About the Great Vigil of Easter

“This is the night when Christ broke the bonds of death and rose victorious from the grave. Tonight we hear the ancient stories of God’s redeeming work, moving from darkness to light, from solemn chant to joyful song, as we celebrate the glorious Resurrection.”

—from the Washington National Cathedral 2012

The Great Vigil is the oldest tradition of the Christian church except for the Eucharist and is meant to tell an ancient story which is so important and central to our lives as Christians and as members of St John’s. In a way, this is our tribal song…words, music and ritual in one space. It is told to every generation, it is told every year. The Great Vigil begins in the dark, as the fire of new life is lit and spread to the whole church and finally bells are rung and we hear the first Gloria and the first Alleluias of the new season of Easter. We are literally shouting for joy! This is the first service of Easter followed by services on Easter Day. You are encouraged to bring bells from home to ring for the Vigil, big bells and little ones.

Sundays at St. John’s

8 AM Worship: Join us in church for a contemplative service using the traditional language of Rite One in the Book of Common Prayer.

10 AM Worship: Join us for worship in church with music, and singing, and child care provided for infants and toddlers. Education programs for children start at 10, and children join their parents for the latter part of the worship service. A coffee hour follows the service in the Parish Hall.