Easter Vigil

Special activities for the family


Today is the last day of sacrifice, it is the day which prepares us for the most important day as Christians: Easter. The celebration of the Easter Vigil, which takes place Saturday evening, is the climax of the Church’s liturgical year. The Easter candle, known as the Paschal Candle, is lit during this Vigil and will remain in church during the whole year, to remind us of Jesus’ death and resurrection. The Paschal Candle is lit throughout the Easter season.

During this liturgy, we listen to seven readings from the Old Testament. The Church is in semi-darkness. After these readings, the Church is lit and the Gloria is sung (we do not recite the Gloria during Lent, apart from Holy Thursday). Today we also sing the Hallelujah before the Gospel which proclaims that Jesus has risen from the dead.

The celebration of the Easter Vigil will be transmitted on television. Be present as a family for this celebration. Be prepared:

  • It is a long service, it would be best if the children rested in the afternoon
  • Eat something light beforehand
  • Prepare food for afterwards, so that you will have a party
  • A candle for each person (to be lit from the paschal candle)
  • Matches
  • The Paschal Candle (to be lit at the beginning of the celebration)
  • Bells and/or ring tones on the mobile (to be used during the Gloria and Hallelujah)
  • Holy Water (to be used during the blessing of water and renewal of baptismal vows; everyone makes a sign of the cross on the forehead with the holy water)

Readings and Gospel

You can follow the readings from here.

In today’s liturgy, a number of symbols will be used: fire, water, oil (when there is a baptism).

What do these mean to you? What do they mean in everyday life? (for example: fire: light, warmth, strength; water: cleanliness, we drink when we are thirsty, etc.)

Discuss their meaning in liturgy. You may find information here: https://www.togetheratonealtar.catholic.edu.au/craft/signs-and-symbols/ 

What else can we do today?

After the service, you can have a party. Jesus has risen from the dead. Hallelujah!

Remember to remove the purple cloth from on top of the cross or crucifix, which you put on Holy Thursday. Instead drape white cloth around it. Also remember the doll in the box! The doll can also come out of the box. 

The Paschal Candle may be lit during Easter time, whilst you pray: Christ yesterday and today, the beginning and the end, Alpha and Omega, all time belongs to him, and all ages;
to him be glory and power, through every age and for ever. Amen


This is a great and happy day!

For the reflection and activities, linked to this day, visit the Sunday liturgy section.

What else can we do today?

We can watch these together:

He is risen https://malta.catholicbrain.com/edu/videos/818304/1/he-is-risen 

The parable of the Lily https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbHG-_K75Eo