Easter Vigil is an ancient tradition reaching back to the very first Easter as the women around Jesus waited in the dark for the Sabbath to end so that they might tend to their Lord’s body. They waited and then walked in the dark to the tomb, laden with heavy aloes, herbs, and oils. But they were surprised when they arrived- the stone was rolled away and his body was not there. And so the first Easter was written.

In the modern church, Easter begins with the Vigil, when we bring the light of Christ back into the worship space. We begin outside with the story arc of Christianity beginning in the Old Testament. We hear the story of our Abrahamic roots told as we gather around a fire. Then we bless the paschal candle, light it, and enter the worship space. Once inside, the lights are thrown on full and we begin to celebrate. The tomb is empty, the wait of Lent is over. Our Savior has arrived and delivered us from death.

We invite you to join us as we gather outside at 7 pm and then bring the light into the worship space (sanctuary) and decorate with flowers and colorful banners to symbolize the life and promise of “God for us, God with us” in Jesus.

What to expect: We will light a fire and stay until it gets going well. Chairs will be present, but feel free to bring your favorite camp chair if you like. Dress warmly, as the evenings are still cooling off quickly as soon as the sun sets.

We will begin with lighting the Paschal Candle. Then, as the fire burns, we will hear the stories of our faith history, told in everyday language. Just before the first New Testament reading, we process inside, bringing light back into the place we last left in darkness. We will turn all the lights on and celebrate as we remember the way the women felt when they realized their Lord had risen.

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