Standing During the Great Paschal Vigil?


I'm looking forward so much to tonight's Paschal Vigil that it's making me uneasy, lol. Tonight's Mass will be the highest and most sublime expression of the Roman Rite and the greatest celebration of the Lord's Resurrection all year long! I want to be able to experience (and see) everything. Given the facts that my parish is celebrating the Vigil in the old church (beautiful, but way too small), that I usually get stuck behind Nordic persons at these events (I'm Hispanic and the height of most of the world's peoples), and that I do not serve at the altar anymore, makes me worried. Thus I'm racking my brain over whether to attempt to stand in the back throughout the liturgy or take my chances with a pew. Being me, I'm pouring over rubrics and canons to be sure I even have the option of standing through the liturgy at all (Latins, unlike Greeks, don't usually do this). Ugh!!!

I love the Roman liturgy too much for my own good...sigh

Being close to the Melkites, I have no problems with standing during long liturgies, but I don't want to be breaking any of the rubrics of my own Roman Rite or be a distraction to the others. Thus, I'm torn on how I want to approach this. Usually I sit in the front, but of course tonight those will be rightly reserved for catechumens and candidates. The random nature of the procession further complicates the issue (I really have little idea where I'll end up in the end).

¿Pensamientos? ;)


Sit before the Vigil with taper and worship aids in hand

Stand facing the back for the Blessing of the Fire and Paschal Candle up until the end of the Exultet.

Sit during the readings and their responsories. Stand during the Collects

Stand during the Gloria, Alleluia and Gospel.

Sit for the Homily and the administration of the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation.

Stand during the Renewal of Baptismal promises and sprinkling.

Sit for the Offertory and follow the postures usual at Mass.


You are never obligated to sit if there is no pew in which to do so. If you're allowed into the Church and there is nowhere to sit, there is nothing wrong with standing while the congregation is seated. You should, however, kneel when the congregation kneels, even if there is no kneeler (unless, of course, you are physically unable).


I guess I could get there early and get an aisle seat and refuse to move. Let everyone else pass by you to get into the middle of the pews. Then, when I go out to process in, someone (who probably doesn't appear in church anytime else) has already taken my seat despite personal belonging being there.

I hate being short...


Well, I think I'll take my chances with the pew. I use a Missal at Mass now, so I'll probably be looking at that a lot anyway. Plus, it's the humble and most grateful thing to do. I am privileged to be able to be there at all, and in the end it's all about worshiping the Lord in the Resurrection...and nobody saw that either.

Though I do believe that we need to deal with this severe problem in post-14th century Latin church-building! Who knows, maybe the Lord will provide for his little "Zacchaeus" (Luke 19:1-10) tonight. Thanks for the views and responses.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit