Why is the Easter vigil so late?

The “triduum” contains these three deeply connected moments: (1) the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday evening; (2) the Celebration of the Passion of the Lord on Good Friday; and (3) the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday. These three moments are so intimately connected that they are kept as one liturgy (and hence this is why the Mass on Holy Thursday and the service on Good Friday do not conclude with a blessing or dismissal and why the service on Good Friday and the Easter Vigil Mass do not begin with a Sign of the Cross and greeting).

The Mass is celebrated at such a late hour to recognize that the actual darkness of night gives the most proper setting to witness the light of Christ shining in the darkness – as witnessed by the Paschal Candle. The late start time symbolizes the meaning of the light (Jesus) shining in darkness. You are all encourage to come and worship at the Easter Vigil Mass – let us all celebrate our salvation in Jesus Christ and share the joy while we await His return.

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