Thomas McKenzie
by grace alone
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The Great Vigil

The Great Vigil of Easter begins in a few hours. 5 am, actually. Of course, I will be there early. I've already set everything up, as have the musicians. But I have to open the doors. And I'm usually so nervous that I can't really sleep, anyway.

We are holding the Vigil in the "living room" of our church's facility this year. I have set up seating for 40 people, but don't expect that many. Last year I set it up for 30 in the chapel and more than 40 came, but that was our biggest turnout ever.

I love the Great Vigil of Easter. The kindling of fire in the utter darkness. The blessing of the new fire. The retelling of salvation history. The singing of the psalms. The celebration of Eucharist as the sun rises around us. For those of you who do the Vigil at night, you really are missing something.

The big services tomorrow will be great. 9 am and 10:30 am. The music will be wonderful. The sanctuary will be crowded both times. I'm praying that the Lord does something really special in/with the sermon. Everything will be lovely and Christ will be lifted up.

But, honestly, it's the vigil I look forward to the most. Just a few people, huddled in the dark, reading the scriptures, waiting for dawn. There is nothing like it.