Is the Easter Vigil different from Resurrection Sunday?

Jasjot Singh

Are there differences between the celebration of the Easter Vigil and Resurrection Sunday? A priest expert in Liturgy answers.

In statements to ACI Prensa, Fr. Francisco Torres Ruiz, a graduate and professor of Liturgy in the Spanish diocese of Plasencia, pointed out that “there is really no theological difference between the Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday, because Easter Sunday begins precisely with the night of the Easter Vigil.

“For this reason, the current missal stipulates that it be an hour late at night and that it end before dawn the next day, before first light the following day. Because it is understood that the Easter Vigil is already part of Easter Sunday, of Resurrection Sunday.

“In fact, on Holy Saturday there is no celebration of the Eucharist,” he specified.

However, he pointed out, “liturgically there is a difference” between the Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday.

“Liturgically, the night of Easter, the night of the Easter Vigil, is a liturgy structured in four moments,” he said.

“At the first moment we call it Cosmic Easter, because it is the consecration of the natural elements that manifest the presence of the Resurrected. Hence the blessing of the fire, the blessing of the Candle made with wax, the blessing of the wounds of Christ, the nails of incense that are put in it, ”he explained.

Torres Ruiz indicated that “this first part ends with the consecration of the Candle through the Easter Proclamation.”

Then, he continued, “we call the second part of the Easter Vigil the Historical Easter, because in the light of the Paschal Candle, that is, in the light of the Risen Christ, the most important, most significant passages in the history of the people are read. of Israel, of the history of salvation.

This, he said, is done “beginning with the creation of the world, the creation of Adam and Eve, continuing through Exodus 14, which is the liberation, the crossing of the Red Sea, the liberation of the Jews from the slavery of Egypt.”

“Then, a series of prophets, among which Isaiah and Baruch stand out,” he said.

“And the Paschal event of the Resurrection, normally with the Gospel that is in this year in the cycle. If it is cycle A, Mateo; if it is Cycle B, Marcos; if it is Cycle C, Gospel of Luke,” he added.

The Spanish priest explained that the “third part we call the Easter of the Catechumens, because it is the moment in which either the unbaptized are ready to receive the sacraments of Christian initiation, specifically, that night baptism and confirmation, or those already baptized renew their baptismal promises and are again sprinkled with the baptismal water or the holy water that has been re-consecrated or re-blessed that night.”

“And the last part, the fourth part, we call the Easter of the Neophytes or the Easter of the faithful, because it already coincides with the Eucharistic liturgy until the end and already all the baptized, both those baptized as children and those baptized that night, they participate in the Eucharist that is new, that is rejuvenated after the absence of the Eucharist, the absence of Jesus Christ on Friday afternoon and on Holy Saturday, which is the burial of the Lord”.

On the other hand, he indicated, “on Easter Sunday, the Mass of the day itself, since it is a Sunday Mass with an Easter tone, in which the canticle is introduced before the Gospel, the recitation of the sequence Victimae paschali laudes, in Latin, or its Spanish version, Offer Christians offerings of praise.

Torres Ruiz stressed that this is “what is proper to the Easter Sunday liturgy. But for the rest, on Sunday morning it is a solemn Sunday mass, in which the baptismal promises and the sprinkling of the water that had been made the night before can be renewed, and in fact it is recommended to renew.

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