Easter Vigil links ancient/modern


In the early years of Christianity, congregations gathered the night before Easter, to retell the story of the faith, beginning in Genesis and advancing to again embrace the good news of the resurrection, and to celebrate the sacraments.

For the third year, Oklahoma City University invites everyone on Saturday, March 30, to a modern interpretation of this ancient Easter Vigil.

For the early Christians, this service continued all night. Ours is set for a more modest 90 minutes, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., and will be offered with energy and creativity.

The service follows a traditional order — Scripture readings, remembrance of baptism, and Holy Communion — but it employs a number of styles of music and OCU’s performing arts students and faculty.

The event begins on the east side of the Bishop W. Angie Smith Chapel, with the lighting of the Paschal fire and candle. We then move to the sanctuary.

All the Scripture lessons will be staged dramatically. The creation account in Genesis 1 will be offered as a jazz reading. Dancers will portray the Exodus and Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of the dry bones, through interpretive movement. Actors will present the Easter story from Luke’s gospel.

The service will feature musical styles from Latin chant to gospel to contemporary. After a remembrance-of-baptism ritual, the Spirit of Grace Liturgical Dancers will bring in Easter lilies and white paraments as we sing an Easter hymn. The service ends with Communion and songs, led by Erica Thomas from OKC-Quayle UMC, followed by a reception in Watson Lounge.

This service will particularly appeal to youth and young adults. Confirmation groups from Enid and Stillwater attended last year. A pre-service meal is available by reservation for youth groups, where we will explain the significance of the vigil and what to expect at the service.

For more information or to make a reservation, contact Janet Boone, 405-208-5020 or jdboone@okcu.edu.

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