At Home Saturday Easter Vigil
Easter Saturday is a holy day of silence. We ponder the meaning of the last few days and all that has taken place. We yearn for answers moving forward, hoping and praying that Jesus’ words of resurrection would ring just as true as His words of crucifixion. Today we remember much like the disciples did, not gathered in the temple or sanctuary, but in our homes. May our worship and devotion be not in a spirit of fear, but one of contemplation and reverence.
THE VIGIL OF EASTER
(Starting with the room darkened, have an unlit candle nearby)
Light the candle, saying: “The light of Christ, rising in glory, dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds. Thanks be to God.”
Then read this “Easter Proclamation”
Rejoice, all heavenly choirs of angels!
Christ has conquered; the risen Savior shines upon you.
This is the night in which the true Lamb is slain.
This the night in which the children of Israel were led through the sea.
This is the night in which all who believe in Christ are renewed in grace.
The holiness of this night restores joy to those who mourn and humbles earthly pride.
Therefore, this night, O God, receive our praise for the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
May Christ, the Morning Star, rising from the grave, shed light on the whole human race.
And we pray, O God: preserve and protect your church, giving us peace, in this time and forever.
O God, You are the creator of the world, the liberator of Your people, and the wisdom of the earth. By the resurrection of Your Son, free us from our fears, restore us in Your image, and ignite us with Your light, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
GOSPEL: Read John 20:1-18
About this Gospel: Mary weeps; so do we. But do not weep. The Risen Christ calls each of us by name! As we approach the empty tomb and the defeated grave in the coming days, may we open our ears, our hearts, and our spirits to hear our name called by the one who has defeated our sin and death!
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
“On this most holy night, we pray for the church, the earth, the world, those in need, and all the members of God’s family. Lord, in Your mercy and comfort, hear our prayer.”
A brief silence.
“We pray, O God, for all the churches around the globe: for their people and leaders; for the newly baptized; for the believers who cannot assemble for worship; for faithful endurance during times of sorrow and distress; and for a deepening sense of Your presence among us. Lord, in Your mercy and comfort, hear our prayer.”
A brief silence.
“O God, You are steadfast in Your faithfulness. We pray, O God, for peace and justice in the world: for an end to war and international turmoil; for concord in our troubled society; for the heads of state, legislators, and local civic leaders, that they may lead and guide with compassion, empathy, and humility. Lord, in Your mercy and comfort, hear our prayer.”
A brief silence.
“O God, you are our Everlasting Arms. We pray, O God, for all in need: for those suffering for the faith; for those who are poor, hungry, and homeless; for those who are sick and those awaiting death; and for those we name before you here.”
Add in any specific prayer requests you’d like to lift up.
Pray the Lord’s Prayer:
Listen to “How Deep The Father’s Love For Us” by Out of the Dust
Pray this prayer and speak these final sentences:
“Eternal giver of life and light, this holy night shines with the radiance of the risen Christ. Christ is risen!! Christ is risen indeed!! Alleluia!! Amen.”
These resources for worship at home on the Three Days were developed by Gordon Lathrop and Gail Ramshaw for Resurrection Lutheran Church, Arlington, Virginia, and are offered for ecumenical use.
They have been slightly adapted for United Methodist use. Used by permission.