Updated: Apr 20, 2019
Saturday evening's service is one of the most magical of the year. In it we think about the story of God's promises to the children of Israel as we read through the Vigil readings. There are nine readings which might sound scary but it is the only time in the year when we can actually listen, at one time, to the story of those who God first chose and of God's creative love and care in the Old Covenant.
Then we move outside to kindle the Easter fire. This is a symbol of cleansing and the presence of God - remember the pillar of fire which led the Israelites through the wilderness. From this fire we light the Easter Candle - the Paschal candle, the Christ light. The church is ready, decorated for Easter and the light is given from person to person in candles. As we move from darkness to life, we see the light restored in the Church. We read the story of the Resurrection and sing loud hymns of praise.
It might seem odd to do this on Saturday night. Days in Jesus' culture ran from 6pm to 6pm and so 6pm on our Saturday is the new day in the Bible.
We start at 8pm because we need it to be dark. Leave about an hour and 45 minutes free for this service. It is longer than most of our services, but Easter is our greatest joy so it is worth it.