Solemn Vigil of Easter, St Anne’s Cathedral, Leeds
The Solemn Vigil of Easter was celebrant by Right Reverend Marcus Stock Bishop of Leeds at St Anne’s Cathedral on Saturday 15th April 2017.
At the back of the Cathedral the Bishop and other ministers, gather in darkness and silence to begin the greatest and most noble of all solemnities.
Blessing of the Fire
On this most sacred night which recalls the Lord Jesus’ passing over from death to life, we come together to watch and pray and to listen to God’s word and celebrate his mysteries.
Preparation of the Paschal Candle
The Bishop cuts a cross into the candle, and then makes the Greek letters Alpha and Omega, above and below it, before tracing the numerals of the year 2017. Then he places five studs containing incense into the candle to represent the glorious wounds of Christ.
The candle is then lighted, and three times we hear sung Lumen Christi ( The Light of Christ), to which we respond Deo gratias (Thanks be to God). After the second time, the candles of the congregation are lit.
The Deacon Joseph Cortis sang the Exsultet – the Hymn of Easter Praise to start what was a very full and moving service.
Those to be baptised, know as the Elect, was called forward by the Deacon. Then, with the Bishop, they came in procession with the Paschal Candle to the back of the Cathedral to gather by the font.
The Bishop lifted the Paschal Candle in and out of the water 3 times. The candles we carried in procession at the beginning of the Vigil are now lit. Those who are to be baptised. the Elect and those who are to be received into full communion are invited to make their baptismal promises together with all the congregation.
Celebration of Reception into full Communion
The Deacon asks for those who are to be received into full communion with the Church please come forward. And there are confirmed by the Bishop.