April 19, 2025 – Great Vigil of Easter

Lectionary Readings   -   Gathering   -  Word  -   Eucharist   -   Sending   -   Music and Art

Lectionary Readings

A minimum of three Old Testament readings should be chosen; Exodus 14 is always included.

Genesis 1:1—2:4a
The seven days of creation; God rests on the seventh day.

Psalm 136:1–9, 23–26
Give thanks to God, creator of all, whose love endures forever.

Genesis 7:1–5, 11–18; 8:6–18; 9:8–13
The story of the great flood and God’s covenant with Noah.

Psalm 46
Though the earth changes and the waters roar, God is our refuge.

Genesis 22:1–18
Obeying God, Abraham prepares to sacrifice his son Isaac.

Psalm 16
The Lord protects and instructs me; God preserves my life.

Exodus 14:10–31, 15:20–21
Pursued by the Egyptians, the Israelites escape through the sea.

Exodus 15:1b–13, 17–18
Moses sings praise to the Lord, who has delivered the people.

Proverbs 8:1–8, 19–21; 9:4b–6
Wisdom calls out: come, eat and drink; walk in the way of insight.

Psalm 19
The heavens declare God’s glory; the law of the Lord is sweet.

Isaiah 55:1–11
Come to the waters; listen and live; God’s promise will not fail.

Isaiah 12:2–6
Surely God is my salvation; with joy, draw water from the well.

Isaiah 61:1–4, 9–11
The spirit of the Lord is upon me; God clothes me in righteousness.

Deuteronomy 32:1–4, 7, 36a, 43a
I will proclaim the name of the Lord; God will have compassion.

Ezekiel 36:24–28
God will cleanse the people, giving them a new heart and spirit.

Psalms 42 and 43
Like a deer, I thirst for the living God; God is my help and hope.

Ezekiel 37:1–14
In a valley of dry bones, Ezekiel has a vision of hope for Israel.

Psalm 143
My soul thirsts for you, God; answer me, or I will go to the grave.

Daniel 3:1–29
God saves Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the furnace.

Song of the Three 35–65
A song of praise from the furnace: Bless the Lord, all creation.

Jonah 1:1–2:1
Trying to avoid his call to Nineveh, Jonah is caught in a storm.

Jonah 2:2–3 (4–6), 7–9
From the belly of the fish, Jonah calls out to the Lord for help.

Zephaniah 3:14–20
Sing and rejoice, people of God; the Lord will bring you home.

Psalm 98
Let all creation make a joyful noise to the Lord, who is coming.

Romans 6:3–11
Through baptism, we share in Christ’s death and resurrection.

Psalm 114
The earth shakes and the sea retreats in the presence of the Lord.

Luke 24:1–12
Women find Jesus’ tomb empty; he has been raised from the dead.

See the Book of Common Worship (Westminster John Knox Press, 2018) for the Easter Vigil liturgy.

— Gathering —

Opening Sentences

God is our refuge and strength, 
a very present help in trouble.
We will not fear, 
though the earth should change, 
though the mountains shake
in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam, 
though the mountains tremble.

The Lord of hosts is with us; 
the God of Jacob is our refuge.
Let us worship God!

Prayer of the Day

God of darkness and light,
we marvel at your mighty acts. 
We know how you protected Noah from the flood, 
rescued your people from slavery in Egypt, 
and brought life to the valley of dry bones. 
As we sit in the gloom of this hour, 
we await salvation again. 
We pray that your Spirit would fortify our faith,
that we might truly understand 
the change that is coming. 
Prepare us for the new life ahead. Amen.

Great Thanksgiving

The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Blessed are you, O Lord our God:
By your wisdom,
you created the world and everything in it.
By your power,
you have delivered us from evil in every age.
By your mercy,
you have promised never to forsake us.

Therefore we praise you, joining the song
of the universal church and the heavenly choir:
A Sanctus (“Holy, holy, holy”) is sung.

Blessed is Jesus Christ, our Savior:
Before the rising of the sun
on the first day of the week,
Jesus rose from the dead!
With the first believers,
we bear witness to this good news of great joy.

The words of institution are included here.

Remembering your goodness and grace,
we offer ourselves to you with gratitude
as we share this joyful feast.
A Memorial Acclamation
(e.g., “Christ has died”) is sung.

Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us
and upon this bread and cup;
make us one in the body and blood
of Jesus Christ our Lord.

As we have been buried with Christ
by baptism into death,
raise us up, by the power of your Spirit,
to walk in new life.
Let us be dead to sin
and alive to you in Christ Jesus.

Through the Lord Jesus Christ,
in the unity of the Spirit,
we bless you, God of glory,
now and forever.
An Amen is sung.

Prayer after Communion

At the communion table:
Thank you, O God, for giving us communion
with our risen and glorious Lord.
Now send us out to be a sign
of the new life that has come into the world;
through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

The Water of Life


Additional Materials

Congregational Song


  • Come, You Faithful, Raise the Strain (OG) ST. KEVIN, AVE VIRGO VIRGINUM GTG 234, PH 114, 115


  • O Splendor of God’s Glory Bright (OG) PUER NOBIS NASCITUR GTG 666

    O Radiant Light, O Sun Divine (OG) CONDITOR ALME SIDERUM GTG 671, PH 548


  • See the list of Psalm Settings for the Easter Vigil.


  • Out of Deep, Unordered Water (OEG) RUSTINGTON GTG 484, PH 494

  • We Know That Christ Is Raised (E) ENGELBERG GTG 485, PH 495

  • Baptized in Water (E) BUNESSAN GTG 482, PH 492


  • This Is the Feast of Victory (OG) FESTIVAL CANTICLE GTG 513, PH 594

  • Come, Risen Lord (G) SURSUM CORDA PH 503


  • Lift High the Cross (OG) CRUCIFER GTG 826, PH 371

  • Thine Is the Glory (G) JUDAS MACCABEUS GTG 238, PH 122

  • This Joyful Eastertide (G) VRUECHTEN GTG 244

  • The Strife Is O’er (G) VICTORY GTG 236, PH 119

Psalms and Canticles

Psalm 136:1–9, 23–26

  • We Give Thanks unto You [WE GIVE THANKS UNTO YOU]; GTG 75, PAS 136C, LUYH 52

  • Let Us with a Gladsome Mind [MONKLAND, GENEVAN 136]; GTG 31, PH 244, PAS 136A, B


  • Give Thanks unto the Lord [KIHAYA]; PAS 136G

  • All Creation Join to Say [EASTER HYMN]; PAS 136D (alt. refrain)

  • God’s Mercy Endures Forever [WAREHAM]; HTP1 121

Psalm 46

  • God Is Our Refuge and Our Strength [WINCHESTER OLD]; GTG 329, PH 191

  • Dios es nuestro amparo / God Will Be Our Refuge [AMPARO]; PAS 46B

  • God, Our Help and Constant Refuge [MICHAEL]; PAS 46C


  • God Is Our Help, Refuge, and Strength; GTG 380

  • The Lord of Hosts Is with Us; PAS 46D

Psalm 16

  • When in the Night I Meditate [ST. FLAVIAN, MAITLAND, MORNING SONG/CONSOLATION]; GTG 810, PH 165, PAS 16A, PP 28 (with refrain)

  • Protect Me, God [MEPHIBOSHETH]; PAS 16C, LUYH 411


  • My Heart Is Glad; PAS 16D (alt. refrain)

  • Harbor of My Heart; PAS 16B

Exodus 15:1b–13, 17–18

  • I Will Sing the Lord’s High Triumph [TYDDYN LLYWN]; HWB 261


  • I Will Sing to the Lord; PSA 174

  • I Will Sing, I Will Sing; G3 96

  • I Will Sing to the Lord [OLD HUNDREDTH]; HTP1 124

Isaiah 55:1–11

  • You Thirsty Ones, Come [HEAVEN’S RAIN]; GTG 78

  • All Who Are Thirsty [MALATE]; LUYH 807


  • Table of Plenty [TABLE OF PLENTY]; LUYH 808

Isaiah 12:2–6

  • Surely the Lord Is My Salvation [ D]; SGP 227

  • Surely, It Is God Who Saves Me [THOMAS MERTON]; H82 679


  • Surely, It Is God Who Saves Me [FIRST SONG]; GTG 71

  • Sing the Praises of the Lord [NUN KOMM DER HEIDEN HEILAND]; HTP1 68

Psalm 19

  • God’s Glory Fills the Heavens [ST. PATRICK, CREATION]; GTG 690, PAS 19B, LUYH 719

  • The Stars Declare His Glory [DEERFIELD]; PAS 19A

  • Silent Voices [SILENT VOICES]; PAS 19F


  • The Statutes of the Lord Rejoice the Heart [SONG 1]; HTP1 126

  • Lord, You Have the Words of Everlasting Life; PFTS2 44

  • Lord, You Have the Words; PP 32

Psalm 42 and 43

  • As Pants the Deer for Living Streams [SEACHRIST]; GTG 778

  • As a Deer in Want of Water [FREU DICH SEHR / GENEVAN 42]; PAS 42E, LUYH 616


  • My Soul Thirsts for the Living God; PAS 42F

  • O Why Are You Cast Down [GO DOWN MOSES]; PP 80

  • Put Your Trust in God, O My Soul [WONDROUS LOVE]; HTP1 128

Psalm 143

  • Hear My Prayer, O God [HYMN CHANT]; GTG 782, PAS 143A, LUYH 895

  • To My Prayer, Lord, Bend Your Ear []; PCW 143

  • When Morning Lights the Eastern Skies [ST. STEPHEN]; PH 250, PP 282 (with refrain)


  • What Wondrous Love [WONDROUS LOVE]; PAS 143B (alt. refrain)

  • Christ Has Been Raised; PSA 146

  • Revive Me, O Lord [VICTIMAE PASCHALI LAUDE]; HTP1 130

Psalm 98 (See also Christmas Day)

  • Joy to the World [ANTIOCH]; GTG 134

  • New Songs of Celebration Render [RENDEZ À DIEU (GENEVAN 98/118)]; GTG 371, PH 218

  • Sing, Sing a New Song to the Lord God [RENDEZ À DIEU (GENEVAN 98/118)]; PAS 98C, LUYH 547

  • Sing a New Song to Our Savior [ D]; SGP 145

  • To God Compose a Song of Joy [RICHMOND, KEDDY]; NCH 36, PH 219


  • All the Ends of the Earth Have Seen the Victory; PAS 98B (alt. refrain)

  • Sing to the Lord a New Song; PAS 98A 

  • Sing a New Song unto the Lord [SING A NEW SONG]; GTG 276

Psalm 114

  • When We Came Out of Egypt [ D]; SGP 168

  • When Israel Was Going Forth [PISGAH]; GTG 58, PP 216 (with refrain)

  • When Israel Fled from Egypt Land [O HEILAND REISS, ANDRE]; PAS 114B, A, LUYH 41


  • Come You Faithful, Raise the Strain [GAUDEAMUS PARITER / AVE VIRGO VIRGINEM]; PAS 114C (alt. refrain 1)

  • Hallelujah, Hallelujah [O FILII ET FILIAE]; HTP1 132

Organ Music

  • BUNESSAN,” Jubilate, vol. 3, Jeffrey Blersch, CON (E)

  • “Partita on CRUCIFER,” Charles Callahan, CON (M)

  • GAUDEAMUS PARITER,” Three for Easter, James Biery, MSM (M)

Piano Music

  • “O Sons and Daughters of the King,” O FILII ET FILIAE, Crowned, Thomas W. Jefferson, CON (M)

  • “The Strife Is O’er, the Battle Done,” VICTORY, The Church Pianist’s Library, vol. 26, Larry Shackley, LOR (MA)

  • “Lift High the Cross,” CRUCIFER, 60 Easy Hymn Settings for Piano, Joel Raney, HOPE (M)

Anthems for Adult Choirs

  • “Out of the Depths,” Richard Frost, MSM, SATB, pno, opt vln (ME)

  • “Now Is the Hour of Darkness Past,” Daniel Pinkham, ECS, SATB, acap (MA)

  • “The Meditations of My Heart,” Elaine Hagenberg, BP, SATB, pno (M)

  • “Stay With Us (Peace Be with You),” Michael John Trotta, Hampton Roads Music Group, SATB/SAB/2 pt, keybd, opt hb (ME)

  • “There in God’s Garden,” arr. K. Lee Scott, MSM, SATB, org, opt brass, opt perc, opt cong (ME)


  • The Water of Life, mosaic, Italian, 19th century (PD) (National Gallery, London)

  • Dream of the Virgin, Simone dei Crocefissi, 1365–80 (PD) (National Gallery, London)

  • Psalm 046:10-A, Timothy R. Botts, 2016 (EYE)

  • Mary at the Tomb, Lucinda Naylor, 2016 (EYE)

  • Easter Morning, Cara B. Hochhalter, 2019 (VDL)