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Easter Vigil | April 3
The Rt. Rev. John R. Stephens
The Rt. Rev. John R. Stephens
Saturday, April 3, 2021
Service Notes
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Easter Triduum: Easter Vigil 

Join us in prayer for this Easter Vigil as we emerge from darkness into the hope and light of the resurrection. 

Celebrant: The Right Rev. John Stephens 

Preacher: The Very Rev. Christopher A. Pappas 

Deacon: The Rev. Jeffrey Preiss 

Readers: Winnie Nowell, Colin Miles, Lorna Grant, Bill Orr

MC: Megan Otton

Music: Kim Hardy, Deirdre Rogers, Ray Horst, Stephen Wright, under the direction of Rupert Lang

A pdf of the bulletin is available here

Continue scrolling down to follow along with a text version of the order of service. 

The Service of Light

The Service of Light begins outside for the lighting of the new fire.

Presider Dear friends in Christ, on this most holy night, when our Lord Jesus Christ passed from death to life,
the Church invites her children throughout the world to come together in vigil and prayer.
This is the Passover of the Lord. We remember his death and resurrection by hearing his word and celebrating his mysteries; we are confident that we shall share his victory over death
and live with him for ever in God.

The fire is kindled.
The Presider blesses the new fire.
Presider Let us pray
Holy God, we share in the light of your glory
through your Son, the light of the world.
Sanctify this new fire, and inflame us with new hope.
Purify our minds by this Easter celebration
and bring us one day to the feast of eternal light.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

All Amen.

The Paschal Candle is brought to the Presider.
Presider Christ yesterday and today...
the beginning and the end...
Alpha... and Omega...
all time belongs to Christ...
and all the ages...
to him be glory and power...
through every age for ever.
All Amen.

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

The Presider lights the Paschal Candle from the new fire.

Presider May the light of Christ, rising in glory, dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds.
All Thanks be to God!

The deacon takes the Paschal Candle and lifts it high for all to see.
Procession into the Cathedral.

Deacon The Light of Christ.
All Thanks be to God.

Deacon & Choir The Exsultet.  Traditional Gregorian

Rejoice, heavenly powers! Sing, choirs of angels!
Exult, all creation around God’s throne!
Jesus Christ, our King, is risen! Sound the trumpet of salvation!
Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendour, radiant in the brightness of your King!
Christ has conquered! Glory fills you! Darkness vanishes for ever!
Rejoice, O Mother Church! Exult in glory! The risen Saviour shines upon you!
Let this place resound with joy, echoing the mighty song of all God’s people!

Deacon The Lord be with you.
All And also with you.
Deacon Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
All It is right to give our thanks and praise.
Deacon & Choir It is truly right that with full hearts and minds and voices we should praise the unseen God, the all-powerful Father, and his only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. For Christ has ransomed us with his blood, and paid for us the price of Adam’s sin to our eternal Father! This is our passover feast, when Christ, the true Lamb, is slain, whose blood consecrates the homes of all believers.

This is the time when first you saved our ancestors:
You freed the people of Israel from their slavery and led them dry-shod through the sea.
This is the time when Christians everywhere, washed clean of sin and freed from all defilement,
are restored to grace and grow together in holiness.

This is the time when Jesus Christ broke the chains of death and rose triumphant from the grave.
Father, how wonderful your care for us! How boundless your merciful love!
To ransom a slave you gave away your Son.

The power of this holy day dispels all evil, washes guilt away, restores lost innocence, brings mourners joy.
O Day truly blessed, when heaven is wedded to earth, and we are reconciled with God!
Therefore, heavenly Father, accept this Easter candle, the work of bees and your servants’ hands
a joyful sacrifice of praise, a gift from your most Holy Church.

But now we know the praises of this pillar, which glowing fire ignites for God's honour,
a fire into many flames divided, yet never dimmed by sharing of its light;
May it always dispel our darkness, for it is fed by melting wax,
drawn out by mother bees to build a torch so precious.

May the Morning Star which never sets find this flame still burning.
O Christ, that Morning Star, you came back from the dead,
and shed your peaceful light on all creation,
who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

All Amen.

Liturgy of the Word
Presider Dear friends in Christ, let us now listen attentively to the word of God,
recalling how God saved God’s people throughout history and in the fullness of time,
sent God’s own Son to be our Redeemer.

First Reading Genesis 1:1 — 2:4a

Canticle A Song to the Lamb
Antiphon: Splendour and honour and Kingly power are your by right, O Lord our God 

Splendour and honour and kingly power
are yours by right, O Lord our God.
For you created everything that is,
and by your will they were created and have their being;
And yours by right, O Lamb that was slain,
for with your blood you have redeemed for God,
From every family, language, people, and nation,
a kingdom of priests to serve our God.
And so, to him who sits upon the throne,
and to Christ the Lamb,
Be worship and praise, dominion and splendour,
for ever and for evermore. Antiphon


Leader Almighty and eternal God,
you created all things in wonderful beauty and order.
Help us now to perceive
how still more wonderful is the new creation,
by which in the fullness of time you redeemed your people
through the sacrifice of our Passover, Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

All Amen.

Second Reading Exodus 14:10 –31, 15:20–21

Canticle The Song of Moses     Setting: Rupert Lang

 Antiphon: I will sing to the Lord for such glorious triumph

Your right hand O Lord, is majestic in power;
your right hand O Lord shatters the enemy.
Who is like you among the gods,
holy, awesome worker of wonders? Antiphon

In steadfast love you led your people,
you guided your redeemed with your great strength.
You brought them in safety to your holy place,
and planted them firm on your own mountain.
You brought them into your own house.
The Lord shall reign for ever and ever. Antiphon

Leader God of steadfast love,
your wonderful deeds of old shine forth even to our own day.
By the power of your mighty arm
you once delivered 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.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All Amen.

Third Reading Baruch 3:9-15, 32—4:4

Canticle A Song of Wisdom (Wisdom 10:15-19, 20b-21).  Plainsong

Antiphon: She was their shelter by day and their startlight in the night 

Wisdom freed from a nation of oppressors
a holy people and blameless race.
She entered the soul of a servant of the Lord,
withstood dread kings with wonders and signs.
To the saints she gave the reward of their labours,
and led them by a marvellous way. Antiphon

She brought them across the Red Sea,
led them through mighty waters,
but their enemies she swallowed in the waves
and spat them out from the depths of the abyss. Antiphon

Lord, the righteous sang hymns to your name,
and praised with one voice your protecting hand,
for Wisdom opened the mouths of the dumb,
and gave speech to the tongues of babes. Antiphon

Leader Creator of the universe, Source of all light,
teach us to hold fast to the ways of wisdom,
that we may live forever in the radiance of your glory.
This we ask in the name of Jesus Christ our Saviour.

All Amen.

Fourth Reading Ezekiel 37:1-14

The Psalm Psalm 30 (selected verses).  Plainsong; Antiphon: Rupert Lang

Antiphon: My heart sings to you without ceasing; O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever and ever. 

I will exalt you O Lord, because you have lifted me up;
and have not let my enemies triumph over me.
You brought me up, O Lord from the dead;
you restored my life as I was going down to the grave. Antiphon
For your wrath endures but the twinkling of an eye; Your favour for a lifetime.
Weeping may sound the night; but joy comes in the morning.
You have turned my wailing into dancing;
you have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy. Antiphon

Leader Living God, by the Passover of your Son
you have brought us out of sin into righteousness,
and out of death into life.
Grant to those who are sealed by your Holy Spirit
the will and power to proclaim you to all the world;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All Amen

The Great Proclamation of Easter

Please stand
Bishop Alleluia, Christ is Risen!
All Christ is Risen indeed! Alleluia!
Please ring your bells enthusiastically during the first ‘sounding’ of the Organ.

Gloria Music: John Merbecke (1510? –1585?); arr. & organ acc. Healey Willan (1880 –1968)

Collect of the Day
Presider Eternal Giver of life and light,
All this holy night shines with the radiance of the risen Christ.
Renew your Church with the Spirit given to us in baptism,
that we may worship you in sincerity and truth,
and shine as a light in the world;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Fifth Reading Romans 6:3-11

Easter Alleluias.  Choir first time/ Repeat All

Before the Gospel Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

The Gospel Mark 16:1-8

After the Gospel Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

All Reprise Alleluias

Homily The Very Reverend Christopher A. Pappas

Silence for reflection

Sacrament of Holy Baptism

Presentation & Examination of the Candidate
Presider The candidate for Holy Baptism will now be presented.
Presenters I present Padmini to receive the sacrament of baptism.
Then the Presider asks the candidate when presented:
Presider Do you desire to be baptized?
Answer I do.
Presider Do you renounce Satan and all the spiritual forces of wickedness that rebel against God?
Answer I renounce them.

Presider Do you renounce the evil powers of this world which corrupt and destroy the creatures of God?
Answer I renounce them.

Presider Do you renounce all sinful desires that draw you from the love of God?
Answer I renounce them.

Presider Do you turn to Jesus Christ and accept him as your Saviour?
Answer I do.

Presider Do you put your whole trust in his grace and love?
Answer I do.

Presider Do you promise to obey him as your Lord?
Answer I do.

After the candidate has been presented, the Presider addresses the congregation:
Will you who witness these vows do all in your power
to support Padmini in her life in Christ?

All We will.

Prayers for the Candidate
Presider Let us now pray for Padmini who is to receive the sacrament of new birth.
Deacon Deliver her, O Lord, from the way of sin and death.
All Lord, hear our prayer.
Deacon Open her heart to your grace and truth.
All Lord, hear our prayer.
Deacon Fill her with your holy and life-giving Spirit.
All Lord, hear our prayer.
Deacon Teach her to love others in the power of the Spirit.
All Lord, hear our prayer.
Deacon Send her into the world in witness to your love.
All Lord, hear our prayer.
Deacon Bring her to the fullness of your peace and glory.
All Lord, hear our prayer.
Deacon Grant, O Lord, that all who are baptized into the death of Jesus Christ your Son
may live in the power of his resurrection
and look for him to come again in glory;
who lives and reigns now and for ever.
All Amen.

The Celebration of Baptism
Thanksgiving over the Water
The Presider blesses the water:

Presider The Lord be with you
All And also with you.
Presider Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
All It is right to give our thanks and praise.
Presider We give you thanks, almighty God and Father, for by the gift of water you nourish and sustain all living things.

All Blessed be God for ever.
Presider We give you thanks that through the waters of the Red Sea,
you led your people out of slavery to freedom in the promised land.
All Blessed be God for ever.
Presider We give you thanks for sending your Son Jesus.
For us he was baptized by John in the river Jordan.
For us he was anointed as Christ by your Holy Spirit.
For us he suffered the baptism of his own death and resurrection,
setting us free from the bondage of sin and death,
and opening to us the joy and freedom of everlasting life.
All Blessed be God for ever.
Presider We give you thanks for your Holy Spirit who teaches us and leads us into all truth,
filling us with his gifts so that we might proclaim the gospel to all nations
and serve you as a royal priesthood.
All Blessed be God for ever.

Presider We give you thanks for you have called Padmini
to new life through the waters of baptism.
Now sanctify this water, that your servants who are washed in it
may be made one with Christ in his death and resurrection,
to be cleansed and delivered from all sin.
Anoint them with your Holy Spirit
and bring them to new birth in the family of your Church,
that they may become inheritors of your glorious kingdom.
We give you praise and honour
and worship through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, now and for ever.
All Blessed are you, our strength and song, and our salvation.
Presider Let us join with those who are committing themselves to Christ and renew our own baptismal covenant.

The Baptismal Covenant
Presider Do you believe in God the Father?
All I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
Presider Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?
All I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
He 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, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

Presider Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit?
All I believe in God the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.
Presider Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?All I will, with God’s help.
Presider Will you persevere in resisting evil and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?
All I will, with God’s help.
Presider Will you proclaim by word and example the good news of God in Christ?
All I will, with God’s help.
Presider Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbour as yourself?
All I will, with God’s help.
Presider Will you strive for justice and peace among all people,
and respect the dignity of every human being?
All I will, with God’s help.
Presider Will you strive to safeguard the integrity of God’s creation,
and respect, sustain and renew the life of the Earth?
All I will, with God’s help.

The Baptism
The candidate is presented to the Presider.

Presider Padmini, I baptize you in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
All Amen.

Using chrism, the Presider makes the sign of the cross on the forehead, saying:
I sign you with the cross, and mark you as Christ’s own for ever.

The Presider prays over the newly baptized, saying:
Heavenly Father,
we thank you that by water and the Holy Spirit
you have bestowed upon this your servant the forgiveness of sin,
and have raised her to the new life of grace.
Sustain her, O Lord, in your Holy Spirit.
Give her an inquiring and a discerning heart,
the courage to will and to persevere,
a spirit to know and to love you,
and the gift of joy and wonder in all your works.
All Amen.

The Giving of the Light
The Presider then gives to the newly baptized a lighted candle, saying:
Receive the light of Christ,
to show that you have passed from darkness to light.

When the newly baptized has received a candle, the people say:
All Let your light so shine before others
that they may see your good works
and glorify your Father in heaven.
Presider Let us welcome the newly baptized.
All We receive you into the household of God.
Confess the faith of Christ crucified,
proclaim his resurrection,
and share with us in his eternal priesthood.

The Peace
Presider May the peace of the Lord be always with you.
All And also with you.

We welcome Padmini Arcot Udayakumar baptized today into the community of the risen Christ.
The Peace
You are invited to greet those around you in the name of Christ.

Celebration of the Eucharist

The Offertory
You are invited to make a financial offering to further God’s mission through the work of the church
by texting “Give” to 639.739.0843 and following the instructions; or by clicking on this link receipts are issued annually for gifts totalling $20 or more. Your financial gifts matter and together with the bread and wine they are presented in spirit at the Altar as a sign of thanksgiving to God from whom all blessings flow. If you are participating in this worship from another church please give generously to your local parish.

Hymn Come, Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain (CP 215)

Text: John of Damascus (675? –749?); tr. John Mason Neale (1818 –1866), alt.
Music: Melody Johann Horn (? –1547), Gesangbuch, 1544; Ave Virgo Virginum (Gaudeamus Pariter)

1. Come, ye faithful, raise the strain of triumphant gladness;
God hath ransomed Israel into joy from sadness;
loosed from Pharaoh’s bitter yoke Jacob’s sons and daughters;
led them with unmoistened foot through the Red Sea waters.
2. ‘Tis the spring of souls today: Christ hath burst his prison,
and from three days’ sleep in death as a sun hath risen.
All the winter of our sins, long and dark, is flying
from that Light, to whom we give laud and praise undying.
3. Now the queen of seasons, bright with the day of splendour,
with the royal feast of feasts, comes its joy to render;
comes to glad Jerusalem, who with true affection
welcomes in unwearied strains Jesus’ resurrection!
4. Neither might the gates of death, nor the tomb’s dark portal,
nor the watchers, nor the seal, hold thee as a mortal:
but today amidst the twelve thou dost stand, bestowing
that thy peace which evermore passeth human knowing.
5. Alleluia now we cry to our King immortal,
who triumphant burst the bars of the tomb’s dark portal;
alleluia, with the Son God the Father praising;
alleluia yet again to the Spirit raising.

Prayer over the Gifts
Presider God of life and health,
All accept the offering of your holy people,
and grant that we who are baptized into Christ may be perfected in your salvation,
in the name of Jesus Christ the risen Lord. Amen.

The Great Thanksgiving
Presider The Lord be with you.
All And also with you.
Presider Lift up your hearts.
All We lift them to the Lord.
Presider Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
All It is right to give our thanks and praise.
Presider Blessed are you, gracious God, creator of heaven and earth;
we give you thanks and praise for the glorious resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ
our Lord; for he is the true paschal lamb who has taken away the sin of the world.
By his death he destroyed death, and by his rising to life again he has won for us eternal life.
Therefore, joining our voices with the whole company of heaven,
we sing our joyful hymn of praise to proclaim the glory of your name.


Presider We give thanks to you, Lord our God, for the goodness and love you have made known to us in creation;in calling Israel to be your people; in your Word spoken through the prophets;
and above all in the Word made flesh, Jesus your Son.
For in these last days you sent him
to be incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
to be the Saviour and Redeemer of the world.
In him, you have delivered us from evil,
and made us worthy to stand before you.
In him, you have brought us out of error into truth,
out of sin into righteousness, out of death into life.
On the night he was handed over to suffering and death,
a death he freely accepted, our Lord Jesus Christ took bread;
and when he had given thanks to you, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples,
and said, “Take, eat: this is my body which is given for you.
Do this for the remembrance of me.”
After supper he took the cup of wine; and when he had given thanks,
he gave it to them, and said, “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.
Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me.”
Therefore, Father, according to his command,

All we remember his death,
we proclaim his resurrection,
we await his coming in glory;

Presider and we offer our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to you, Lord of all; presenting to you, from your creation, this bread and this wine.

Presider We pray you, gracious God, to send your Holy Spirit upon these gifts,
that they may be the sacrament of the body of Christ
and his blood of the new covenant.
Unite us to your Son in his sacrifice, that we, made acceptable in him,
may be sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
In the fullness of time, reconcile all things in Christ, and make them new,
and bring us to that city of light where you dwell with all your sons and daughters;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, the firstborn of all creation,
the head of the Church, and the author of our salvation;
by whom, and with whom, and in whom, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all honour and glory are yours, almighty Father, now and for ever.

All Amen.

The Lord's Prayer   Cantor

Easter Acclamation
Presider Lord, we died with you on the cross.
All Now we are raised to new life.
Presider We were buried in your tomb.
All Now we share in your resurrection.
Presider Live in us, that we may live in you.
All Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia
Presider The gifts of God for the people of God.
All Thanks be to God.

Communion of the People
If you know the brokenness of life, its fractures within and its division without, then you have
participated in the broken body of Christ and you are invited to share in Communion.
If you are not physically receiving Communion, then offer this prayer:

In union, O God, with all your faithful people
gathered wherever the eucharist is celebrated this day,
I offer you praise and thanksgiving for creation and all the blessings of this life,
for the redemption given to us through the life, death and resurrection of Christ,
and for the means of grace and the hope of glory.
I pray you come into my heart, my soul and my mind.
Let nothing separate me from you.
May I serve you in this life until, by your grace,
I come to your promised reign of justice and peace;
through Christ and in the unity of the Spirit. Amen.

While the communion is being administered, we respectfully ask that you keep the silence—
this is a time for quiet prayer and meditation.

During Communion This Joyful Eastertide. Trad. Dutch Carol

Presider Giver of all, we are nourished with your Easter sacraments.
Fill us with the Spirit of love, and unite us in faith,
that we may be witnesses to the resurrection and show your glory to all the world,
in the name of Jesus Christ the risen Lord.

Presider Glory to God
All whose power, working in us,
can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.
Glory to God from generation to generation,
in the Church and in Christ Jesus,
for ever and ever. Amen.

Episcopal Blessing
Hymn Jesus Christ is Risen Today (CP 203)

Text: Lyra Davidica, 1708, alt.;
Music: Lyra Davidica, 1708; desc. Derek Holman (1931 –); Easter Hymn

1. Jesus Christ is risen today, alleluia!
our triumphant holy day, alleluia!
who did once, upon the cross, alleluia!
suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia!
2. Hymns of praise then let us sing, alleluia!
unto Christ our heavenly King, alleluia!
who endured the cross and grave, alleluia!
sinners to redeem and save. Alleluia!

3. But the pains which he endured, alleluia!
our salvation have procured; alleluia!
now above the sky he’s king, alleluia!
where the angels ever sing. Alleluia!

Deacon Alleluia! Alleluia! Let us go in peace to love and serve the Risen Lord.
All Thanks be to God! Alleluia! Alleluia!