Think. Serve. Worship. Belong.

Easter Vigil at St. Stephen


by Roger Davis, Chair, Worship Committee

Our annual Easter Vigil this year begins at 8:00 pm Friday, April 19 and concludes with a shortened form of the Great Vigil of Easter at 8:00 pm on Saturday, followed by our traditional Paschal Feast.  All services will be in the Chapel of the Holy Trinity in the Education Building.  Each service lasts 20-30 minutes, with the Great Vigil of Easter lasting about 45 minutes.  These services are a great way to contemplate the events of Good Friday and join in the first celebrations of the Resurrection of our Lord.  Here’s the schedule:

–Friday, 8:00 pm–“Shadows” In this Tenebrae service (or service of shadows) we experience the gathering darkness as we recall the events leading up to and including the crucifixion of Jesus with readings and the extinguishment of candles.

–Saturday, 8:30 am–“Awakening” In the gentle and cool light of the morning we will meditate and walk the labyrinth.

3:00 pm–  “Waiting” It feels like we spend so much of our time waiting – waiting in traffic, waiting on hold to talk to a real person, waiting in the drive-thru lane.  Even though we know Jesus arises, we contemplate our waiting for Easter and the assurance that we too shall have eternal life.

8:00–Sunset: “Great Vigil of Easter”, The Great Vigil of Easter is one of the oldest Christian worship services and is the first celebration of Easter, taking place after sunset on the Saturday before Easter Sunday.  Our Great Vigil of Easter is drawn from the PCUSA Book of Common Worship and will include a Service of Light and a Service of Readings.  We will begin outside in the darkness awaiting the Light of Christ.  It will conclude with the joyful singing of “Jesus Christ Has Risen Today”  – we will have bells available to add to our celebration.  This service will be followed by the Paschal Feast, which will feature lamb stew prepared by Bill Larmour.  Come join us!