The Easter Vigil in the Holy Night
“Exult, let them exult!” We hear these words at the beginning of the Exsultet, The Easter Proclamation, as we trace God’s saving action throughout history. The name Exsultet comes from the first word of the prayer: Exult!
As a Christian people we do exult, for Christ is risen from the dead and light banishes all traces of darkness.
The Easter Vigil liturgy is rich with symbol and ritual, and the Scripture readings connect us to our ancestors in faith, living the very same hope that we live today. The Genesis reading highlights God’s incredible work of creation, and reminds us that creation and recreation continue today. Abraham’s sacrifice recalls God’s promises and abundant blessings for God’s people, just as the reading from Exodus in which the Israelites cross the Red Sea prefigures Christ’s own resurrection. Readings from the prophets follow, those great heralds of God’s message throughout the ages. The Epistle from Paul to the Romans reinforces our baptismal identity and relationship with Jesus Christ who died and rose.
If time permits, read each of these Scripture passages in your own commemoration of Holy Saturday. Each of these stories highlights God’s love for God’s people and helps us to celebrate Christ’s resurrection by recalling God’s saving action.