Why are there so many readings at the Easter Vigil?

Apr 14, 2022
Old Holy Bible, Rosary Beads and Candle.

Father Leo Hodges, pastor of St. Andrew Parish, Orlando gave us the response.

The Easter Vigil readings attempt to capture our salvation history, from the beginning. We start with the Creation Story, and the Old Testament readings, continuing to the proclamation of the Resurrection from the Gospel, in the New Testament. There are many colorful readings that come alive because they are full of action, but there is really only one elaborate story. The story is centered on the eternal relentlessness of God to save us from sin, so we can experience eternal glory. The Vigil readings highlight the salient points of our salvation.

A maximum of nine readings can be proclaimed from the Old Testament, with a minimum of three. In between each the Psalms are sung in response. The readings start with “the beginning” in Genesis. They recall the covenant with Abraham and the Israelites exodus from Egypt, including the Passover. The story continues with the reception of the 10 Commandments, Isaiah’s prophecy of the Messiah as the Suffering Servant, eventually culminating in St. Paul’s explanation of Baptism and Resurrection. “For if we have been united with Him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with Him in a resurrection like His. For we know … we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin” (Rom 6:5-7). Finally, a portion of the Gospel of Mark reveals His Resurrection on the third day.

April 14, 2022