This vigil is in 4 parts.
1. Lighting of the new fire/Exultet
The church is in darkness. This symbolized the darkness we are in because of sin. Everyone gathers outside for the lighting of the new fire. This fire is a symbol of the fire Jesus said He came to light on the Earth. After blessing the fire the Easter Candle is prepared, blessed & lit. Then the following is intoned: "Christ our light!", to which all reply: "Thanks be to God!". Then everyone processed into Church where this is intoned 2 more times. From the candle eventually the smaller candle that each person is carrying is lit as well as the Church's lights. This symbolizes the spread of Christ's light to all believers. Finally the Exultet, celebrating the Resurrection of Christ is intoned. It is an ancient hymn that truly captures what is being celebrated. It can be found here:
2. Readings from Scripture
Up to 7 readings from the Old Testament are read telling our salvation history. Exodus 14:15-15:1 has to be read. At least 2 others usually are read. This is followed by a reading from the Epistle to the Romans & the Matthew's Gospell's telling of the Resurrection.
3. Blessing of Holy Water, Adult Baptisms/Confirmation, Renewal of Baptisimal promises.
In the early Church, this was the night new converts were fully welcomed into the Church. Up to know these catachumens had to leave after the homily. The have now been washed clean of their sins & are now members of Christ's body. They were now welcomed to the Table of the Lord & able to fully particcipate in the liturgy, finally being able to receive the Eucharist, the Body & Blood of Jesus. After Vatican II, the Church restored this Rite of Christian Initiation (RCIA). Those who have been through the RCIA are welcomed. & all present renew their own Baptismal promises.
4. Liturgy of the Eucharist
Just what it says.
Jesus is truly risen from the dead & has won the victory over sin & death for each of us. May this truly be the day of celebration it is ment to be. If you haven't given your life to Jesus, don't wait any longer. He is waiting for you & will welcome you into His loving embrace.
CHRIST THE LORD IS RISEN!!!!!
HE IS RISEN INDEED!!!!!