Readings for the Easter Vigil

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Southern Comfort
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Re: Readings for the Easter Vigil

Post by Southern Comfort »

Just back from a Vigil. Two-and-a-half hours altogether, with only 4 OT readings, and no baptisms (but two were received into full communion). Now to put the clocks forward for a short night before getting up again to go back for morning Mass....

Happy Easter to one and all!

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Re: Readings for the Easter Vigil

Post by killary45 »

Does anyone know the last time that they had all seven readings in the Vatican? Last year they had four, this year three. As for what defines a "serious" pastoral reason for not having seven, I suggest: "Seven is far too many." Isn't that a good reason?

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Re: Readings for the Easter Vigil

Post by alan29 »

Why is that liturgy in that order? I would have thought that a more natural order would be to have the OT readings in darkness and the lighting of the candle and Exultet after the gospel as a response to it.

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musicus
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Re: Readings for the Easter Vigil

Post by musicus »

You are by no means the first person to suggest that, alan29, and in the 70s, 80s and 90s some parishes did, in fact, re-order the various parts of the Easter Vigil. Inevitably, Rome issued a document (sorry, the title escapes me) prohibiting such shenanigans!
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Re: Readings for the Easter Vigil

Post by musicus »

Welcome to the forum, killary45. Apparently, it has been a while since they used all seven readings in St Peter's. According to some sources, Pope Francis is keen on "shorter liturgies and sharper messages", but I was mistaken (in my earlier post) in thinking that he was necessarily responsible for cutting down the Easter Vigil readings.

When I returned home after our own Vigil last night, I watched the Vatican website's recording of their celebration. It was something of a curate's egg! Understandably, I suppose, the lighting of the New Fire took place indoors (in the atrium), but the effect was unsatisfactory. So too was the unrelenting flashing of camera phones during the procession of the Paschal Candle into the darkened basilica (in spite of a request to desist). I wondered how the people could both hold their candles and operate their cameras. Overall, I was struck by how little music there seemed to be; also, how 'low key' was the effect of using mainly just chant. I found myself longing for a good tune or two!

[Fixed papal gender issue - musicus]
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John Ainslie
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Re: Readings for the Easter Vigil

Post by John Ainslie »

musicus wrote:According to some sources, Pope Frances...

Well, that really would be a surprise!

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Re: Readings for the Easter Vigil

Post by Anne »

About the order of the Easter Vigil. I wouldn't like to change the order as we have it, as we read the Old Testament readings as part of our story / history as Christians, and therefore it is fitting that we read them in the light of the Pascal Candle and in the echos of the Exultet.

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Re: Readings for the Easter Vigil

Post by musicus »

John Ainslie wrote:
musicus wrote:According to some sources, Pope Frances...

Well, that really would be a surprise!

Sorry! That's what comes of typing my eldest daughter's name for over thirty years. I will fix it.
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Southern Comfort
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Re: Readings for the Easter Vigil

Post by Southern Comfort »

musicus wrote:You are by no means the first person to suggest that, alan29, and in the 70s, 80s and 90s some parishes did, in fact, re-order the various parts of the Easter Vigil. Inevitably, Rome issued a document (sorry, the title escapes me) prohibiting such shenanigans!


My response to this post disappeared. As I sent it, the website crashed. Let's try again.....

The document was Paschale Solemnitatis, January 1988, sometimes known as the document on celebrating Easter. It was published in England as a CTS pamphlet entitled simply Easter. The document was, we are told, originally aimed at people like Italian priests who were getting through the Easter Vigil in 45 minutes....

Parts of it (e.g. paras 41 following) have now appeared in the revised translation of the Roman Missal (see the paragraphs at the beginning of the Triduum, foot of page 329).

Up to that time, more than a few parishes had been tweaking the sequence of events at the Vigil, blessing the new fire at the beginning, having the readings "around the fire", omitting the Gloria but lighting the candle and singing to it in proximity to the Gospel of the Resurrection.... All this can be justified from the practices of the early Church (see, for example Jerusalem Revisited by the late Kenneth Stevenson). On the continent of Europe, even bigger modifications were in use at the Vigil. These and other adaptations had been well publicised in the St Thomas More Centre's book about celebrating Holy Week (Lord, by your cross and resurrection, first published in 1977 and reprinted several times subsequently).

Paschale Solemnitatis effectively put a stop to all that (para 81), even though the modifications had been found pastorally useful.

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Re: Readings for the Easter Vigil

Post by organist »

I am not sure I have experienced all 7! We had 4 this year all with Murray psalms which worked well with the choir of 3 + 1. A well sung Exultet as well.

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Re: Readings for the Easter Vigil

Post by musicus »

Southern Comfort wrote:The document was Paschale Solemnitatis, January 1988, sometimes known as the document on celebrating Easter.

Thanks, SC. Quite so.

I'm still using Lord, by your Cross and Resurrection: chiefly for Tony Barr's fine and dramatic setting of the Exodus psalm.
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quaeritor
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Re: Readings for the Easter Vigil

Post by quaeritor »

In the booklets provided for our congregation, (issued over the Imprimatur of the Archbishop of Birmingham) the directions for the psalm after the seventh reading are as follows

"When there is a baptism at the Vigil the following Psalm 41/42 is used or Psalm 50.
[there follows psalm 41]
If a Baptism takes place [my italics] the Responsorial Psalm which follows the Fifth reading is used, or Psalm 50
Or
If there is no Baptism the following Responsorial Psalm is said instead of the above:
[There follows psakm 50.]

Am I alone in finding that self-contradictory? On the principle that you should always obey the most recent command, when would you ever use the given psalm (41)?

Q

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Re: Readings for the Easter Vigil

Post by londonchurchman »

The Vigil was particulalry joyful this year and the church was packed. 3 readings (Genesis, Exodus and Ezekiel) plus the Psalms, sung litany, Offertory hymn was At the lamb's high feast we sing and Thine be the Glory for recessional. The choir sand Wondrous Love during Communion. Almost everyone sang everything which made it feel very special. We had 5 baptisms and one confirmation.

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Re: Readings for the Easter Vigil

Post by Gwyn »

I've often wondered why Genesis 3 depicting The Fall isn't included as a vigil reading. I've always considered that as crucial to the plot.

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Re: Readings for the Easter Vigil

Post by organist »

Good point Gwyn but isn't the emphasis on the Passover/baptism, new life in Christ? We had the pleasure of attending an Orthodox seder on Monday and this gave several insights into the importance of freedom to Judaism. :D

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