Monday, September 20, 2004

An Easter Vigil Reminder

Easter Triduum
Thursday to Sunday, March 24 - 27, 2005

The Easter Triduum is the culmination of the entire liturgical year. It begins with the Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper. reaches its high point in the Easter Vigil, and closes with evening prayer on Easter Sunday. Between the Mass of the Lord's Supper and the Easter Vigil, Mass may not be celebrated. The Easter Vigil must begin after nightfall. Nightfall begins on this day at 6:51 p.m. for San Jose. Thus Easter Vigil for 2005 may not begin before 7:00 p.m.

In the United States, although it is never permitted to celebrate the entire Easter Vigil more than once in a given church or to anticipate the Mass of Easter before the vigil, in those places where the local Ordinary permits the anticipation of Sunday Masses on Saturday evening, for pastoral reasons an additional Mass may be celebrated after the Mass of the Easter Vigil. Such a Mass may follow the liturgy of the word of the Mass of the Easter Vigil and other texts of that Mass and should include the renewal of baptismal promises (Sacramentary, Easter Sunday, During the Night, Easter Vigil, #3).
In the Diocese of San Jose, parishes may not celebrate more than one Easter Vigil. This means that on March 26, 2005, no Mass may be celebrated before the Easter Vigil, and there may be only one Service of Light (blessing of fire, first lighting of Easter Candle, and exsultet) and one blessing of the baptismal font per parish. The initiation of Elect ideally takes place at the one parish Easter Vigil though it may also be celebrated on Easter Sunday for pastoral reasons, and initiation sacraments are appropriately celebrated throughout the Easter season. Any additional Masses on the night of March 26, 2005 must be celebrated after the parish's one Easter Vigil and do not include the Service of Light or the blessing of the water in the baptismal font.


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