Why is the Easter Vigil Mass longer than other Masses?

I’m in RCIA and I will be confirmed at the Easter Vigil. I have heard that this service will last well over two hours. What is different about the Mass, other than the fact that candidates and catechumens are being baptized and confirmed?

The Easter Vigil Mass includes ceremonies within the liturgy that are not seen on any other night. For example, the evening starts with the blessing of an outdoor fire from which the Paschal candle is lit. There are also more readings from Scripture, with up to seven from the Old Testament interspersed with selected Psalms (although many parishes often use fewer readings), a New Testament reading, and a Gospel reading. You should be able to find a copy of the Easter Vigil readings and liturgy in a standard Sunday missal. One possibility for a Sunday missal you might wish to look at is the Vatican II Sunday Missal: Millennium Edition by Pauline Books & Media.

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