11 April 2020

You may find it helpful to have a space as a focus for your prayer. This might include a crucifix, icon or another holy image, and a lighted candle.


During the Easter Vigil, the Church reads the account of creation as a prophecy. In the resurrection, we see the most sublime fulfilment of what this text describes as the beginning of all things. God says once again: “Let there be light!” The resurrection of Jesus is an eruption of light. Death is conquered, the tomb is thrown open. The Risen One himself is Light, the Light of the world. With the resurrection, the Lord’s day enters the nights of history. Beginning with the resurrection, God’s light spreads throughout the world and throughout history. Day dawns. This Light alone – Jesus Christ – is the true light, something more than the physical phenomenon of light. He is pure Light: God himself, who causes a new creation to be born in the midst of the old, transforming chaos into cosmos.

Most blessed of all nights!

The night of the Passover when Christ passed from death to life is the most important moment in the Christian year. We celebrate our passing over, through baptism, from the death of sin to the life of grace. From the earliest times, Christians devoted this night to watching and waiting. We, too, keep our vigil, knowing that the Lord will rise triumphant from the tomb to establish his Church among us. The grain of seed has died and now the Church is born, and will give shelter to countless of people till the end of time.

The Blessing of the Fire and Preparation of the Candle

The celebration of the Easter Vigil takes place after dark. The lights of the church are extinguished, everyone is given a candle, and we gather in the presbytery garden. We light a fire, which Father blesses. He then prepares the new paschal candle and lights it from the fire. Father, with ministers and altar servers, process into Church, with the lit paschal candle, followed by everyone else. Our candles are then lit from the light of the new paschal candle.

The Easter Proclamation (Exsultet)

Exult, let them exult, the hosts of heaven, exult, let Angel ministers of God exult, let the trumpet of salvation sound aloud our mighty King’s triumph! Be glad, let earth be glad, as glory floods her, ablaze with light from her eternal King, let all corners of the earth be glad, knowing an end to gloom and darkness. Rejoice, let Mother Church also rejoice, arrayed with the lightning of his glory, let this holy building shake with joy, filled with the mighty voices of the peoples. Therefore, dearest friends, standing in the awesome glory of his holy light, invoke with me, I ask you, the mercy of God almighty. that he, who has been pleased to number me, thought unworthy, among the Levites, may pour into me his light unshadowed, that I may sing this candle’s perfect praises. The Lord be with you. And with your spirit. Lift up your hearts. We lift them up to the Lord. Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. It is right and just. It is truly right and just, with ardent love of mind and heart and with devoted service of our voice, to acclaim our God invisible, the almighty Father, and Jesus Christ, our Lord, his Son, his Only Begotten. Who for our sake paid Adam’s debt to the eternal Father, and, pouring out his own dear Blood, wiped clean the record of our ancient sinfulness. These then are the feasts of Passover, in which is slain the Lamb, the one true Lamb, whose Blood anoints the doorposts of believers. This is the night, when once you led our forbears, Israel’s children, from slavery in Egypt and made them pass dry-shod through the Red Sea. This is the night that with a pillar of fire banished the darkness of sin. This is the night that even now, throughout the world, sets Christian believers apart from worldly vices and from the gloom of sin, leading them to grace and joining them to his holy ones. This is the night, when Christ broke the prison-bars of death and rose victorious from the underworld. Our birth would have been no gain, had we not been redeemed. O wonder of your humble care for us! O love, O charity beyond all telling, to ransom a slave you gave away your Son! O truly necessary sin of Adam, destroyed completely by the Death of Christ! I happy fault that earned so great, so glorious a Redeemer! O truly blessed night, worthy alone to know the time and hour when Christ rose from the underworld! This is the night of which it is written: The night shall be as bright as day, dazzling is the night for me, and full of gladness. The sanctifying power of this night dispels wickedness, washes faults away, restores innocence to the fallen, and joy to mourners, drives out hatred, fosters concord, and brings down the mighty. On this, your night of grace, I holy Father, accept this candle, a solemn offering, the work of bees and of your servant’s hands, an evening sacrifice of praise, this 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, for it is fed by melting wax, drawn out by mother bees to build a torch so precious. O truly blessed night, when things of heaven are wed to those of earth, and divine to the human. Therefore, O Lord, we pray you that this candle, hallowed to the honour of your name, may preserve undimmed, to overcome the darkness of this night. Receive it as a pleasing fragrance, and let it mingle with the lights of heaven. May this flame be found still burning by the Morning Star: the one Morning Star who never sets, Christ you Son, who, coming back from death’s domain, has shed his peaceful light on humanity, and lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

Third Reading

A reading from the book of Exodus 14:15 – 15:1

The sons of Israel went on dry ground right into the sea.

The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me so? Tell the sons of Israel to march on. For yourself, raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and part it for the sons of Israel to walk through the sea on dry ground. I for my part will make the heart of the Egyptians so stubborn that they will follow them. So shall I win myself glory at the expense of Pharoah, of all his army, his chariots, his horsemen. And when I have won glory for myseelf, at the expense of the Pharoah and his chariots and his army, the Egyptians will learn that I am the Lord.” Then the angel of the Lord, who marched at the front of the army of Israel, changed station and moved to their rear. The pillar of cloud changed station from the front to the rear of them, and remained there. It came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel. The cloud was dark, and the night passed without the armies drawing any closer the whole night long. Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove back the sea with a strong easterly wind all night, and he made dry land of the sea. The waters parted and the sons of Israel went on dry ground right into the sea, walls of water to right and to left of them. The Egyptians gave chase: after them they went, right into the sea, all Pharoah’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. In the morning watch, the Lord looked down on the army of the Egyptians from the pillar of fire and cloud, and threw the army into confusion. He so clogged their chariot wheels that they could scarcely make headway, “Let us flee from the Israelites,”the Egyptians cried, “the Lord is fighting for them against the Egyptians!” “Stretch out your hand over the sea.” the Lord said to Moses, “that the waters may flow back on the Egyptians and their chariots and their horsemen.” Moses stretched out his hand over the sea and, as day broke, the sea returned to its bed. The fleeing Egyptians marched right into it, and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the very middle of the sea. The returning waters overwhelmed the chariots and the horsemen of Pharoah’s whole army, which had followed the Israelites into the sea; not a single one of them was left. But the sons of Israel had marched through the sea on dry ground, walls of water to right and to left of them. That day, the Lord rescued Israel from the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. Israel witnessed the great act that the Lord had performed against the Egyptians, and the people venerated the Lord; they put their faith in the Lord and in Moses, his servant. It was then that Moses and the sons of Israel sang this song in honour of the Lord:

Responsorial Psalm

Exodus 15: 1-6, 17-18. R. v.1

I will sing to the Lord, glorious his triumph! I will sing to the Lord, glorious his triumph! Horse and rider he has thrown into the sea! The Lord is my strength, my song, my salvation. This is my God and I extol him, my father’s God and I gave him praise. R. The Lord is a warrior! The Lord is his name. The chariots of Pharoah he hurled into the sea, the flower of his army is drowned in the sea, The deep hide them; they sank like a stone. R. Your right hand, Lord, glorious in its power, your right hand, Lord, has shattered the enemy. In the greatness of your glory you crushed the foe. R. You will lead them and plant them on your mountain, the place, O Lord, where you have made your home, the sanctuary, Lord, which your hands have made. The Lord will reign for ever and ever. R.


O God, whose ancient wonders remain undimmed in splendour even in our day, for what you once, bestowed on a single people, freeing them from Pharoah’s persection by the power of your right hand now you bring about as the salvation of the nations through the waters of rebirth, grant, we pray, that the whole world may become children of Abraham and inherit the dignity of Israel’s birthright. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Fifth Reading

A reading from the prophet Isaiah 55: 1-11

Come to me and your soul will live, and I will make an everlasting covenant with you.

Thus says the Lord: Oh, come to the water all you who are thirsty; though you have no money, come! Buy corn without money, and eat, and, at no cost, wine and milk. Why spend money on what is not bread, your wages on what fails to satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and you will have good things to eat and rich food to enjoy. Pay attention, come to me; listen, and your soul will live. With you I will make an everlasting covenant out of the favours promised to David. See, I have made of you a witness to the peoples, a leader and a master of the nations. See, you will summon a nation you never knew, those unknown will come hurrying to you, for the sake of the Lord your God, of the Holy One of Israel who will glorify you. Seek the Lord whilst he is still to be found, call to him while he is still near. Let the wicked man abandon his way, the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn back to the Lord who will take pity on him, to our God who is rich in forgiving; for my thoughts are not your thoughts, my ways are not your ways – it is the Lord who speaks. Yes, the heavens are as high above earth as my ways are above your ways, my thoughts above your thoughts. Yes, as the rain and the snow come down from the heaven and do not return without watering the earth, making it yield and giving growth to provide seed for the sower and bread for the eating, so the word that goes from my mouth does not return to me empty, without carrying out my will and succeeding in what it was sent to do.

Responsorial Psalm

Isaiah 12: 2-6. R. v.3

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. Truly God is my salvation, I trust, I shall not fear. For the Lord is my strength, my song, be became my saviour. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. R. Give thanks to the Lord, give praise to his name! Make his mighty dedes known to the peoples, declare the greatness of his name. R. Sing a psalm to the Lord for he has done glorious deeds, make them known to all the earth! People of Zion, sing and shout for joy for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel. R.


Almighty ever-living God, sole hope of the world, who by the preaching of your Prophets unveiled the mysteries of this present age, graciously increase the longing of your people, for only at the prompting of your grace do the faithful progress in any kind of virtue. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sixth Reading

A reading from the prophet Baruch 3: 9-15. 32 – 4:4

In the radiance of the Lord make your way to light.

Listen, Israel, to commands that bring life; hear, and learn what knowledge means. Why, Israel, why are you in the country of your enemies, growing older and older in an alien land, sharing defilement with the dead, reckoned with those who go to Sheol? Because you have forsaken the fountain of wisdom. Had you walked in the way of God, you would have lived in peace for ever. Learn where knowledge is, where strength, where understanding, and so learn where length of days is, where life, where the lights of the eyes and where peace. But who has found out where she lives, who has entered her treasure house? But the One who knows all knows her, he has grasped her with his own intellect, he has set the eath firm for ever and filled it with four-footed beasts, he sends the light – and it goes, he recalls it – and trembling it obeys; the stars shine joyfully at their set times: when he calls them, they answer, “Here we are”; they gladly shine for their creator. Is is he who is our God, no other can compare with him. He has grasped the whole way of knowledge, and confided it to his servant Jacob, to Israel his well-beloved; so causing her to appear on earth and move among men. This is the book of the commandments of God, the Law that stands for ever; those who keep her live, those who desert her die. Turn back, Jacob, seize her, in her radiance make your way to light: do not yield your glory to another, your privilege to a people not your own. Israel, blessed are we: what pleases God has been revealed to us.

Responsorial Psalm

Psalm 18: 8-11. R. Jn 6:69

You have the message of eternal life, O Lord. The law of the Lord is perfect, it revives the soul. The rule of the Lord is to be trusted, it gives wisdom to the simple. R. The precepts o the Lord are right, they gladden the heart. The command of the Lord is clear, it gives light to the eyes. R. The fear of the Lord is holy, abiding for ever. The decrees of the Lord are truth and all of them just. R. They are more to be desired than gold, than the purest gold and sweeter are they than honey, than honey from the comb. R.


O God, who constantly increase your Church by your call to the nations, graciously grant to those you wash clean in the waters of Baptism the assurance of your unfailing protection. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will. We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you, we give you thanks for your great glory, Lord God, heavenly King, O God, almighty Father. Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son, Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us; you take away the sins of the world. receive our prayer; you are seated at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.


O God, who make this most sacred night radiant with the glory of the Lord’s Resurrection, stir up in your Church a spirit of adoptation, so that, renewed in body and mind, we may render you undivided service. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Romans 6: 3-11

Christ, having been raised from the dead, will never die again.

When we were baptised in Christ Jesus we were baptised in his death: in other words, when we were baptised we went into the tomb with him and joined him in death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the Father’s glory, we roo might live a new life. If in union with Christ we have imitated his death, we shall also imitate him in his resurrection. We must realise that our former selves have been crucified with him to destroy this sinful body, and to free us from the slavery of sin. When a man dies, of course, he has finished with sin. But we believe that having died with Christ we shall return to life with him: Christ, as we know, having been raised from the dead will never die again. Death has no power over him any more. When he died, he died, once for all, to sin, so his life now is life with God; and in that way, you too must consider yourselves to be dead to sin but alive for God in Christ Jesus.

Responsorial Psalm

Psalm 117: 1-2, 16-17, 22-23

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia! Gove thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his love has no end. Let the sons of Israel say; “His love has no end.” R. The Lord’s right hand has triumphed; his right hand raised me up. I shall not die, I shall live and recount his deeds. R. The stone which the builders rejected has become the corner stone. This is the work of the Lord, a marvel in our eyes. R.


A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 28: 1-10

He has risen from the dead and now he is going before you into Galilee.

After the sabbath, and towards the dawn on the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala and the other Mary went to visit the sepulchre. And all at once there was a violent earthquake, for the angel of the Lord, descended from heaven, came and rolled away the stone and sat on it. His face was like lightning, his robe white as snow. The guards were so shaken, so frightened of him, that they were like dead men. But the angel spoke; and he said to the women, “There is no need for you to be afraid. I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said he would. Come and see the place where he lay, then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has risen from the dead and now he is going before you to Galilee; it is there you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” Filled with awe and great joy the women came quickly away from the tomb and ran to tell the disciples. And there, coming to meet them, was Jesus. “Greetings,” he said. And the women came up to him and falling down before him, clasped his feet. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers that they must leave for Galilee; they will see me there.” The Gospel of the Lord.

The Liturgy of Baptism

At this point, Father would baptise any Catechumens, otherwise, if there are none, he would conduct the Blessing of Water.



Pray for family and loved ones so that they may be held in God’s compassionate care. Pray for other countries who are struggling with the effects of the COVID 19 virus.  For those in authority: may they offer advice with care and integrity, may they seek to protect the poor and vulnerable. Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer. For all who work in healthcare: give strength to all who look after the sick so that they may bring comfort and relief to the suffering. Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer. For the Church: may she offer prayers and consolation for all those affected. Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer. For our local community and all for those in need: may those who are isolated know the support and service of their neighbours. Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name; they kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Prayer for Spiritual communion

I prostrate myself at your feet, O my Jesus, and I offer you the repentance of my contrite heart, which abases itself in its nothingness in Your Holy Presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your Love; I desire to receive You in the poor abode that my heart offers You. While waiting for the happiness of a Sacramental Communion, I want to possess You in spirit. Come to me, O my Jesus, that I may come to You. May Your love inflame my whole being, in life and in death. I believe in You. I hope in You. I love You. Amen.


Remember O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, we fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do we come, before thee do we stand sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word incarnate, despise not our petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer us. Amen

Prayer for the Year of the Word

Living God, you walk alongside us and speak to us throughout the Scriptures. Your Son, Jesus Christ, listens to our hopes and fears and shows us how to live for one another. Send us the Holy Spirit to open our hearts and minds, so that we may be your witnesses throughout the world. Amen. Your word is our path and your truth is our light. This day and every day. Our Lady of the Annunciation. Pray for us. St Matthew. Pray for us. St. Jerome. Pray for us.


In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.