Easter Vigil omissions - licit?


Went to Vigil last night and a few things they did (well…didn’t do) bothered me a bit.

  1. During the liturgy of light, incense was not put into the Paschal candle.

  2. During the Old Testament readings, they only did a redponsorial psalm every other OT reading. The did Genesis, Genesis, psalm, Exodus, Isaiah, psalm, Isaiah, baruch, psalm, ezekiel, psalm, gloria epistle…

  3. During blessing of the font, the Paschal candle was not lowered into the font. There were no baptisms at vigil.

Are any or all of these omissions ok?



Can’t speak for the rest, but it’s most certainly okay for there not to have been any Baptisms. That just means you must only have had candidates this year in RCIA, not any catechumens.


I was only indicating the lack of baptisms in the event it would affect the blessing of the water rubricks. I was actually sad to see a lack of any baptisms, or receptions/confirmations. Guess I’m glad our 6-year-old stayed home with mom ( I had pitched the chance to see an adult baptism or reception, so she’d been disappointed had she gone).


stuff happens!

I’ve always found if I want to worry about something, it would be actions that that brings the question of validity and not licitness.

illicit acts do not always void the validity of sacraments. And things we often question being illicit are not, unless they were carried out with full knowledge that an illicit act was being committed!

Relax…and rejoice in the resurrection of Christ Jesus!


For each of your concerns, I’m responding from memory of what the rubrics say. If, after research, I find that I’m mistaken, I’ll post a correction.

The candle may be entirely prepared before the Vigil, giving way to a shortened version of the candle blessing.

I’ve seen this done; definitely not my preference. I’m not sure how licit this is. If any shortening is done here, it should be omitting readings.

I believe this is proper if there are no baptisms.


As far as the psalms are concerned, yes they may be omitted, except for the canticle after Exodus, and a period of silence observed. Here is the documentation from when this was previously asked on CAF. Scroll down to find the posts with the rubrics.


We only had three psalms also. Since there are no baptisms, the Easter candle is not dipped into the font. I don’t know about the preparation of the candle, but it appears someone else has answered the question.

It appears your liturgy was perfectly correct as far as the rubrics go.


For several years now, the incense is put into the pre-made wax nails, and the paschal candle doesn’t have holes for incense to be inserted; the “incense nails” that come with the candle are all that is needed. The priest may boar holes in the candle and add grains on incense if he wishes.

The rubrics were changed, a few years ago, where the priest just extends his hand over the water to bless it without lowering the candle into it three times.

I function as Master of ceremonies for Holy Week services at our parish and I felt a little loss when they changed the rite for blessing the water. But it is all still valid


Thanks for the replies everyone. Glad to know things were done by the book.


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