Easter vigil mass


Is the Easter vigil the exact same as the Easter Sunday mass or is it needed to go to?


No, it’s not the same but that doesn’t mean you have to attend both.

The Vigil is the first Mass of Easter. It’s a wonderful celebration and I wouldn’t miss it for the world. But that’s my choice. Other people don’t attend because it starts late (9 p.m. in our parish, it’s not full dark before then) and it’s long (usually at least 2 hours).

I often return for the morning Mass, but it’s not necessary if you’ve been to the Vigil.


The so-called Easter Vigil (a bit of a misnomer, actually, from the historical point of view) is not the same as the Easter Day Mass, though of course one need go only to one or the other, not both.

Historically, the Easter Vigil was celebrated after None, and ended with a shortened Vespers. Then, in the night between Saturday and Sunday, the usual Matins and Lauds were celebrated…on this night, the most solemn Matins and Lauds of the entire year.

Over the course of time, the hour of the Easter Vigil did get earlier and earlier; the same phenomenon is true for ALL the ferial Masses of Lent, which were also supposed to celebrated “after None,” i.e., maybe about 4.30pm or so, before Vespers (and one fasted until Vespers!).

The liturgical scholarship that led to the Pius XII changes of the 1950s (= Vigil starting so late as to allow the Mass to begin at midnight) led to a situation that is, frankly, no more or less historically accurate than celebrating the service in the morning. The new fire of Easter was lit as part of a vesperal liturgy, not a midnight or close to midnight one.

If you wanted to be absolutely authentic to Roman historical praxis, you would have a Vigil that started c. 4.30, which ended with an abbreviated Vespers…and then, in the midnight hour, Paschal Matins.


My family usually goes to one or the other, depending on which Mass my siblings have been assigned to serve at. This year we’re going to the Vigil, but last year we went Sunday morning. Both are beautiful! But I would highly recommend going to the Vigil Mass at least once. :slight_smile:


Thank you for this post. :slight_smile: It’s one of the best I’ve seen in years. :thumbsup: Shame that the so-called scholarship that led to the “reforms” of 1955 threw the baby out with the bathwater. It would have been more logical (and closer to being authentic) to have the Vigil after Vespers, rather than after dark at what amounts to post-Compline.


=LoveandMercy;11911408]Is the Easter vigil the exact same as the Easter Sunday mass or is it needed to go to?

Both cover the Sunday Obligation [oer the USCCB] USConference of CatholicBishops

That said they Do differ quite a bit.

The Saturhday eveniing Mass is Includes the cermonies of induction into the RCC of those in the RCIA program. It’s beaytifu and quite moving.

Sunday’s Mass is a Solem Hign Mass with perhpas more music than normal?

Atten both if you are able too/:thumbsup:


Or, that being said, you could join the hundreds of thousands of Catholics all over the world who will celebrate this beautiful liturgy or already have depending on what part of the world they are in. :yup:


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