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Source: (consider it) Thread: Sunday morning - Easter
daisymay

St Elmo's Fire
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www.stjohns-hydepark.com/index.php/easter-mainmenu-126

We went at 5.00 am this Sunday, for quite a longish time, with much about Jesus, The Easter Vigil. We had lots of Bibles reading by many people - Genesis, Exodus, Ezekiel, Romans, Psalms, Matthew, by several ones of each, 9 readings!

And the singers sang quite a lot, some in different languages. And "Glory be to God on high" was sung too. And we all sang "Glory to God, glory in the highest peace to His people, peace on earth."

The previous Thursday had the biggish square tree at the front where they kneeled and this time it was a smaller one always carried up and walked around in the church.

There was tea and coffee and breakfast food after the service, which had communion of course.

I'm glad I walked up in time to get there! It was dark to walk to the church...

[ 21. April 2014, 20:35: Message edited by: daisymay ]

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Liturgylover
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# 15711

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The early morning Vigil service seems to be growing in popularity - I know it was also done at St Mary Primrose Hill, St Brides, St Mary Abbot, St Martin-in-the-Field to name but a few, and followed by breakfast. Were there many present at St John's out of interest? I went one year to St Peter Eaton Square and seem to remember a packed crypt from where it began.
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betjemaniac
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I have to say the morning vigil is a new one on me (perhaps I've been living in a cave or something). It's always (IME) been the night before after dusk - the argument from various of the spikier (FiF and AffCath) being that that's when Easter sunday starts (with night falling before it, not with the sun rising on it).

So, is the morning as opposed to preceeding evening vigil growing in the CofE; has it always been there and I've just missed it; and if there has been a change, why?

Unless, and this is a genuine musing, it's just because of the difficulty of getting much of a crowd on a Saturday night? We had about 40 for the vigil/fire/renewal of baptismal vows/exsultet/first mass of easter; but more like 120 on the day for the 1030 high mass...

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Corvo
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# 15220

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Surely the tomb was found to be empty at dawn - the Resurrection having taken place during the night? The vigil therefore should take place during the night. Ours began at 8pm, but the problem was it was still light - still Saturday - at that time.

[ 22. April 2014, 08:12: Message edited by: Corvo ]

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stonespring
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Pre-the Liturgical Movement, hadn't the Easter Vigil service in the RCC something that priests and a few altar boys rushed through in an empty Church? Easter Sunday was the big thing that laypeople attended. I've also heard that the Vigil service was also done in the morning to get it over with, but whether this was very early Easter Sunday morning or Holy Saturday morning, I don't know.
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ken
Ship's Roundhead
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Our 10:30 service got more than ten times the attendance of the early morning one. And I don't see that changing soon. Whenever we bring the subject up its always made very clear that Sunday morning is the only time in the week most (not all) of the congregation can be gathered.

RCC seems to be in a rather different place - the "first mass of Easter" in their local churches was very definitely Saturday evening. I wonder if this is part of a general move towards Saturday evening rather than Sunday morning for them, perhaps because its convenient for families who want to take the kids out somewhere on Sunday? (Or for those who want to go out and get smashed on Saturday night and sleep in on Sunday morning)

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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Fr Weber
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Between the 8th century or so and 1956, the Easter Vigil was typically celebrated on the morning of Holy Saturday. This is where the custom of ending the Lenten fast at noon on Holy Saturday comes from.

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"The Eucharist is not a play, and you're not Jesus."

--Sr Theresa Koernke, IHM

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betjemaniac
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# 17618

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quote:
Originally posted by ken:
Whenever we bring the subject up its always made very clear that Sunday morning is the only time in the week most (not all) of the congregation can be gathered.


True - so I suppose then you have a divide between doing it "properly" (for want of a better word), or shuffling the deck to suit the congregation.

I rather suspect my place (non FiF but high as a kite) would continue to do the whole works even if there was no one but the priests and the choir on the basis they felt it was the right thing to do. They just wouldn't see it as a case of trying to chase an attendance, but rather "it's there if people want it; if they don't, it's there."

That's not a judgment on either way of doing things (on my part), just interesting that the two options seem to exist.

We started just after 8, so it was dusk, but by the time we were outside around the fire it was pitch black. Just over 2 hours from beginning to end. I would guess on current attendances (higher than some main services in the city) the first mass on a Saturday night continues to be viable anyway, but there's definitely more of a mob for the Sunday 1030.

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And is it true? For if it is....

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betjemaniac
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sorry, when I said "properly," I didn't mean that the alternative wasn't proper; rather differently would have been better.

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And is it true? For if it is....

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leo
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# 1458

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The Vigil was seen as THE service of the Christian year but people need to be taught it again.

The best time for it is whenever you can get a good crowd.

I went to one that started at 9pm on Saturday - it has just got dark.

We used to start at 5am on Sunday and we had teenagers in sleeping backs and it felt like a real vigil - but they've moved away and we have fewer young people now.

Another success was when we started at 8am, broke off fore parish breakfast and resumed at 10am - the normal Sunday time.

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Ceremoniar
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The Easter Vigil was originally an all-night affair (still is in the Eastern churches) that started after dark on Saturday night and continued through the night, ending with the Mass at dawn. Between the 8th and 13th centuries, the liturgy gradually was moved back, first to the afternoon and then ultimately to the morning of Holy Saturday. The lack of a proper liturgy on Holy Saturday made this possible. The Maundy Thursday and Good Friday liturgies also crept back to the morning hours, and that was how it was until the 1950s. Because everything was celebrated in the morning when people were working, the liturgies lost much of their attendance by average Mass-goers.

Ven. Pius XII wanted the liturgies to be celebrated at their proper times, as the Liturgical Movement of the early 20th century had urged. He began with a two-year experimental Easter Vigil rite in 1951, which was extended two more years, and bishops were asked for feedback. That was overwhelmingly positive, and so in 1955, the revised Holy Week rites were promulgated, one of its one conspicuous elements being a separate Chrism Mass celebrated on the morning of Maundy Thursday, evening Masses of the Lord's Supper celebrated in parish churches, an afternoon (or where pastoral needs required, an early evening) Good Friday liturgy, and an Easter Vigil anytime after dark on Saturday and before dawn on Sunday. This had a profound effect on the lives of most Catholics, and its influence spread as other denominations began to use more and more of the Holy Week rites.

A few years later, when concelebration came in, permission was given by the Holy See for the Chrism Mass to be moved to a few days earlier was granted, given the schedules of priests during the Triduum. Priests concelabrate this Mass with their bishop, and renew their ordination promises at that Mass.

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Adam.

Like as the
# 4991

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quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
Pre-the Liturgical Movement, hadn't the Easter Vigil service in the RCC something that priests and a few altar boys rushed through in an empty Church? Easter Sunday was the big thing that laypeople attended. I've also heard that the Vigil service was also done in the morning to get it over with, but whether this was very early Easter Sunday morning or Holy Saturday morning, I don't know.

Ceremoniar's given you the history, but I'll add an anecdote, shared with us many times by one of my liturgy profs in seminary. He told us that when he was a young altar boy serving the Saturday morning "vigil" he remembers for the first time understanding the chant "on this night" and thinking how strange it was to do this mid-morning and that someone should really reform it. A couple of years later, the Pope did. Some of his other desires for reform have not come to as speedy fruition...

quote:
Originally posted by Ceremoniar:
Priests concelabrate this Mass with their bishop, and renew their ordination promises at that Mass

This is what I've always seen done, but the rite seems to assume that only a few priests, from representative parts of the diocese, would concelebrate, the rest sitting in choir. I have never seen a priest in choir at chrism Mass.

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Ecclesiastical Flip-flop
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# 10745

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This year, I went to the vigil Mass at Westminster Cathedral and that for me was my first time there for that particular yearly observance. With the Cathedral packed (and I was there half-an-hour before the start of the Mass), so that I was not too late to find a seat. The service lasted two-and-a-half hours, with a 20.30 start.

There were things that I missed and there were things that I gained. With the packed Cathedral, I missed the intimacy of a small congregation, which I am used to; but on the other hand, I experienced the "full works", with the Cathedral choir and also with the Cardinal presiding and everything I could wish for was included in the service. The number of readings was not too numerous, with only three or four Old Testament readings.

The Mass lasted as long as I could stay, having to leave before "Jesus Christ is Risen Today" as the final hymn, as I could not miss my train home from nearby Victoria Station.

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Joyeuses Pâques! Frohe Ostern! Buona Pasqua! ¡Felices Pascuas! Happy Easter!

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Incensed
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St Mary's Bourne Street celebrated the vigil at 8.30 on Saturday evening. It was "just" dark! A few things have changed from how I remember it there a few years ago. Very few servers. An interesting preacher - a monk from Mirfield. The music was simply sublime.
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Forthview
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# 12376

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The Saturday evening Vigil of Easter has nothing to do with families 'getting things over'
Before the 1950s Mass could only be celebrated in the morning ( theoretically from one hour before dawn till one hour after noon)
The Holy Saturday Vigil was celebrated (theoretically) at such a time that the first Mass of Easter would be around midday. There was no dispensing with any of the Lessons at that time and so for most Catholics it was a long,long service with many readings in Latin and as such attended mainly by clergy and the very devout.The Lenten Fast ceased at midday on Holy Saturday.
Although there were a few attempts in Germany (with papal permission)even before the 1939 War to have the Easter Vigil at night time on Holy Saturday it was not until the 1950s that more general permission was given to have the Vigil on the night of Holy Saturday at such a time that the Mass of Easter should begin at midnight.

With vernacular services and in most cases a choice of Lessons ( not all of them !!) the Vigil has been more popular,particularly since there is no longer any obligation to have the Mass begin about midnight.In Catholic churches there is usually a good attendance now at the Vigil though there will still normally be more people the next morning.

Anyway,I'm off to Rome now to see the pope,though whether he will actually see me is doubtful,as they are expecting about 3 million people this weekend.

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ken
Ship's Roundhead
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Once we had an incumbent who organised a Holy Saturday service each year. Very quiet, focussing on Jesus being dead. Bible readings, say some psalms, a few very short talks, maybe only one hymn. It was deeply moving and also informative. (Even if it did sometimes tend to fiddling about with stones and candles or whatever). Would have counted as a Common Worship "Service of the Word" (a concept I suspect we nicked from the Presbyterians)

It worked. It worked very well indeed. Its a pity if Holy Saturday gets squeezed out of the calendar between Friday and Sunday.

(Somewhere I've got some notes on the liturgy if anyone's interested)

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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Bishops Finger
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We have BCP Matins (!) on Holy Saturday, instead of our usual Saturday Mass. IIRC, this is supposed to be minimalist, with no Glory be to the Father etc. after the Psalm and Canticles, and ending with the Third Collect, but no - Father read the whole lot, Sentences, Confession etc., even those unctuous State Prayers.... [Mad]

.....and we went to help at a neighbouring parish's Vigil, which started at 630pm and ended at 8pm (still in daylight). All most inappropriate, and I think I'll give both services a miss next year (if I live....).

Ian J.

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Olaf
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A few thoughts based on the succession of posts:

Holy Saturday morning: One of the local Anglo-Catholic places offers a quiet liturgy at the columbarium (church adjacent). I believe it follows the simple rite in BCP79 for that morning. I would imagine it is mostly the usual 10am Saturday/Marian mass crowd. Hopefully one of the local shipmates who knows more about that parish will post.

Vigil Scheduling: Easter "sunrise" (or sometimes "sonrise") services are disappearing around here. Local Lutheran places saw a big decline in attendance during the 1990s, and most canceled them. Having the Vigil then would be useless. In another example, a local Catholic church, for many years, offered the Great Vigil at 7pm on Saturday. It would fully conclude by 9:15 or 9:30, and then the priests would offer an anticipated Mass of Easter at 9:45 or so. That church was well-known for its short (forgive me) McMasses...fast food, and hence drew large crowds away from the other local parish churches. Locally, more and more things (e.g. kids' sports teams) hold games on Sunday mornings, and church attendance is dwindling rapidly.

Great Vigil: Once again I visited a local tiny church which can do a full (-ish, 4 prophecies) Vigil in an hour and 5 minutes flat. Altar party of five, twelve in the pews. Five hymns sung, and sung ordinary. Attention small churches: it is possible to do the Vigil!

[ 22. April 2014, 21:46: Message edited by: Olaf ]

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LA Dave
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Our Easter Vigil was held at 19:30 (just getting dark on the Pacific Coast) and was only moderately attended, largely by relatives of the four persons confirmed through the RCIA process. While this is my favorite church service of the year, my preferences are not widely shared. The Easter morning 10:00 a.m. Mass was absolutely jammed (SRO) and the noon Mass was almost as well attended.
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ken
Ship's Roundhead
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Sunrise services are becoming ever more common round here. More this year than last. I've never managed to go to one (i am not physiologically competent in the morning, its as much as I can do to make the 10:30) but rumour and anecdote (and e big book we keep in the vestry) lead me to believe that the attenders are few, and a mixture of keenie evangelicals just getting into the fun of eclectic liturgy, and late teens in the "youth group" looking for something a little daring (what self-respecting 15 or 16 year old can miss out on a chance to have some champagne with friends while their parents are in bed?)

Looking at the book in the vestry I can see that the 3-hour Good Friday service had about as many attenders as Wednesday, Thursday, and sunrise put together. And 10:30 on Sunday morning as many as all those put together and then some.

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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L'organist
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When I was growing up (1960s AC parish) Holy Week had lots of service: morning HC, Matins and Evensong every day plus stations of the cross, up to and including Maundy Thursday, when the Maundy Thursday commemoration was later at 7.30pm. Watch overnight from Maundy Thursday to Good Friday morning when there was Stations of the Cross again, with 3 Hour service in the afternoon.

On Easter Eve there were Matins and Evensong (no blessings, no Glorias, no confessions & absolutions): in the evening the time of the Vigil service was fixed so that it was getting dark... The priest used to kindle the new fire by use of a magnifying glass and the rays of setting sun - very impressive! Church had the West Door open so the lighted Paschal candle could be walked straight up the aisle. The service was vigil only - no eucharist, but all the readings, chanted exsultet, etc.

On Easter Day the first eucharist was sung with hymns at 7am, said 8am, Main service at 9.30, choral Matins, Festal Evensong.

There were also sung Eucharists on the morning of the Monday and Tuesday in Easter Week, said services for the other days up to Low Sunday.

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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Oblatus
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quote:
Originally posted by ken:
Sunrise services are becoming ever more common round here. More this year than last.

Some year I'd like somehow to get myself down to Chicago's beaches (there are close to 20 miles of them) early on Easter morning to see and maybe participate in some of what must be many Easter sunrise services. As we're on the "sunrise side" of Lake Michigan, and the lakefront is public space by design (rather than private property or industrial), the beaches are popular spots for such services, weather permitting.
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Ceremoniar
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In the RCC, churches are not permitted to start the Easter Vigil liturgy before complete darkness. A reminder of this has been made several times in recent years by both the Holy See and the US bishops' conference. Naturally, there are some parishes that continue to ignore it, but not as many as used to, given the unusually severe warning by the Holy See a few years ago:

"The meaning of the nocturnal character of the Easter Vigil
78. The entire celebration of the Easter Vigil takes place at night. It should not begin before nightfall; it should end before daybreak on Sunday". (82) This rule is to be taken according to its strictest sense. Reprehensible are those abuses and practices which have crept in in many places in violation of this ruling, whereby the Easter Vigil is celebrated at the time of day that it is customary to celebrate anticipated Sunday Masses. (83) The meaning of the nocturnal character of the Easter Vigil. Reprehensible are those abuses and practices which have crept in in many places in violation of this ruling, whereby the Easter Vigil is celebrated at the time of day that it is customary to celebrate anticipated Sunday Masses."

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Al Eluia

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This year we attended Easter Vigil at our daughter's (TEC) church, at which our granddaughter was baptized. In my experience TEC Easter Vigils have at least started close to sunset if not later. This one started at 5 pm, and even with four baptisms we were done by 7. I don't know about "reprehensible," but it certainly felt weird to get out of an Easter Vigil when it was still daylight out.

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