The Vigil of Easter

Saint Matthew Lutheran Church—Ernestville, Missouri

The Vigil of Easter on Holy Saturday is a celebration of the Resurrection of Our Lord and our Baptism.  The Vigil of Easter on Holy Saturday marks the final service of the Triduum—the three day service that leads up to Easter Sunday.  Jesus remained buried in the tomb on Holy Saturday.  The apostle Paul says in Romans 6:3-4 that when we were baptized, we were buried with Christ into death. Because of the connection between Holy Baptism and Christ’s death, the early Church began the practice of baptizing new Christians on Holy Saturday.  On this day when Christ was buried in the tomb, Christians were buried with Christ into His death through the waters of Holy Baptism.  By at least the early third century A.D. Christians began observing the Vigil of Easter in connection with these baptisms (for more background on this see the post “The surprising history of Romans 6 and baptism in the early Church”). 

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The Vigil of Easter