Difference between Tridentine and Novus Ordo Easter Vigil

I’m wondering…does the pre-Vatican II Easter Vigil Mass last 3 hours just like the current Mass?

I’m guessing that the Liturgy of the Word in the modern Easter Vigil Mass is longer with it’s maximum of 7 extremely long readings AND responsorial psalms because of the Vatican II emphasis of adding more Scripture. Thank goodness the church I went to only used 4.

Ahhhhhh! It was soo long, and there was more than 20 baptisms too LOL. :rotfl:

I went to a pre-Vatican II Easter Vigil last year, and it only lasted about an hour and a half if I remember correctly. It was absolutely beautiful, though.

Actually, before Pope Pius XII altered the Easter Vigil liturgy in the 1950s, it had 12 OT readings. This was reduced to 4.

Both forms when properly celebrated are beautiful and uplifting. Our OF vigil lasted four hours with all seven readings, baptisms, reception in to the faith, confirmations, appropriate periods of silence, the different blessings (fire, water and so forth).

We had five priests concelebrating, four deacons assisting and all of our religious there. Our church is medium size (I guess). It sits about 1,000 people. There were more than that, because all the walls were lined with people standing. Communion took about 15 minutes.

The music was beautiful. We had a blend of Latin hymns and traditional English classics. By the time it was over I was so happy that I wished it would keep going. The movements from one part to the other were smoothly executed and you did not realize the time, because it just keeps moving leading you from one reflection to another.

The singing of the Gloria was absolutely beautiful when all the bells went off and the congregation seemed so happy and engrossed in it. The moment of the consecration was just undescribeable. You could hear a pin drop. You didn’t even know that there were that many people in one small space. Everything went without a glitch.

There should be no difference in the reverence and the focus when both forms are celebrated. The only noticeable difference should be in the form.

As to the readings, the idea is to proclaim salvation history as it foreshadows the triumph of Christ over death. The readings are important, because they are all about HIM, even the OT readings.

I wouldn’t trade it for the world.


JR :slight_smile:

That’s interesting to know that one Tridentine Easter Vigil lasted an hour and a half and that there were 12 Old Testament readings pre-1950’s.

We had a wonderful service at the Basilica with a full choir and mixed ensemble.

Although this was not my first Easter Vigil Mass, I wish they would just skip past most of the readings and go right into the Gloria, which is the best part. :smiley: The Gospel Procession was great as the priest processed around the church carrying the silver coated missal while an extraordinary setting of the Alleluia (Lasst uns erfreuen) was played.

If you skip past the readings, then you are not telling the story of salvation history. This part comes from the Jewish Passover when the youngest son asks why we celebrate this night and the adults respond by telling the story of the Israel.

The Easter Vigil is the Christian Passover and it tries to keep the format of the seder to show the continuity in the covenant.


JR :slight_smile:

I had no idea it would be that long (NO mass).

7 readings and 5 baptisms (+2 more for confirmation).

But I finally got my rosary blessed!

I’m trying to understand the difference in the starting times. I took it for granted that it would have been a night Mass, but it seems that in the mid-1930s (the time I’m trying to research), it would have taken place Holy Saturday morning. Are there any circumstances when “Holy Saturday morning” would have meant midnight and the wee hours? Was the Easter Vigil only done in daylight by that time?

Yes, through the centuries the Easter Vigil liturgy was gradually pushed back to the morning of Holy Saturday. In the 1950s this was restored to the proper nighttime setting.

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