The following circular letter (Prot. N. 120/88) was
published by the Congregation for Divine Worship on Saturday, 20 February
1. The Easter Solemnity, revised and restored by Pius XII in 1951 and
then the Order of Holy Week in 1955 were favourably received by the Church
of the Roman Rite. (1)
The Second Vatican Council, especially in the Constitution on the
sacred Liturgy, repeatedly drawing upon tradition called attention to
Christ's paschal mystery and pointed out that it is the fount from which
all sacraments and sacramentals draw their power. (2)
2. Just as the week has its beginning and climax in the celebration of
Sunday, which always has a paschal character, so the summit of the whole
liturgical year is in the sacred Easter Triduum of the Passion and
Resurrection of the Lord, (3) which is prepared for by the period of Lent
and prolonged for fifty days.
3. In many parts of the Christian world, the faithful followers of
Christ, with their pastors, attach great importance to the celebration of
this rite, and participate in it with great spiritual gain.
However, in some areas where initially the reform of the Easter Vigil
was received enthusiastically, it would appear that with the passage of
time this enthusiasm has begun to wane. The very concept of the Vigil has
almost come to be forgotten in some places with the result that it is
celebrated as if it were an evening Mass, in the same way and at the same
time as the Mass celebrated on Saturday evening in anticipation of the
It also happens that the celebrations of the Triduum are not held at
the correct times. This is because certain devotions and pious exercises
are held at more convenient times and so the faithful participate in them
rather than in the liturgical celebrations.
Without any doubt one of the principal reasons for this state of
affairs is the inadequate formation given to the clergy and the faithful
regarding the paschal mystery as the centre of the liturgical year and of
Christian life. (4)
4. The holiday period which today in many places coincides with Holy
Week and certain attitudes held by present-day society concur to present
difficulties for the faithful to participate in these celebrations.
5. With these points in mind, the Congregation for Divine Worship,
after due consideration, thinks that it is a fitting moment to recall
certain elements, doctrinal and pastoral, and various norms which have
already been published concerning Holy Week. All those details which are
given in the liturgical books concerning Lent, Holy Week, the Easter
Triduum and Paschal time retain their full force, unless otherwise stated
in this document.
It is the aim of this document that the great mystery of our Redemption
be celebrated in the best possible way so that the faithful may
participate in it with ever greater spiritual advantage. (5)
I. THE LENTEN SEASON
6. "The annual Lenten season is the fitting time to climb the Holy
Mountain of Easter.
"The Lenten season has a double character, namely to prepare both
catechumens and faithful to celebrate the paschal mystery. The
catechumens, both with the rite of election and scrutinies, and by
catechesis, are prepared for the celebration of the sacraments of
Christian initiation; the faithful, ever more attentive to the word of God
and prayer, prepare themselves by penance for the renewal of their
baptismal promises". (6)
a) Concerning the Rite of Christian Initiation
7. The whole rite of Christian initiation has a markedly paschal
character, since it is therein that the sacramental participation in the
death and Resurrection of Christ takes place for the first time. Therefore
Lent should have its full character as a time of purification and
enlightenment, especially through the scrutinies and by the presentations;
naturally the paschal Vigil should be regarded as the proper time to
celebrate the sacraments of initiation. (7)
8. Communities that do not have any catechumens should not however fail
to pray for those who in the forthcoming paschal Vigil will receive the
sacraments of Christian initiation. Pastors should explain to the faithful
the importance of the profession of baptismal faith for the growth of
their spiritual life. They will be invited to renew this profession of
faith "at the end of the Lenten penitential observance". (8)
9. In Lent there should be catechesis for those adults who, although
baptized when infants, were not brought up in the faith and consequently
have not been confirmed nor have they received the Eucharist. During this
period penitential services should be arranged to help prepare them for
the Sacrament of Reconciliation. (9)
10. The Lenten season is also an appropriate time for the celebration
of penitential rites on the model of the scrutinies for unbaptized
children who are at an age to be catechized, and also for children already
baptized, before being admitted to the Sacrament of Penance. (10)
The bishop should have particular care to foster the catechumenate of
both adults and children and according to circumstances, to preside at the
prescribed rites, with the devout participation of the local community.
b) Celebrations during the Lenten season
11. The Sundays of Lent take precedence over all feasts and all
solemnities. Solemnities occurring on these Sundays are observed on the
preceding Saturday. (12) The weekdays of Lent have precedence over
obligatory memorials. (13)
12. The catechesis on the Paschal mystery and the sacraments should be
given a special place in the Sunday homilies, the text of the Lectionary
should be carefully explained, particularly the passages of the Gospel
which illustrate the diverse aspects of Baptism and of the other
sacraments, and of the mercy of God.
13. Pastors should frequently and as fully as possible explain the word
of God, in homilies on weekdays, in celebrations of the word of God, in
penitential celebrations, (14) in various reunions, in visiting families
or on the occasion of blessing families. The faithful should try to attend
weekday Mass and where this is not possible they should at least be
encouraged to read the lessons, either with their family or in private.
14. "The Lenten season should retain something of its penitential
character". (15) "As regards catechesis, it is important to impress on the
minds of the faithful not only the social consequences of sin but also
that aspect of the virtue of penance, which involves the detestation of
sin as an offence against God". (16)
The virtue and practice of penance form a necessary part of the
preparation for Easter: from that inner conversion. of heart should spring
the practice of penance, both for the individual Christian and for the
whole community. This practice, while being adapted to the conditions of
the present time, should nevertheless witness to the evangelical spirit of
penance and also be to the advantage of others.
The role of the Church in penitential practices is not to be neglected
and encouragement is to be given to pray for sinners, and this intention
included in the prayer of the faithful.
15. "The faithful are to be encouraged to participate in an ever more
intense and fruitful way in the Lenten liturgy and in penitential
celebrations. They are to be clearly reminded that both according to the
law and tradition, they should approach the Sacrament of Penance during
this season, so that with purified heart they may participate in the
paschal mysteries. It is appropriate that during Lent the Sacrament of
Penance be celebrated according to the rite for the reconciliation of
several penitents with individual confession and absolution, as given in
the Roman Ritual". (18)
Pastors should devote themselves to the ministry of reconciliation, and
provide sufficient time for the faithful to avail themselves of this
16. "All Lenten observances should be of such a nature that they also
witness to the life of the local Church and foster it. The Roman tradition
of the "stational" churches can be recommended as a model for gathering
the faithful in one place. In this way the faithful can assemble in larger
numbers, especially under the leadership of the bishop of the diocese, or
at the tombs of the saints, or in the principal churches of the city or
sanctuaries, or some place of pilgrimage which has a special significance
for the diocese". (19)
17. "In Lent the altar should not be decorated with flowers, and
musical instruments may be played only to give necessary support to the
singing"; (20) this is in order that the penitential character of the
season be preserved.
18. Likewise from the beginning of Lent until the paschal Vigil,
"Alleluia" is to be omitted in all celebrations, even on solemnities and
19. The chants to be sung in celebrations especially of the Eucharist,
and also at devotional exercises should be in harmony with the spirit of
the season and the liturgical texts.
20. Devotional exercises which harmonize with the Lenten season are to
be encouraged, for example, "The Stations of the Cross"; they should help
foster the liturgical spirit with which the faithful can prepare
themselves for the celebration of Christ's paschal mystery.
c) Particular details concerning the days of Lent
21. "On the Wednesday before the first Sunday of Lent, the faithful
receive the ashes, thus entering into the time established for the
purification of their souls. This sign of penance, a traditionally
biblical one, has been preserved among the Church's customs until the
present day. It signifies the human condition of the sinner, who seeks to
express his guilt before the Lord in an exterior manner, and by so doing
express his interior conversion, led on by the confident hope that the
Lord will be merciful. This same sign marks the beginning of the way of
conversion, which is developed through the celebration of the Sacrament of
Penance during the days before Easter". (22)
The blessing and imposition of ashes should take place either in the
Mass, or outside of the Mass. In the latter case it precedes the Liturgy
of the word which concludes with the prayer of the faithful. (23)
22. Ash Wednesday is to he observed as a day of penance in the whole
Church, one of both abstinence and fasting. (24)
23. The first Sunday of Lent marks the beginning of the annual Lenten
observance. (25) In the Mass of this Sunday there should be some
distinctive elements which underline this important moment; e.g. the
entrance procession with the litany of the saints. (26) During the Mass of
the first Sunday of Lent, the bishop should celebrate the rite of election
in the cathedral or in some other church, as seems appropriate. (27)
24 The gospel pericopes of the Samaritan woman, of the man blind from
birth and the resurrection of Lazarus, are assigned to the III, IV and V
Sundays of Lent of year A, and since they are of particular significance
in relation to Christian initiation, they can also be read in years B and
C, especially in places where there are catechumens. (28)
25. On the fourth Sunday of Lent "Laetare" and on solemnities and
feasts, musical instruments way be played and the altar decorated with
flowers. Rose-coloured vestments may be worn on this Sunday. (29)
26. The practice of covering the crosses and images in the church may
be observed, if the episcopal conference should so decide. The crosses are
to be covered until the end of the celebration of the Lord's passion on
Good Friday. Images are to remain covered until the beginning of the
Easter Vigil. (30)
II. HOLY WEEK
27. During Holy Week the Church celebrates the mysteries of salvation
accomplished by Christ in the last days of his life on earth, beginning
with his messianic entrance into Jerusalem.
The Lenten season lasts until the Thursday of this week. The Easter
Triduum begins with the evening Mass of the Lord's Supper, is continued
through Good Friday with the celebration of the Passion of the Lord and
Holy Saturday, to reach its summit in the Easter Vigil, and concludes with
Vespers of Easter Sunday.
"The days of Holy Week, from Monday to Thursday inclusive, have
precedence over all other celebrations". (31)
It is not fitting that Baptisms and Confirmation be celebrated on these
a) Passion Sunday (Palm Sunday)
28. Holy Week begins on "Passion (or Palm) Sunday" which joins the
foretelling of Christ's regal triumph and the proclamation of the Passion.
The connection between both aspects of the paschal mystery should be shown
and explained in the celebration and catechesis of this day. (32)
29. The commemoration of the entrance of the Lord into Jerusalem has,
according to ancient custom, been celebrated with a solemn procession, in
which the faithful in song and gesture imitate the Hebrew children who
went to meet the Lord singing "Hosanna". (33)
The procession may take place only once, before the Mass which has the
largest attendance, even if this should be in the evening either of
Saturday or Sunday. The congregation should assemble in a secondary church
or chapel or in some other suitable place distinct from the church to
which the procession will move.
In this procession the faithful carry palm or other branches. The
priest and the ministers, also carrying branches, precede the people. (34)
The palms or branches are blessed so that they can be carried in the
procession. The palms should be taken home, where they will serve as a
reminder of the victory of Christ which they celebrated in the procession.
Pastors should make every effort to ensure that this procession in
honour of Christ the King be so prepared and celebrated that it is of
great spiritual significance in the life of the faithful.
30. The Missal, in order to commemorate the entrance of the Lord into
Jerusalem, in addition to the solemn procession described above, gives two
other forms, not simply for convenience, but to provide for those
situations when it will not be possible to have the procession.
The second form is that of a solemn entrance, when the procession
cannot take place outside of the church. The third form is a simple
entrance such as is used at all Sunday Masses which do not have the solemn
31. Where the Mass cannot be celebrated, there should be a celebration
of the word of God on the theme of the Lord's messianic entrance and
passion, either on Saturday evening or on Sunday at a convenient time.
32. During the procession, the choir and people should sing the chants
proposed in the Roman Missal, especially psalms 23 and 46, as well as
other appropriate songs, in honour of Christ the King.
33. The Passion narrative occupies a special place. It should be sung
or read in the traditional way, that is, by three persons who take the
part of Christ, the narrator and the people. The Passion is proclaimed by
deacons or priests, or by lay readers; in the latter. case, the part of
Christ should be reserved to the priest.
The proclamation of the Passion should be without candles and incense,
the greeting and the sign of the cross on the book are omitted; only the
deacons ask for the blessing of the priest, as on other occasions before
the Gospel. (37)
For the spiritual good of the faithful the Passion should be proclaimed
in its entirety, and the readings which precede it should not be omitted.
34. After the Passion has been proclaimed, a homily is to be given.
b) The Chrism Mass
35. The Chrism Mass, which the bishop concelebrates with his
presbyterium, and at which the Holy Chrism is consecrated and the oils
blessed, manifests the communion of the priests with their bishop in the
same priesthood and ministry of Christ. (38) To this Mass, the priests who
concelebrate with the bishop should come from different parts of the
diocese, thus showing in the consecration of the Chrism to be his
witnesses and cooperators, just as in their daily ministry they are his
helpers and counsellors.
The faithful are also to be encouraged to participate in this Mass, and
to receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
Traditionally the Chrism Mass is celebrated on the Thursday of Holy
Week. If, however, it should prove to be difficult for the clergy and
people to gather with the bishop, this rite can be transferred to another
day, but one always close to Easter. (39) The Chrism and the Oil of
Catechumens is to be used in the celebration of the sacraments of
initiation on Easter night.
36. There should be only one celebration of the Chrism Mass given its
significance in the life of the diocese, and it should take place in the
cathedral or, for pastoral reasons, in another church (40) which has a
The Holy Oils can be brought to the individual parishes before the
celebration of the evening Mass of the Lord's Supper, or at some other
suitable time. This can be a means of catechizing the faithful about the
use and effects of the Holy Oils and Chrism in Christian life.
c) The penitential celebrations in Lent
37. It is fitting that the Lenten season should be concluded, both for
the individual Christian as well as for the whole Christian community,
with a penitential celebration, so that they may be helped to prepare to
celebrate more fully the paschal mystery. (41)
These celebrations, however, should take place before the Easter
Triduum, and should not immediately precede the evening Mass of the Lord's
III. THE EASTER TRIDUUM IN GENERAL
38. The greatest mysteries of the Redemption are celebrated yearly by
the Church beginning with the evening Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy
Thursday until Vespers of Easter Sunday. This time is called "the triduum
of the crucified, buried and risen"; (42) it is also called the "Easter
Triduum" because during it is celebrated the Paschal mystery, that is, the
passing of the Lord from this world to his Father. The Church by the
celebration of this mystery, through liturgical signs and sacramentals, is
united to Christ, her Spouse, in intimate communion.
39. The Easter fast is sacred on the first two clays of the Triduum, in
which according to ancient tradition the Church fasts "because the Spouse
has been taken away". (43) Good Friday is a day of fasting and abstinence;
it is also recommended that holy Saturday be so observed, so that the
Church, with uplifted and welcoming heart, be ready to celebrate the joys
of the Sunday of the Resurrection. (44)
40. It is recommended that there be a communal celebration of the
Office of Readings and Morning Prayer on Good Friday and Holy Saturday. It
is fitting that the bishop should celebrate the Office in the cathedral,
with as far as possible the participation of the clergy and people. (45)
This Office, formerly called "Tenebrae", held a special place in the
devotion of the faithful, as they meditated upon the passion, death and
burial of the Lord, while awaiting the announcement of the Resurrection.
41. For the celebration of the Easter Triduum it is necessary that
there should be a sufficient number of ministers and assistants who should
be prepared so that they know what their role is in the celebration.
Pastors must ensure that the meaning of each part of the celebration be
explained to the faithful so that. they may participate more fully and
42. The chants of the people and also of the ministers and the
celebrating priest are of special importance in the celebration of Holy
Week and particularly of the Easter Triduum, because they add to the
solemnity of these days, and also because the texts are more effective
The episcopal conferences are asked, unless provision has already been
made, to provide music for those parts which should always be sung,
a) The general intercessions of Good Friday; the deacon's invitation
and the acclamation of the people;
b) chants for the showing and veneration of the cross;
c) the acclamations during the procession with the paschal candle and
the Easter proclamation, the responsorial "Alleluia", the Litany of the
Saints, and the acclamation after the blessing of water.
Since the purpose of sung texts is also to facilitate the participation
of the faithful they should not be lightly omitted; such texts should be
set to music. If the text for use in the liturgy has not yet been set to
music, it is possible as a temporary measure to select other similar texts
which are set to music. It is, however, fitting that there should be a
collection of texts set to music for these celebrations, paying special
a) chants for the blessing and procession of palms, and for the
entrance into church;
b) chants to accompany the procession with the gifts on Holy Thursday
in the evening Mass of the Lord's Supper, and hymns to accompany the
procession of the Blessed Sacrament to the place of repose;
d) the responsorial psalms at the Easter Vigil, and chants to accompany
the sprinkling with blessed water.
Music should be provided for the Passion narrative, the Easter
proclamation, and the blessing of baptismal water; obviously the melodies
should be of a simple nature in order to facilitate their use.
In larger churches where the resources permit, a more ample use should
be made of the Church's musical heritage, both ancient and modern, always
ensuring that this does not impede the active participation of the
43. It is fitting that small religious communities, both clerical and
lay, and other lay groups should participate in the celebration of the
Easter Triduum in neighbouring principal churches. (46)
Similarly where the number of participants and ministers is so small
that the celebrations of the Easter Triduum cannot be carried out with the
requisite solemnity, such groups of the faithful should assemble in a
Also where there, are small parishes with only one priest it is
recommended that such parishes should assemble, as far as possible, in a
principal church and there participate in the celebrations.
On account of the needs of the faithful, where a pastor has the
responsibility for two or more parishes, in which the faithful assemble in
large numbers and where the celebrations can be carried out with the
requisite care and solemnity, the celebrations of the Easter Triduum may
be repeated in accord with the given norms. (47)
So that seminary students "might live fully Christ's paschal mystery,
and thus be able to teach those who will be committed to their care", (48)
they should be given a thorough and comprehensive liturgical formation. It
is important that during their formative years in the seminary, they
should experience fruitfully the solemn Easter celebrations, especially
those over which the bishop presides. (49)
IV. HOLY THURSDAY EVENING MASS OF THE LORD'S SUPPER
44. With the celebration of Mass on the evening of Holy Thursday "the
Church begins the Easter Triduum, and recalls the Last Supper, in which
the Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, loving unto the end his own
who were in the world, he offered to the Father his Body and Blood under
the species of bread and wine and gave them to the Apostles as spiritual
nourishment, and he commanded them and their successors in the priesthood
to perpetuate this offering". (50)
45. Careful attention should be given to the mysteries which are
commemorated in this Mass: the institution of the Eucharist, the
institution of the priesthood, and Christ's command of brotherly love; the
homily should explain these points.
46. The Mass of the Lord's Supper is celebrated in the evening, at a
time that is more convenient for the full participation of the whole local
community. All priests may concelebrate, even if on this day they have
already concelebrated the Chrism Mass or if, for the good of the faithful,
they must celebrate another Mass. (51)
47. Where pastoral considerations require it, the local ordinary may
permit another Mass to be celebrated in churches and oratories in the
evening, and in the case of true necessity, even in the morning, but only
for those faithful who cannot otherwise participate in the evening Mass.
Care should nevertheless be taken to ensure that celebrations of this kind
do not take place for the benefit of private persons or of small groups,
and that they are not to the detriment of the main Mass.
According to the ancient tradition of the Church all Masses without the
participation of the people are forbidden on this day. (52)
48. The tabernacle should be completely empty before the celebration.
(53) Hosts for the Communion of the faithful should be consecrated during
that celebration. (54) A sufficient amount of bread should be consecrated
to provide also for Communion on the following day.
49. For the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament, a place should be
prepared and adorned in such a way as to be conducive to prayer and
meditation; that sobriety appropriate to the liturgy of these days is
enjoined, to the avoidance or suppression of all abuses. (55)
When the tabernacle is located in a chapel separated from the central
part of the church, it is appropriate to prepare there the place of repose
50. During the singing of the hymn "Gloria in excelsis" In accordance
with local custom, the bells may be rung, and should thereafter remain
silent until the "Gloria in excelsis" of the Easter Vigil, unless the
conference of bishops or the local ordinary, for a suitable reason, has
decided otherwise. (56) During this same period the organ and other
musical instruments may be used only for the purpose of supporting the
51. The washing of the feet of chosen men which, according to
tradition, is performed on this day, represents the service and charity of
Christ, who came "not to be served, but to serve". (58) This tradition
should be maintained, and its proper significance explained.
52. Gifts for the poor, especially those collected during Lent as the
fruit of penance, may be presented in the offertory procession, while the
people sing "Ubi caritas est vera". (59)
53. It is more appropriate that the Eucharist be borne directly from
the altar by the deacons or acolytes, or extraordinary ministers at the
moment of Communion, for the sick and infirm who must communicate at home,
so that in this way they may be more closely united to the celebrating
54. After the postcommunion prayer, the procession forms, with the
crossbearer at its head. The Blessed Sacrament, accompanied by lighted
candles and incense, is carried through the church to the place of
reservation, to the singing of the hymn "Pange lingua" or some other
Eucharistic song. (60) This rite of transfer of the Blessed Sacrament may
not be carried out if the liturgy of the Lord's Passion will not be
celebrated in that same church on the following day. (61)
55. The Blessed Sacrament should be reserved in a closed tabernacle or
pyx. Under no circumstances may it be exposed in a monstrance.
The place where the tabernacle or pyx is situated must not be made to
resemble a tomb, and the expression "tomb" is to be avoided: for the
chapel of repose is not prepared so as to represent the "Lord's burial"
but for the custody of the Eucharistic Bread that will be distributed in
Communion on Good Friday.
56. The faithful should be encouraged after the Mass of the Lord's
Supper to spend a suitable period of time during the night in the church
in, adoration before the Blessed Sacrament that has been solemnly
reserved. Where appropriate, this prolonged eucharistic adoration may be
accompanied by the reading of some part of the Gospel of Saint John (ch.
From midnight onwards, however, the adoration should be made without
external solemnity, for the day of the Lord's Passion has begun. (62)
57. After Mass the altar should be stripped. It is fitting that any
crosses in the church be covered with a red or purple veil, unless they
have already been veiled on the Saturday before the fifth Sunday of Lent.
Lamps should not be lit before the images of saints.
V. GOOD FRIDAY
58. On this clay, when "Christ our passover was sacrificed", (63) the
Church meditates on the Passion of her Lord end Spouse, venerates the
Cross, commemorates her origin from the side of Christ on the Cross, and
intercedes for the salvation of the whole world.
59. On this day, in accordance with ancient tradition, the Church does
not celebrate the Eucharist; Holy Communion is distributed to the faithful
during the celebration of the Lord's Passion alone, though it may be
brought at any time of the day to the sick who cannot take part in the
60. Good Friday is a day of penance to be observed as of obligation in
the whole Church, and indeed through abstinence and fasting. (65)
61. All celebration of the sacraments on this day is strictly
prohibited, except for the Sacraments of Penance and Anointing of the
Sick. (66) Funerals are to be celebrated without singing, music, or the
tolling of bells.
62. It is recommended that on this day the Office of Readings and
Morning Prayer be celebrated with the participation of the people in the
churches (cf. n. 40).
63. The celebration of the Lord's Passion is to take place in the
afternoon, at about three o'clock. The time will be chosen as shall seem
most appropriate for pastoral reasons in order to allow the people to
assemble more easily, for example, shortly after midday, or in the late
evening, however not later than nine o'clock. (67)
64. The order for the celebration of the Lord's Passion (the Liturgy of
the Word, the veneration of the Cross, and Holy Communion), that stems
from an ancient tradition of the Church, should be observed faithfully and
religiously, and may not be changed by anyone on his own initiative.
65. The priest and ministers proceed to the altar in silence, and
without any singing. If any words of introduction are to be said, they
should be pronounced before the ministers enter.
The priest and ministers make a reverence to the altar prostrating
themselves. This act of prostration, which is proper to the rite of the
day, should be strictly observed, for it signifies both the abasement of
"earthly man", (68) and also the grief and sorrow of the Church.
The faithful for their part, as the ministers enter, should be
standing, and thereafter should kneel in silent prayer.
66. The readings are to be read in their it entirety. The responsorial
psalm and the chant. before the Gospel are to he sung in the usual manner.
The narrative of the Lord's Passion according to John is sung or read in
the way prescribed for the previous Sunday (cf. n. 3a). After the reading
of the Passion, a homily should he given, at the end of which the faithful
may be invited to spend a short time in meditation. (69)
67. The general intercessions are to follow this wording and form
handed down by ancient tradition, maintaining the full range of
intentions, so as to signify clearly the universal effect of the Passion
of Christ, who hung on the Cross for the salvation of the whole world. In
case of grave public necessity the local Ordinary may permit or prescribe
the adding of special intentions. (70)
In this event it is permitted to the priest to select from the prayers
of the Missal those more appropriate to local circumstances, in such a way
however that the series follows the rule for general intercessions. (71)
68. For the veneration of the Cross, let a cross be used that is of
appropriate size and beauty, and let one or other of the forms for this
rite as found in the Roman Missal be followed. The rite should be carried
out with the splendour worthy of the mystery of our salvation: both the
invitation pronounced at the unveiling of the Cross, and the people's
response should be made in song, and a period of respectful silence is to
be observed after each act of veneration, the celebrant standing and
holding the raised Cross.
69. The Cross is to be presented to each of the faithful individually
for their veneration, since the personal veneration of the Cross is a most
important feature in this celebration, and only when necessitated by the
large numbers of faithful present should the rite of veneration be made
simultaneously by all present. (72)
Only one Cross should be used for the veneration, as this contributes
to the full symbolism of the rite. During the veneration of the Cross the
antiphons, "Reproaches", and hymns should be sung, so that the history of
salvation be commemorated through song. (73) Other appropriate songs may
also be sung (cf. n. 42).
70. The priest sings the invitation to the Lord's Prayer, which is then
sung by all. The sign of peace is not exchanged. The Communion rite is as
described in the Missal.
During the distribution of Communion, psalm 21, or another suitable
song may sung. When Communion has been distributed the pyx is taken to a
place prepared for it outside of the church.
71. After the celebration, the altar is stripped, the Cross remaining,
however, with four candles. An appropriate place (for example the chapel
of repose used for reservation of the Eucharist on Holy Thursday) can be
prepared within the church, and there the Lord's Cross is placed so that
the faithful may venerate and kiss it, and spend some time in meditation.
72. Devotions, such as the Way of the Cross, processions of the
Passion, and commemorations of the sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary are
not, for pastoral reasons, to be neglected. The texts and songs used,
however, should be adapted to the spirit of the liturgy of this day. Such
devotions should be assigned to a time of day that makes it quite clear
that the liturgical celebration by its very nature far surpasses them in
VI. HOLY SATURDAY
73. On Holy Saturday the Church is as it were at the Lord's tomb,
meditating on his passion and death, and on his descent into hell, (75)
and awaiting his resurrection with prayer and fasting. It is highly
recommended that on this day the Office of Readings . and Morning Prayer
be celebrated with the participation of the people (cf. n. 40). (76) Where
this cannot be done, there should be some celebration of the Word of God,
or some act of devotion suited to the mystery celebrated on this day.
74. The image of Christ crucified or lying in the tomb, or the descent
into hell, which mystery Holy Saturday recalls, as also an image of the
Sorrowful Virgin Mary can be placed in the church for the veneration of
75. On this day the Church abstains strictly from the celebration of
the Sacrifice of the Mass. (77) Holy Communion may be given only in the
form of Viaticum. The celebration of marriages is forbidden, as also the
celebration of other sacraments, except those of Penance and the Anointing
of the Sick.
76. The faithful are to be instructed on the special character of Holy
Saturday. (78) Festive customs and traditions associated with this day on
account of the former practice of anticipating the celebration of Easter
on Holy Saturday should be reserved for Easter night and the day that
VII. EASTER SUNDAY OF THE LORD'S RESURRECTION
A. The Easter Vigil
77. According to a most ancient tradition, this night is "one of vigil
for the Lord", (79) and the Vigil celebrated during it, to commemorate
that holy night when the Lord rose from the dead, is regarded as the
"mother of all holy vigils". (80) For in that night the Church keeps
vigil, waiting for the resurrection of the Lord, and celebrates the
sacraments of Christian initiation. (81)
1. The meaning of the nocturnal character of the Easter Vigil
78. "The entire celebration of the Easter Vigil takes place at night.
It should not begin before nightfall; it should end before daybreak on
Sunday". (82) This rule is to be taken according to its strictest sense.
Reprehensible are those abuses and practices which have crept in in many
places in violation of this ruling, whereby the Easter Vigil is celebrated
at the time of day that it is customary to celebrate anticipated Sunday
Those reasons which have been advanced in some quarters for the
anticipation of the Easter Vigil, such as lack of public order, are not
put forward in connection with Christmas night, nor other gatherings of
79. The Passover Vigil, in which the Hebrews kept watch for the Lord's
passover which was to free them from slavery to Pharaoh, was an annual
commemoration. It prefigured the true Pasch of Christ that was to come,
the night that is of true liberation, in which "destroying the bonds of
death, Christ rose as victor from the depths". (84)
80. From the very outset the Church has celebrated that annual Pasch,
which is the solemnity of solemnities, above all by means of a night
vigil. For the resurrection of Christ is the foundation of our faith and
hope, and through Baptism and Confirmation we are inserted into the
paschal mystery of Christ, dying, buried, and raised with him, and with
him we shall also reign. (85)
The full meaning of this Vigil is a waiting for the coming of the Lord.
2. The structure of the Easter Vigil and the significance of its
different elements and parts
81. The, order of the Easter Vigil is so arranged that after the
service of light and the Easter Proclamation, (which is the first part of
the Vigil), Holy Church meditates on the wonderful works which the Lord
God wrought for his people from the earliest times, (the second part or
Liturgy of the Word), to the moment when, together with those new members
reborn in Baptism (third part), she is called to the table prepared by the
Lord for his Church, the commemoration of his death and resurrection,
until he comes (fourth part). (87)
This liturgical order must not be changed by anyone on his own
82. The first part consists of symbolic acts and gestures, which
require that they be performed in all their fullness and nobility, so that
their meaning, as explained by the introductory words of the celebrant and
the liturgical prayers, may be truly understood by the faithful.
In so far as possible, a suitable place should be prepared outside the
church for the blessing of the new fire, whose flames should be such that
they genuinely dispel the darkness and light up the night.
The paschal candle should be prepared, which for effective symbolism
must be made of wax, never be artificial, be renewed each year, be only
one in number, and be of sufficiently large size, so that it may evoke the
truth that Christ is the light of the world. It is blessed with the signs
and words prescribed in the Missal or by the conference of bishops. (88)
83. The procession, by which the people enter the church, should be led
by the light of the paschal candle alone. Just as the children of Israel
were guided at night by a pillar of fire, so similarly Christians follow
the risen Christ. There is no reason why to each response "Thanks be to
God" there should not be added some acclamation in honour of Christ.
The light from the paschal candle should be gradually passed to the
candles which it is fitting that all present should hold in their hands,
the electric lighting being switched off.
84. The deacon makes the Easter Proclamation, which tells by means of a
great poetic text the whole Easter mystery placed in the context of the
economy of salvation. In case of necessity, where there is no deacon, and
the celebrating priest is unable to sing it, a cantor may do so. The
bishops' conferences may adapt this proclamation by inserting into it
acclamations from the people. (89)
85. The readings from Sacred Scripture constitute the second part of
the Vigil. They give an account of the outstanding deeds of the history of
salvation, which the faithful are helped to meditate calmly upon by the
singing of the responsorial psalm, by a silent pause, and by the
The restored "Order" of the Vigil has seven readings from the Old
Testament chosen from the Law and the Prophets, which are generally in use
according to the most ancient tradition of East and West, and two readings
from the New Testament, namely, from the Apostle and from the Gospel. Thus
the Church, "beginning with Moses and all the Prophets" explains Christ's
paschal mystery. (90) Consequently wherever this is possible, all the
readings should be read in order that the character of the Easter Vigil,
which demands the time necessary, be respected at all costs.
Where, however, pastoral conditions require that the number of readings
be reduced, there should be at least three readings from the Old
Testament, taken from the Law and the Prophets; and the reading from
Exodus chapter 14 with its canticle must never be omitted. (91)
86. The typological import of the Old Testament texts is rooted in the
New, and is made plain by the prayer pronounced by the celebrating priest
after each reading; but it will also be helpful to introduce the people to
the meaning of each reading by means of a brief introduction. This
introduction may be given by the priest. himself or by a deacon.
National or diocesan liturgical commissions will prepare aids for
Each reading is followed by the singing of a psalm, to which the people
Melodies should be provided for these responses which are capable of
promoting the people's participation and devotion. (92) Great care is to
be taken that trivial songs do not take the place of the psalms.
87. After the readings from the Old Testament, the hymn "Gloria in
excelsis" is sung, the bells are rung in accordance with local custom, the
collect is recited, and the celebration moves on to the readings from the
New Testament. There is read an exhortation from the Apostle on Baptism as
an insertion into Christ's paschal mystery.
Then all stand and the priest intones the "Alleluia" three times, each
time raising the pitch. The people repeat it after him. (93) If it is
necessary, the psalmist or cantor may sing the "Alleluia", which the
people then take up as an acclamation to be interspersed between the
verses of psalm 117, which is so often cited by the Apostles in their
Easter preaching (94). Finally the Resurrection of the Lord is proclaimed
from the Gospel as the high point of the whole Liturgy of the Word. After
the Gospel a homily is to be given, no matter how brief.
88. The third part of the Vigil is the baptismal liturgy. Christ's
passover and ours is now celebrated. This is given full expression in
those churches which have a baptismal font, and more so when the Christian
initiation of adults is held, or at least the Baptism of infants. (95)
Even if there are no candidates for Baptism, the blessing of baptismal
water should still take place in parish churches. If this blessing does
not take place at the baptismal font but in the sanctuary, baptismal water
should be carried afterwards to the baptistery there to be kept throughout
the whole of paschal time. (96) Where there are neither candidates for
Baptism nor any need to bless the font, Baptism should be commemorated by
blessing of water destined for sprinkling upon the people. (97)
89. Next follows the renewal of baptismal promises, introduced by some
words on the part of the celebrating priest. The faithful reply to the
questions put to them, standing and holding lighted candles in their
hands. They are then sprinkled with water; in this way the gestures and
words recall to them the Baptism they have received. The celebrating
priest passes through the main part of the church and sprinkles the people
while all sing the antiphon "Vidi aquam" or another suitable song of a
baptismal character. (98)
90. The celebration of the Eucharist forms the fourth part of the Vigil
and marks its high point, for it is in the fullest sense the Easter
Sacrament, that is to say, the commemoration of the sacrifice of the Cross
and the presence of the risen Christ, the completion of Christian
initiation, and the foretaste of the eternal pasch.
91. Great care should be taken that this Eucharistic Liturgy is not
celebrated in haste; indeed, all the rites and words must be given their
full force: the general intercessions in which for the first time the
neophytes now as members of the faithful exercise their priesthood; (99)
the procession at the offertory in which the neophytes, if there are any,
take part; the first, second or third Eucharistic Prayer, preferably sung,
with their proper embolisms; (100) and finally Eucharistic Communion, as
the moment of full participation in the mystery that is being celebrated.
It is appropriate that at Communion there be sung psalm 117 with the
antiphon "Pascha nostrum", or psalm 33 with the antiphon "Alleluia,
alleluia, alleluia", or some other song of Easter exultation.
92. It is fitting that in the Communion of the Easter Vigil full
expression be given to the symbolism of the Eucharist, namely, by
consuming the Eucharist under the species of both bread and wine. The
local ordinaries will consider the appropriateness of such a concession
and the relevant circumstances. (101)
3. Some pastoral considerations
93. The Easter Vigil Liturgy should be celebrated in such a way as to
offer to the Christian people the riches of the prayers and rites. It is
therefore important that authenticity be respected, that the participation
of the faithful be promoted, and that the celebration should not take
place without servers, readers and choir exercising their roles.
94. It would be desirable if on occasion provision were made for
several communities to assemble in one church, wherever their proximity
one to another or small numbers mean that a full and festive celebration
could not otherwise take place.
The celebration of the Easter Vigil for special groups is not to be
encouraged, since above all in this Vigil the faithful should come
together as one and should experience a sense of ecclesial community.
The faithful who are absent from their parish on vacation, should be
urged to participate in the liturgical celebration in the place where they
happen to be.
95. In announcements concerning the Easter Vigil care should be taken
not to present it as the concluding period of Holy Saturday, but rather it
should be stressed that the Easter Vigil is celebrated "during Easter
night", and that it is one single act of worship. Pastors should be
advised that in giving catechesis to the people they should be taught to
participate in the Vigil in its entirety. (102)
96. For a better celebration of the Easter Vigil, it is necessary that
pastors themselves have an ever deeper knowledge of both text and rites,
so as to give a proper mystagogical catechesis to the people.
B. Easter Day
97. Mass is to be celebrated on Easter Day with great solemnity. It is
appropriate that the penitential rite on this day take the form of a
sprinkling with water blessed at the Vigil, during which the antiphon "Vidi
aquam", or some other song of baptismal character should be sung. The
stoups at the entrance to the church should also be filled with the same
98. The tradition of celebrating baptismal Vespers on Easter Day with
the singing of psalms during the procession to the font should be
maintained where it is still in force, and as appropriate restored. (103)
99. The paschal candle has its proper place either by the ambo or by
the altar and should be lit at least in all the more solemn liturgical
celebrations of the season until Pentecost Sunday, whether at Mass, or at
Morning and Evening Prayer. After the Easter season the candle should be
kept with honour in the baptistery, so that in the celebration of Baptism
the candles of the baptized may be lit from it. In the celebration of
funerals the paschal candle should be placed near the coffin to indicate
that the death of a Christian is his own passover. The paschal candle
should not otherwise be lit nor placed in the sanctuary outside the Easter
100. The celebration of Easter is prolonged throughout the Easter
season. The fifty days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday are
celebrated as one feast day, the "great Sunday". (105)
101. The Sundays of this season are regarded as Sundays of Easter, and
so termed, and they have precedence over all feasts of the Lord and over
all solemnities. Solemnities that fall on one of these Sundays are
anticipated on the Saturday. (106) Celebrations in honour of the Blessed
Virgin Mary or the saints which fall during the week, may not be
transferred to one of these Sundays. (107)
102. For adults who have received Christian initiation during the
Easter Vigil the whole of this period is given over to mystagogical
catechesis. Therefore, wherever there are neophytes, the prescriptions of
the Ordo initiationis Christianae adultorum, no. 37-40 and 235-239
should be observed. Intercession
should be made in the Eucharistic Prayer
for the newly baptized throughout the Easter octave in all places.
103. Throughout the Easter season the neophytes should be assigned
their own special place among the faithful. All neophytes should endeavour
to participate at Mass along with their godparents. In the homily and,
according to local circumstances, in the general intercessions mention
should be made of them. Some celebration should be held to conclude the
period of mystagogical catechesis on or about Pentecost Sunday, depending
upon local custom. (108) It is also appropriate that children receive
their first Communion on one or other of the Sundays of Easter.
104. During Easter time, pastors should instruct the faithful who have
been already initiated into the Eucharist on the meaning of the Church's
precept concerning the reception of Holy Communion during this period.
(109) It is highly recommended that Communion be brought to the sick also,
especially during the Easter octave.
105. Where there is the custom of blessing houses in celebration of the
Resurrection, this blessing is to be imparted after the Solemnity of
Easter, and not before, by the parish priest, or other priests or deacons
delegated by him. This is an opportunity for exercising a pastoral
ministry. (110) The parish priest should go to each house for the purpose
of undertaking a pastoral visitation of each family. There he will speak
with the residents, spend a few moments with them in prayer, using texts
to be found in the book De Benedictionibus. (111) In larger cities
consideration should be given to the gathering of several families for a
common celebration of the blessing for all.
106. According to the differing circumstances of places and peoples,
there are found a number of popular practices linked to celebrations of
the Easter season, which in some instances attract greater numbers of the
people than the sacred liturgy itself; these are not in any way to be
undervalued, for they are often well adapted to the religious mentality of
the faithful. Let episcopal conferences and local ordinaries therefore see
to it that practices of this kind which seem to nourish popular piety, be
harmonized in the best way possible with the sacred liturgy, be imbued
more distinctly with the spirit of the liturgy, in some way derived from
it, and lead the people to it. (112)
107. This sacred period of fifty days concludes with Pentecost Sunday,
when the gift of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles, the beginnings of the
Church and the start of her mission to all tongues and peoples and nations
are commemorated. (113)
Encouragement should be given to the prolonged celebration of Mass in
the form of a Vigil, whose character is not baptismal as in the Easter
Vigil, but is one of urgent prayer, after the example of the Apostles and
disciples, who persevered together in prayer with Mary, the Mother of
Jesus, as they awaited the Holy Spirit. (114)
108. "It is proper to the Paschal festivity that the whole Church
rejoice at the forgiveness of sins, which is not only for those who are
reborn in Holy Baptism, but also for those who have long been numbered
among the adopted children". (115) By means of a more intensive pastoral
care and a deeper spiritual effort, all who celebrate the Easter feasts
will by the Lord's grace experience their effect in their daily lives.
Given at Rome, at the Offices of the Congregation for Divine Worship,
16 January 1988.
Paul Augustin Card. Mayer
Titular Archbishop of Voncaria
1) Cf. SRC, Decr. Dominicae Resurrectionis (9 Feb. 1951) AAS
43 (1951) 128-137; SRC, Decr. Maxima redemptionis nostrae mysteria
(16 Nov. 1955) AAS 47 (1955) 838-847.
2) Cf. Second Vatican Council, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy
Sacrosanctum Concilium, nn. 5, 6, 61.
3) Cf. General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, n. 18.
4) Cf. Second Vatican Council, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops
Christus Dominus, n. 15.
5) Cf. SRC, Decr. Maxima redemptionis nostrae mysteria (16 Nov.
1955) AAS 47 (1955) 838-847.
6) Cf. Caeremoniale episcoporum, n. 249.
7) Cf. The Roman Ritual, Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults,
n. 8; C.I.C., can. 856.
8) Roman Missal, The Easter Vigil, n. 46.
9) Cf. The Roman Ritual, Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults,
cap. IV, especially n. 303.
10) Cf. Ibidem, nn. 330-333.
11) Cf. Caeremoniale episcoporum, nn. 250, 406-407; cf. The
Roman Ritual, Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, n. 41
12) Cf. General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, n. 5.
Cf. Ibidem, n. 56f, and Notitiae, 23 (1987) 397.
13) Ibidem, n. 16, b.
14) Roman Missal, General Instruction, n. 42; cf. Rite of
Penance, nn. 36-37.
15) Paul VI, Apost. Const. Paenitemini, II, 1; AAS 58
16) Caeremoniale episcoporum, n. 251.
17) Cf. Ibidem, n. 251; Second Vatican Council, Constitution on
the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium, n. 109.
18) Cf. Caeremoniale episcoporum, n. 251.
19) Cf. Ibidem, n. 260.
20) Ibidem, n. 252.
21) Cf. General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, n. 28.
22) Cf. Caeremoniale episcoporum, n. 253.
23) Roman Missal, Ash Wednesday.
24) Paul VI, Apost. Const. Paenitemini, II, 1; AAS 58
(1966) 103. C.I.C., can. 1251.
25) Roman Missal, First Sunday of Lent, Opening Prayer and
Prayer over the gifts.
26) Cf. Caeremoniale episcoporum, n. 261.
27) Cf. Ibidem, nn. 400-410.
28) Roman Missal, Lectionary for Mass, Second edition 1981
Introduction, n. 97.
29) Cf. Caeremoniale episcoporum, n. 252.
30) Roman Missal, rubric Saturday of the fourth week of Lent.
31) Cf. General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, n. 16,
32) Cf. Caeremoniale episcoporum, n. 263.
33) Cf. Roman Missal, Passion Sunday (Palm Sunday) n. 9.
34) Cf. Caeremoniale episcoporum, n. 270.
35) Cf. Roman. Missal, Passion Sunday (Palm Sunday) n. 16.
36) Cf. Ibidem, n. 19.
37) Cf. Ibidem, n. 22. For a Mass at which a bishop presides,
of. Caeremoniale episcoporum, n. 74.
38) Second Vatican Council, Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests,
Presbyterorum Ordinis, n. 7.
39) Caeremoniale episcoporum, n. 275.
40) Cf. Ibidem, 270.
41) Cf. Rite of Penance, Appendix II, nn, 1. 7. Cf. supra n. 18.
42) Cf. SRC, Decr. Maxima redemptionis nostrae mysteria (6 Nov.
1955) AAS 47 (1955) 858. St Augustine, Ep. 55, 24, PL,
43) Cf. Mk 2:19-20; Tertullian, De ieiunio 2 and 13, Corpus
Christianorum II, p. 1271.
44) Cf. Caeremoniale episcoporum, n. 295; Second Vatican
Council, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium,
45) Cf. Ibidem, n. 296; General Instruction on the Liturgy of
the Hours, n. 210.
46) Cf. SRC, Instr. Eucharisticum mysterium, (23 May
1967) n. 26. AAS 59 (1967), 558. N.B. In monasteries of nuns, every
effort should be made to celebrate the Easter Triduum with the greatest
possible ceremony but within the monastery church.
47) Cf. SRC, Ordinationes et declarationes circa Ordinem hebdomadae
sanctae instauratum, (1 Feb. 1957), n. 21; AAS 49 (1957),
40) Second Vatican Council, Decree on Priestly Formation, Optatam
Totius, n. 8.
49) Cf. Congregation for Catholic Education, Instruction on Liturgical
Formation in Seminaries, (17 May 1979), nn. 15, 33.
50) Cf. Caeremoniale episcoporum, n. 297.
51) Cf. Roman Missal, Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper.
52) Cf. Ibidem.
53) Cf. Ibidem, n. 1.
54) Second Vatican Council, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy
Sacrosanctum Concilium, n. 55; SRC, Instr. Eucharisticum mysterium,
(25 May 1967), n. 31. AAS 59 (1967) 557-558.
55) SRC, Decr. Maxima redemptionis nostrae mysteria (16 Nov.
1955), n. 9, AAS 47 (1955) 805.
56) Cf. Roman Missal, Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper.
57) Cf. Caeremoniale episcoporum, n. 300.
58) Mt 20:28.
59) Cf. Caeremoniale episcoporum, n. 303.
60) Cf. Roman Missal, Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper, nn.
61) Cf. SRC, Declaratio 15 martii 1956 n. 3, AAS 48
(1956), 153; SRC, Ordinationes et declarationes circa Ordinem
hebdomadae sanctae instauratum, (1 Feb. 1957) n. 14; AAS 49
62) Cf. Roman Missal, Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper, n. 21;
SRC, Decr. Maxima redemptionis nostrae mysteria (16 Nov.
1955) nn, 8-10; AAS 47 (1955), 845.
63) 1 Cor 5:7.
64) Cf. Roman Missal, Good Friday, Celebration of the Lord's
Passion, nn. 1, 3.
65) Paul VI, Apost. Const. Paenitemini, 11, 2; AAS .18
(1966), 183; C.I.C., can. 1251.
66) Cf. Roman Missal, Good Friday, Celebration of the Lord's
Passion, n. 1. CCD, Declaratio ad "Missale Romanum", in Notitiae
13 (1977), 602.
67) Cf. Ibidem, n. 3; SRC, Ordinationes et declarationes
circa Ordinem hebdomadae sanctae instauratum, (1 Feb. 1957), n. 15;
AAS 49 (1957), 94.
68) Cf. Ibidem, n. 5, alternative prayer.
69) Cf. Ibidem, n. 9; cf. Caeremoniale episcoporum, n.
70) Cf. Ibidem, n. 12.
71) Cf. Roman Missal, General Instruction, n. 46.
72) Cf. Roman Missal, Good Friday, Celebration of the Lord's
Passion, n. 19.
73) Cf. Mich 6:3-4.
74) Cf. Second Vatican Council, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy
Sacrosanctum Concilium, n. 13.
75) Cf. Roman Missal, Holy Saturday; The Apostles' Creed; 1 Pet
76) Cf. General Instruction of the Liturgy of the flours, n. 210.
77) Roman Missal, Holy Saturday.
78) SRC, Decr. Maxima redemptionis nostrae mysteria (16 Nov.
1955), n. 2, AAS 47 (1955), 843.
79) Cf. Ex 12:42.
80) St Augustine, Sermo 219, PL 38, 1088.
81) Caeremoniale episcoporum, n. 332.
82) Cf. Ibidem, n. 332; Roman Missal, The Easter Vigil,
83) SRC, Instr. Eucharisticum mysterium, (25 May 1967) n. 28;
AAS 59 (1967), 556-557.
84) Roman Missal, The Easter Vigil, n. 19, Easter Proclamation.
85) Cf. Second Vatican Council, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy
Sacrosanctum Concilium, n. 6; cf. Rom 6:3-6; Eph 2:5-6; Col
2:12-13; 2 Tim 2:11-12.
86) "We keep vigil on that night because the Lord rose from the dead;
that life... where there is no longer the sleep of death, began for us in
his flesh; being thus risen, death will be no more nor have dominion... If
we have kept vigil for the risen one, he will see that we shall reign with
him for ever". St Augustine, Sermo Guelferbytan., 5, 4, PLS
87) Cf. Roman Missal, The Easter Vigil, n. 7
88) Cf. Ibidem, nn. 10.12.
89) Cf. Ibidem, n. 17.
90) Lk 24:27; cf. Lk 24:44-45.
91) Cf. Roman Missal, The Easter Vigil, n. 21.
92) Cf. Ibidem, n. 23.
93) Cf. Caeremoniale Episcoporum, n. 352.
94) Cf. Acts 4:11-12; Mt 21:42; Mk 12:10; Lk 20:17.
95) Cf. The Roman Ritual, Rite of Baptism for Children, n. 6.
96) Cf. Roman Missal, The Easter Vigil, n. 48.
97) Cf. Ibidem, n. 45.
98) Cf. Ibidem, n. 47.
99) Cf. Ibidem, n. 49; The Roman Ritual, Rite of
Christian Initiation of Adults, n. 36.
100) Cf. Roman Missal, The Easter Vigil, n. 53; Ibidem,
Ritual Masses, 3. Baptism.
101) Cf. Roman Missal, General Instruction nn. 240-242.
102) Cf. Second Vatican Council, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy
Sacrosanctum Concilium, n. 106.
103) Cf. General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours, n. 213.
104) Cf. Roman Missal, Pentecost Sunday, final rubric; The
Roman Ritual, Rite of Baptism for Children, Christian Initiation,
General Introduction, n. 25.
105) Cf. General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, n. 22.
106) Cf. Ibidem, nn. 5. 23.
107) Cf. Ibidem, n. 58.
108) Cf. The Roman Ritual, Rite of Christian Initiation of
Adults, nn. 235-237. Cf. Ibidem, nn. 238-239.
109) Cf. C.I.C., can. 920.
110) SRC, Decr. Maxima redemptionis nostrae mysteria (16 Nov.
1955), n.. 21, AAS 47 (1955), 847,
111) De Benedictionibus, caput I, II, Ordo benedictionis
annuae familiarum in propriis domibus.
112) Cf. Second Vatican Council, Constitution on them Sacred Liturgy
Sacrosanctum Concilium, n. 13. Cf, CCD Orientamenti e
proposte per la celebrazione dell'anno mariano, (3 Apr. 1987), nn. 3,
113) Cf. General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, n. 23.
114) It is possible to combine the celebration of first Vespers with
the celebration of Mass as provided for in the General Instruction of the
Liturgy of the Hours, n. 96. In order to have a more profound knowledge of
the mystery of this day, it is possible to have several readings from Holy
Scripture, as proposed in the Lectionary. In this case, after the collect
the reader goes to the ambo to proclaim the reading. The psalmist or
cantor sings the psalm, to which the people respond with the refrain. Then
all stand and the priest says: Let us pray, and after a short silent
pause, he says the prayer corresponding to the reading (for example, one
of the collects for the ferial days of the seventh week of Easter).
115) St Leo the Great, Sermo 6 de Quadragesima, 1-2, PL
116) Cf. Roman Missal, Saturday of the Seventh week of Easter,