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The Easter Vigil
16th April 2022

Paschal Candle in the Darkened church

Here you can find resources for our liturgy to pray at home or wherever you are. 

The readings for today and some of the prayers of our liturgy are on the downloadable pew sheet.

The Easter fire and Blessing of the Paschal Candle
We hear the story of salvation and journey from darkness to light
The renewal of Baptismal Vows and the first Eucharist of Easter

Downloads (PDF)

Video and Audio Files (2021)

If you choose to listen to Luke’s Gospel (see below), stop the recording at 54:09 and resume it at 55:51 for The Renewal of Baptismal Vows

The Blessing of the Fire and Preparation of the Candle

At church, we gather outside (weather permitting). All stand and face the Easter fire.

Dear friends in Christ, let us begin our solemn Vigil. On this most holy night when our Saviour Jesus Christ passed from death to life, we gather, with all the Church throughout the world, to watch and pray. This is the Passover of Jesus Christ. Through light and word, through water, bread and wine, let us celebrate the new life that Christ shares with us.

The President blesses the fire:

Almighty God, who gloriously raised your only-begotten Son from the dead: sanctify this fire, that it may be a sign of life and hope; may we, who celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, be set aflame with love, and renewed in faith, so that we may shine as a light in the world, and glorify you in our lives; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The President traces a cross in the Paschal candle, Alpha and Omega, and the numerals of the current year, saying,

Christ yesterday and today,
the beginning and the end,
Alpha and Omega,
all time belongs to him,
and all ages;
to him be glory and power,
through every age and for ever.


Incense studs are inserted into the Paschal Candle as these words are said:

By his holy and glorious wounds may Christ our Lord guard and keep us. Amen.

The Paschal Candle is lit from the Easter fire. The President says:

May the light of Christ, rising in glory,
dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds.

The Procession

Carried aloft, the Paschal Candle leads the congregation into the church.

At the door: The light of Christ.
All: Thanks be to God.

The clergy and servers light their candles from the Paschal Candle.

The Paschal Candle leads the congregation to the centre of the Nave.

The light of Christ.
All: Thanks be to God.

The candles of the congregation are lit from the Paschal Candle. The Paschal Candle leads the congregation to where its stand has been prepared:

 The light of Christ.
All: Thanks be to God.

The Paschal Candle is placed on its stand.


The Exultet is sung (see pew sheet for the text)

Page from Gospel Book

The Liturgy of the Word

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 fullness 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.

See the pew sheet for the six Old Testament readings with their psalms, canticle and prayers

Gloria reflection

In church, the candles of the altar are lit and Gloria in excelsis (Glory to God in the highest) is sung by all, during which bells are rung

Friedrick Wilhelm Zachow: Allein Gott in der Höh’ sei Ehr’

O God,
who made this most holy night to shine
with the glory of the Lord’s resurrection:
stir up in your Church that Spirit of adoption given to us in baptism;
that, being renewed both in body and mind,
we may worship you in sincerity and truth;
through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, world without end. Amen.

The Gospel

Gospel Reading: Luke 24.1-12 (The Rector)

The Renewal of Baptismal Vows

In church, we sing the hymn Blest be the everlasting God (after 1 Peter 1.3-5) as the president and servers lead the procession to the font, where we all assemble

Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
by whose great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope:
Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

The Baptismal Prayer is said (see the pew sheet)

Holding lighted candles, we renew our promise of baptismal faith

The president sprinkles all with holy water as a symbol of our renewed baptismal vows.

May Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has given us new birth by water and the Holy Spirit,
and has bestowed on us forgiveness of all our sins,
guard us by his grace, and grant us,
when our earthly course is ended, resurrection to eternal life,
through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Peace

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

We meet in Christ’s name.
Let us share his peace.

The Liturgy of the Sacrament

HT chalice and host at Elevation

In church, we continue with the Liturgy of the Sacrament

Offertory Prayer

Let us present our offerings to the Lord.
Yours, Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory,
the splendour and the majesty;
for everything in heaven and on earth is yours.
All things come from you, and of your own we give you.

Eucharistic Prayer
The Breaking of the Bread
The Lord’s Prayer

Please join in the prayer Jesus himself taught us:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Do not bring us to the time of trial
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power
and the glory are yours,
now and for ever.

Post-Communion Prayer

Lord, you have nourished us with the Easter sacrament:
fill us with the spirit of your love, and unite us in faith;
that we may be witnesses to the resurrection
and show your glory to all the world;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sending Out

The Dismissal

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord, alleluia, alleluia.
In the name of Christ, alleluia, alleluia.

Organ Postlude
Jeremiah Clarke: The Prince of Denmark’s March


Remaining Services of Holy Week and Easter

Easter Day

  • 8.30 a.m. Holy Communion
  • 10.30 a.m. Sung Eucharist

online resources will be available on this website

Helping Ukraine

You might also be interested in how best to help people in crisis in Ukraine. The College of Bishops have highlighted these two organisations:

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal: 
Among the DEC partners are Christian Aid, the British Red Cross, and Tearfund. The UK Government has pledged to match donations from the public to the DEC fund, pound-for-pound, up to £20 million.

The UK for UNHCR:

Paschal Candle in the Darkened church

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