slavery under Pharaoh, to be a sign for us of the salvation of all nations by the water of Baptism: Grant that all the peoples of the earth may be numbered among the offspring of Abraham, and rejoice in the inheritance of Israel; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Reading from the Book of Isaiah (55:1-11)

Ho, everyone who thirsts,

come to the waters;

and you that have no money, come, buy and eat!

Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?

Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.

Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live.

I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.

See, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples.

See, you shall call nations that you do not know, and nations that do not know you shall run to you,

because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you.

Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near;

let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts;

let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth,

making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,

so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty,

but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

LEV #196: Leaning On The Everlasting Arms

[Verses 1-3]

1 What a fellowship, what a joy divine,

Leaning on the everlasting arms;

What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,

Leaning on the everlasting arms.


Leaning, leaning,

safe and secure from all alarms;

Leaning, leaning,

Leaning on the everlasting arms.

2 O how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way,

Leaning on the everlasting arms;

O how bright the path grows from day to day,

Leaning on the everlasting arms. [Refrain]

3 What have I to dread, what have I to fear,

Leaning on the everlasting arms;

I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,

Leaning on the everlasting arms. [Refrain]

Words: Elisha A. Hoffman, Public Domain. Music: Anthony J. Showalter, Public Domain; arr. Carl Haywood © 1992 Carl Haywood. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #95070. All rights reserved.

Salvation Offered Freely to All

[BCP, p. 290]

Let us pray.

O God, you have created all things by the power of your Word, and you renew the earth by your Spirit: Give now the water of life to those who thirst for you, that they may bring forth abundant fruit in your glorious kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Reading from the Book of Ezekiel (36:24-28)

Say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: I will take you from the nations, and gather you from all the countries, and bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my spirit within you, and make you follow my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances. Then you shall live in the land that I gave to your ancestors; and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

LEV #124: Give Me A Clean Heart

[Verses 1-2]

REFRAIN: Give me a clean heart So I may serve Thee Lord fix my heart So that I may be used by Thee For I'm not worthy Of all these blessings Give me a clean heart And I'll follow Thee

1 I'm not asking For the riches of the land I'm not asking For high men to know my name Please give me Lord a clean heart so that I may follow Thee Give me a clean heart a clean heart And I'll follow Thee [REFRAIN]

2 Sometimes I am up And sometimes I am down Sometimes I am almost Level to the ground Please give me Lord a clean heart That I may follow Thee Give me a clean heart a clean heart And I'll follow Thee [REFRAIN]

Words and Music: Margaret J. Douroux © 1970 Margaret Pleasant Douroux, admin. Augsburg Fortress; harm. Alert Dennis Tessier. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #83510. All rights reserved.

A New Heart and A New Spirit

[BCP, p. 290]

Let us pray.

Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who are reborn into the fellowship of Christ's Body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Reading from the Book of Zephaniah (3:14-20)

Sing aloud, O daughter Zion; shout, O Israel!

Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem!

The Lord has taken away the judgments against you, he has turned away your enemies.

The king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall fear disaster no more.

On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:

Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands grow weak.

The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory;

he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love;

he will exult over you with loud singing as on a day of festival.

I will remove disaster from you, so that you will not bear reproach for it.

I will deal with all your oppressors at that time.

And I will save the lame and gather the outcast,

and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth.

At that time I will bring you home, at the time when I gather you;

for I will make you renowned and praised among all the peoples of the earth,

when I restore your fortunes before your eyes, says the Lord.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

LEV #141: Shall We Gather at the River

[Verses 1-4]

1 Shall we gather at the river,

Where bright angel feet have trod;

With its crystal tide forever

Flowing by the throne of God?


Yes, we’ll gather at the river,

The beautiful, the beautiful river;

Gather with the saints at the river

That flows by the throne of God.

2 On the margin of the river,

Washing up its silver spray,

We will walk and worship ever,

All the happy golden day. [REFRAIN]

3 Ere we reach the shining river,

Lay we ev’ry burden down;

Grace our spirits will deliver,

And provide a robe and crown. [REFRAIN]

4 Soon we’ll reach the shining river,

Soon our pilgrimage will cease,

Soon our happy hearts will quiver

With the melody of peace. [REFRAIN]

Words and Music: Robert Lowry, Public Domain. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #84512. All rights reserved.

The Gathering of God’s People

[BCP, p. 291]

Let us pray.

O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquillity the plan of salvation; let the whole world see and know that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ According to St. Matthew (28:1-10)

Glory to you, Lord Christ.

After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he[a] lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead,[b] and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Christ.

The Easter Homily by St. John Chrysostom

[Paraphrased by Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda]

Are you devout lovers of God?

Then go ahead, enjoy this beautiful bright festival!

Are you grateful servants of the Lord?

Then rejoice and enter into the joy of your Lord!

Are you tired and hungry from fasting during Lent?

Then now come and receive your spiritual wages!

[Jesus once told a parable about a man who hired workers for his field. He hired people every few hours, so some worked all day and some worked a lot less. But the owner paid them all the same amount of money.]

So if you worked from the first hour, receive your due reward. If you came after the third hour, come and join in the Feast with gratitude! If you came after the sixth hour, do not doubt; for you won’t lose anything. If you got delayed and couldn’t make it until the ninth hour, do not hesitate; but you can come in too. And if you didn’t arrive until the last minute, do not be afraid because you were late. For the Lord is gracious and receives the last just like the first. He gives rest to whoever comes at the eleventh hour, as well as to whoever worked all day.

God has mercy on the last one, and cares for the first one; God gives to the hardworking and is gracious to the lazy. God honors the work and praises the intention.

Let us all enter into the joy of the Lord! First and last alike receive your reward; rich and poor, rejoice together! Sober and slothful, celebrate the day! You that have kept the fast, and you that have not, rejoice today for the Table is prepared with rich foods! Feast royally on the meal. [Like the father who welcomed the Prodigal Son,] we are serving the fatted calf. So don’t go away hungry. Let everyone eat this Feast of Faith. Enjoy all the riches of His goodness!

Don’t be sad at your poverty; God has revealed to us a universal kingdom, where all are welcome. Don’t mourn that you have fallen into sin again and again; Jesus rose from the grave and he brings forgiveness with him. Don’t fear death, for the Death of our Savior has set us free.

Jesus has destroyed death by enduring it. He destroyed Hell when He descended into it. He put Hell into an uproar even as it tasted of His flesh. Isaiah foretold this when he said, "You, O Hell, have been troubled by encountering Him below." Hell was in an uproar because it was done away with. It was in an uproar because it is mocked. It was in an uproar, for it is destroyed. It is in an uproar, for it is annihilated. It is in an uproar, for it is now made captive.

Hell took a body, and discovered God. It took earth, and encountered Heaven. It took what it saw, a man, and was overcome by what it did not see, the Word of God.

O death, where is your sting? O Hell, where is your victory?

Christ is Risen, and you, O Death, are annihilated! Christ is Risen, and the evil ones are cast down! Christ is Risen, and the angels rejoice! Christ is Risen, and life is liberated! Christ is Risen, and the tombs are emptied of their dead; for Christ has risen from the dead and become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

To Him be Glory and Power forever and ever. Amen!


A General Thanksgiving

[BCP, p. 836]

Accept, O Lord, our thanks and praise for all that you have done for us. We thank you for the splendor of the whole creation, for the beauty of this world, for the wonder of life, and for the mystery of love.

We thank you for the blessing of family and friends, and for the loving care which surrounds us on every side.

We thank you for setting us at tasks which demand our best efforts, and for leading us to accomplishments which satisfy and delight us.

We thank you also for those disappointments and failures that lead us to acknowledge our dependence on you alone.

Above all, we thank you for your Son Jesus Christ; for the truth of his Word and the example of his life; for his steadfast obedience, by which he overcame temptation; for his dying, through which he overcame death; and for his rising to life again, in which we are raised to the life of your kingdom.

Grant us the gift of your Spirit, that we may know Christ and make him known; and through him, at all times and in all places, may give thanks to you in all things. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

[BCP, p. 364]

And now, as our Savior Christ has taught us, we are bold to say,

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, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Hymn #210: The Day of Resurrection

[Verses 1-3]

1. The day of resurrection!

Earth, tell it out abroad;

the Passover of gladness,

the Passover of God.

From death to life eternal,

from earth unto the sky,

our Christ hath brought us over,

with hymns of victory.

2. Our hearts be pure from evil,

that we may see aright

the Lord in rays eternal

of resurrection light;

and, listening to his accents,

may hear so calm and plain

his own "All hail!" and, hearing,

may raise the victor strain.

3. Now let the heavens be joyful,

let earth her song begin,

the round world keep high triumph,

and all that is therein;

let all things seen and unseen

their notes in gladness blend,

for Christ the Lord hath risen,

our joy that hath no end.

Words: John of Damascus, tr. John Mason Neale, Public Domain. Music: Ellacombe, alt., adapt. Katholisches Gesangbuch (1863), harm. William Henry Monk, Public Domain; desc. Cyril Winn, by permission of Oxford University Press. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #89236. All rights reserved.

The Easter Blessing

[The Book of Occasional Services 2018, p. 13]

The God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, the great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you, and remain with you always. Amen.

The Dismissal

[BCP, p. 366]

Let us go forth in the name of Christ! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thanks be to God! Alleluia! Alleluia!

The Parish Prayer List

Prayer List: Martha Avery, Mary Bonaparte, Christine Brown, Jacqueline Bryant, Lazola Cope, Aaron Duplechien Jr., Angie Glover, Annie Bell Greer, Loretta Harmond, Marva Harris, Whitney Kennedy, Sada Maxwell, Craig Maxwell, Bette Milledge, and Helen Scroggins.

Birthdays: Lazola Cope (4/19)

Wedding Anniversaries: James and Monica Williams (4/21)

Recent Deaths: Harry Martin (d. 3/30/2022; brother of Martha Avery); Warren Loadholt (d. 4/5/2022; son of Marva Johnson); Doris Logan (friend of Terry Newton)

May the souls of all the departed rest in peace; and may light perpetual shine upon them. Amen.

Note: This service is reproduced from The Book of Common Prayer 1979 (BCP), The Hymnal 1982 (Hymn), Lift Every Voice and Sing II: An African American Hymnal (LEV), African American Heritage Hymnal (AAHH), Wonder Love and Praise (WLP), and other sources cited. The Scripture readings are from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible.

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