Liturgy Resources


Thornhill Ministries

Responding to the Hunger for God in Our Time


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Holy Saturday 2020 :  Three -Part Easter Vigil

In the light of Covid-19, when the Vigil is to be available on webcam, and given the restrictions of light/darkness and the length of the Celebration, it is possible to divide it into three parts and celebrate in three stages e.g. 3:00 pm, 6:00 pm and 9:00 pm

 

Part I: Liturgy of the Word (Old Testament)

Part II: Honouring our Baptism

Part III: Celebration of Eucharist - 

  1. Lighting of Paschal Candle & Opening Rite. 2. Liturgy of the Word (New Testament)  3. Liturgy of Eucharist

     

     

    Part I: Liturgy of the Word (Old Testament)

     

    The Liturgy begins in silence

     

    My dear brothers and sisters,

    the darkness (begins to) descend/s on our land,

    and we, who part of the community of Christian believers throughout the world,

    begin this time of vigil keeping.

     

    We have already celebrated

    Christ’s Passion and death,

    and just as the chosen people of Israel

    longed for the coming of the Messiah,

    we too long to celebrate Christ’s Resurrection,

    to celebrate the Easter Vigil.

     

    In this Liturgy of the Word,

    we will hear the story of God’s covenant with His chosen people.

    This is the story of the people of Israel.

    This is our story too.

    Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

     

    We will hear the story of God’s faithfulness with His chosen people.

    This is the story of the people of Israel.

    This is our story too.

    Christ, have mercy.  Christ, have mercy.

     

    We will hear of the story of God’s promise to save His chosen people.

    This is the story of the people of Israel.

    This is our story too.

    Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

     

    Let us pray

     

    O God, who made a covenant love

    with all of creation and with your people,

    Be with us as we celebrate your word

    and prepare to celebrate the true Passover Feast

    when Christ, our Saviour rose triumphant from the grave.

    We make this and all our prayers through Christ, our Lord. Amen.  

     

    The priest instructs the people.


    My dear people, the four readings that form our Liturgy,

    remind us of the history of our redemption.

    Through listening to the Law and the Prophets

    in the quiet of our hearts,

    we meditate on how God in times past saved His people.

    In these, the last days, God has kept His promise

    and sent us His Son as our Redeemer.

     

    We pray (as we sing)

    Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me. (2)

    Melt me, mould me, fill me, use me.

    Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me.

      

    (There is a choice of First Reading)

    Either:

     

    A Reading from the Book of Genesis

     

    In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was a formless void, there was darkness over the deep, and God’s spirit hovered over the water.

    God said, ‘Let there be light’, and there was light. God saw that light was good, and God divided light from darkness. God called light ‘day’, and darkness he called ‘night.’ Evening came and morning came: the first day.

    God said, ‘Let there be a vault in the waters to divide the waters in two.’ And so it was. God made the vault, and it divided the waters above the vault from the waters under the vault. God called the vault ‘heaven.’ Evening came and morning came: the second day.

    God said, ‘Let the waters under heaven come together into a single mass, and let dry land appear.’ And so it was. God called the dry land ‘earth’ and the mass of waters ‘seas’, and God saw that it was good.

    God said, ‘Let the earth produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants, and fruit trees bearing fruit with their seed inside, on the earth.’ And so it was. The earth produced vegetation: plants bearing seed in their several kinds, and trees bearing fruit with their seed inside in their several kinds. God saw that it was good. Evening came and morning came: the third day.

    God said, ‘Let there be lights in the vault of heaven to divide day from night, and let them indicate festivals, days and years. Let them be lights in the vault of heaven to shine on the earth.’ And so it was. God made the two great lights: the greater light to govern the day, the smaller light to govern the night, and the stars. God set them in the vault of heaven to shine on the earth, to govern the day and the night and to divide light from darkness. God saw that it was good. Evening came and morning came: the fourth day.

    God said, ‘Let the waters teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth within the vault of heaven.’ And so it was. God created great sea-serpents and every kind of living creature with which the waters teem, and every kind of winged creature. God saw that it was good. God blessed them, saying, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the waters of the seas; and let the birds multiply upon the earth.’ Evening came and morning came: the fifth day.

    God said, ‘Let the earth produce every kind of living creature: cattle, reptiles, and every kind of wild beast.’ And so it was. God made every kind of wild beast, every kind of cattle, and every kind of land reptile. God saw that it was good.

    God said, ‘Let us make man in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves, and let them be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven, the cattle, all the wild beasts and all the reptiles that crawl upon the earth.’

    God created man in the image of himself, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.

    God blessed them, saying to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and conquer it. Be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven and all living animals on the earth.’ God said, ‘See, I give you all the seed-bearing plants that are upon the whole earth, and all the trees with seed-bearing fruit; this shall be your food. To all wild beasts, all birds of heaven and all living reptiles on the earth I give all the foliage of plants for food.’ And so it was. God saw all he had made, and indeed it was very good. Evening came and morning came: the sixth day.

    Thus heaven and earth were completed with all their array. On the seventh day God completed the work he had been doing. He rested on the seventh day after all the work he had been doing.

     

    Or: 

     

    Alternative first reading      

    A Reading from the Book of Genesis

     

    In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

    God said, ‘Let us make man in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves, and let them be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven, the cattle, all the wild beasts and all the reptiles that crawl upon the earth.’

    God created man in the image of himself, 

    in the image of God he created him, 

    male and female he created them.

    God blessed them, saying to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and conquer it. Be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven and all living animals on the earth.’ God said, ‘See, I give you all the seed-bearing plants that are upon the whole earth, and all the trees with seed-bearing fruit; this shall be your food. To all wild beasts, all birds of heaven and all living reptiles on the earth I give all the foliage of plants for food.’ And so it was. God saw all he had made, and indeed it was very good.

     

    The word of the Lord.   Thanks be to God.

     

    Hymn

     

    We pray (as we sing)

    Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on us. (2)

    Melt us, mould us, fill us, use us.

    Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on us.

     

    Let us pray.

    Almighty ever-living God,

    who are wonderful in the ordering of all your works,

    may those you have redeemed understand

    that there exists nothing more marvellous

    than the world’s creation in the beginning

    except that, at the end of the ages,

    Christ our Passover has been sacrificed.

    Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.   Amen.





    STATIONS OF THE CROSS   

    For those who are distressed by the outbreak of the Coronavirus


    Some parishes requested this set of Stations from Thornhill Ministries. Feel free to use.

    We ask only that if sharing them, you would kindly acknowledge the Ministries as the source. 

    We are happy to provide other resource materials on request. Please contact us by phone or email. 


    Introductio a faith community, who are about to pray the Stations of the Cross, we take a moment to become conscious of the love of Jesus for each one of us.

    We are all living through unprecedented times with the advent of the Coronavirus to our country and the pandemic throughout the world.

    We wonder about the elderly, about the vulnerable, and all who are frightened by the outbreak. We are beginningto know the names of those who wait to hear if their loved one in ICU will survive the virus. 

    As we begin our meditation on the Stations of the Cross, we quietly bring before God the names of those we wish to pray for.

    We unite our prayers for those who are suffering, with the suffering of Jesus.

     

    1st Station:  Jesus is condemned to death  We adore You, O Christ and we praise You, because by Your holy cross You have redeemed the wod

     

    Our meditation on the Stations points of Christ’s walk to Calvary,begins with a recognition that Jesus Christ is condemned to death - not only by Pilate, but by His own people His acceptance and His silence are an inspiration to us.

     

    I love you, Jesus, my love above all things. I repent with my whole heart for having offended you.

    Never permit me to separate myself from you again. Grant that I may love you always, and then do with me what you will.

    Our Father.... Hail Mary.... Glory Be to the Father....

     

    2nd Station:  Jesus receives His cross.  We adore You, O Christ . . .

    Mindful of the scourge of the virus on our world, we think of those with underlying health issues, those afraid of contracting the coronavirus, especially those who are being treated for the illness, we wonder about the new cross of suffering that many thousands are carrying.  

    It seems strange to us that Jesus promised that those who embrace the cross, would enter the Kingdom of heaven.

    What is true of Jesus is true of us. As He begins His walk to Calvary, having received His own cross,

    we trust in His example and pray for the gift of courage for all.  I love you, Jesus, . . .

     

    3rd Station: Jesus falls for the first time.  We adore You, O Christ . . .

    As we meditate on the walk of Jesus to Calvary,and imagine Him falling beneath the weight of the cross, we pray in a particular way for those who begin to experience a persistent cough; those who notice a change in their breathing; those vulnerable to the virus. May our prayers and the suffering of Jesus be a support to them at this time.  I love you, Jesus,  . .

     

    4th Station. Jesus meets His mother.  We adore You, O Christ. . .

    We pray for those who are afraid for their loved ones who are becoming another statistic to the virus. We pray especially for those who cannot be at the hospital bedside of their dearely beloved.

    And we think of Mary – the Mother of Jesus, and our spiritual mother too. She taught us how to love. She was faithful to the end.

    She suffered as she looked on, watching Jesus in His suffering. May all who are fearful and helpless about the Coronavirus, have the strength and courage they need in difficult circumstances.  I love you, Jesus,. . .


    5th Station. Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry His cross.   We adore You, O Christ . . .

    Jesus met many people during His years of ministry in Galilee.Yet, in His hour of need, a stranger was the one who offered support and help.  Simon of Cyrene is remembered by all who have prayed the Stations of the Cross for centuries. As we meditate today on Jesus’ walk to Calvary,and the help He received from Simon – a stranger, we pray particularly for nurses, doctors, medical workers and researchers who are putting their own wellbeing at risk as they help those who have contracted the virus. We remember their relatives and friends too, who are worried about them.   I love you, Jesus, . . .

     

    6th Station: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus.   We adore You, O Christ . . 

    When Jesus continues on the road to Calvary, He meets a kind lady whose name ‘Veronica’ means true image. She sees the suffering of Jesus and she ministers to Him.

    Conscious of the vulnerable, the sick, those who live alone and the elderly, we are grateful for the many ‘Veronica’ people of our communitywho support others with providing groceries, food, phone contact

    and gentle care at this time. I love you, Jesus, . . .


    7th Station: Jesus falls the second time.   We adore You, O Christ . . .

    During this meditation on Jesus we are reminded that He struggled on the way to the hill of Calvary,

    The cross seemed unbearable for Him. He fell beneath its weight. He fell a second time. What does this station tell us about suffering?What does this station point tell us about our Saviour?

    Let us pray for all who are already suffering with underlying health issues and who are now vulnerable to the Coronavirus.  We pray for those who have suffered a recurrence of a physical illness, those with underlying health concerns and for those who are prone to depression or have endured a mental breakdown.  I love you, Jesus, . . .

     

    8th Station: Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem.   We adore You, O Christ . . .

    When Jesus meets some weeping women as He carries His cross, He takes time to speak with them. They are weeping and mourning. They are responding to His suffering and they are sensing His pain.

    Even in His hour of need, He thinks not of Himself but asks them to think of their own situation.

    When we are with someone who is ill, we often get a chance to look at our own lives

    to get a new perspective on things.The pandemic of the Coronavirus too helps us get a different perspective also. I love you, Jesus, . . .


    9th Station: Jesus falls the third time.  We adore You, O Christ . . .

    This Station point – the third time that Jesus falls – is a final reminder to us all that it was not easy for Jesus to carry His cross. He had been given the weight of the world on His shoulders, and although He was the Son of God, the burden overpowered Him again and again. As we meditate on the sufferings of Christ, let us remember how hard it was for Him and how difficult it is for anyone who has already living with another illness, to have to try to cope with this current crisis. I love you, Jesus, . . .


    10th Station: Jesus is stripped of His garments.   We adore You, O Christ . . .

    The tenth Station is when we stop to contemplate the indignity Christ suffered as He was being stripped of His clothing, we contemplate the extent of His suffering, we contemplate His humiliation, and we wonder at His compliance and His gentle surrender at the time of His death. 

    During this prayer time, we think of the hidden movement of the Coronavirus, the not knowing who or when it will strike, the indignity of the fever and the shortness of breath and we pray God’s mercy on anyone who will have to endure this suffering. I love you, Jesus, . . .

     

    11th Station: Jesus is nailed to the crossWe adore You, O Christ . . .

    Looking at the news reports, and realizing that when the virus takes hold of some victims, there is the testing, the results, the isolation, and perhaps even isolation; It can seem as if the person has been literally nailed to the cross of suffering – there is no getting away from it, there is no option. That is how it was for Jesus too.

    As Jesus was nailed to His cross of suffering,

    We pray for those who in this time of pandemic, will not be able to escape the cross to which they are nailed. May Jesus, through His suffering, have mercy and compassion on all victims of the Coronavirus.

    I love you, Jesus, . . .

     

    12th Station: Jesus dies on the cross.  We adore You, O Christ . . .

    In keeping with the tradition with all who have symbolically walked the Stations of the Cross in prayer,

    we fall silent at this station point – remembering all victims of the Coronavirus. We remember Christ’s sacrifice of Himself. Through His wounds we have been healed. I love you, Jesus, . . .


    13th Station: Jesus is taken down from the cross.  We adore You, O Christ . . .

    When Jesus is taken down from the cross, there is an eerie sense, almost of relief, that it is all over.

    This is the moment when Mary, who had first held the newborn child Jesus in her arms at Bethlehem,

    now receives His broken and scarred body into her arms for the final time.

    May all who will not be able to hold with tenderness, the body of anyone who has died of the virus,  know the support of our prayers for them at this time of dreadful suffering and pain.   I love you, Jesus, . . .

     

    14th Station: Jesus is laid in the tomb.  We adore You, O Christ . . .

    His suffering over, His life on this earth complete, the body of Jesus is laid in a tomb. Joseph of Arimathea bought a linen cloth, wrapped the Body of Jesus in a linen cloth, and laid the body in a tomb. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. Let us pray for those who will not be able to have the usual wakes and funerals for loved ones who die because of the Coronavirus.  I love you, Jesus, . . .


    May God who knows and sees all things, bring the faithful departed into the fresh beauty of Paradise

    where suffering is no more. Amen. 

     

     

    Second reading.   A reading from the Book of Exodus

     

    The Lord said to Moses, ‘Why do you cry to me so? Tell the sons of Israel to march on. For yourself, raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and part it for the sons of Israel to walk through the sea on dry ground. I for my part will make the heart of the Egyptians so stubborn that they will follow them. So shall I win myself glory at the expense of Pharaoh, of all his army, his chariots, his horsemen. And when I have won glory for myself, at the expense of Pharaoh and his chariots and his army, the Egyptians will learn that I am the Lord.’

    Then the angel of God, who marched at the front of the army of Israel, changed station and moved to their rear. The pillar of cloud changed station from the front to the rear of them, and remained there. It came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel. The cloud was dark, and the night passed without the armies drawing any closer the whole night long.

    Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove back the sea with a strong easterly wind all night, and he made dry land of the sea. The waters parted and the sons of Israel went on dry ground right into the sea, walls of water to right and to left of them. The Egyptians gave chase: after them they went, right into the sea, all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.

    In the morning watch, the Lord looked down on the army of the Egyptians from the pillar of fire and of cloud, and threw the army into confusion. He so clogged their chariot wheels that they could scarcely make headway. ‘Let us flee from the Israelites,’ the Egyptians cried. ‘The Lord is fighting for them against the Egyptians!’

    ‘Stretch out your hand over the sea,’ the Lord said to Moses, ‘that the waters may flow back on the Egyptians and their chariots and their horsemen.’

    Moses stretched out his hand over the sea and, as day broke, the sea returned to its bed. The fleeing Egyptians marched right into it, and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the very middle of the sea. The returning waters overwhelmed the chariots and the horsemen of Pharaoh’s whole army, which had followed the Israelites into the sea; not a single one of them was left. But the sons of Israel had marched through the sea on dry ground, walls of water to right and to left of them.

    That day, the Lord rescued Israel from the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. Israel witnessed the great act that the Lord had performed against the Egyptians, and the people venerated the Lord; they put their faith in the Lord and in Moses, his servant.

    It was then that Moses and the sons of Israel sang this song in honour of the Lord:

     

    I will sing to the Lord, glorious his triumph!

    I will sing to the Lord, glorious his triumph!

     

    Horse and rider he has thrown into the sea!

    The Lord is my strength, my song, my salvation.

    This is my God and I extol him,

    my father’s God and I give him praise.

    I will sing to the Lord, glorious his triumph!

     

    The Lord is a warrior! ‘The Lord’ is his name.

    The chariots of Pharaoh he hurled into the sea,

    the flower of his army is drowned in the sea.

    The deeps hide them; they sank like a stone.

    I will sing to the Lord, glorious his triumph!

     

    You will lead your people and plant them on your mountain,

    the place, O Lord, where you have made your home,

    the sanctuary, Lord, which your hands have made.

    The Lord will reign for ever and ever.

    I will sing to the Lord, glorious his triumph!

     

     

    Let us pray

     

    O God, who by the light of the New Testament

    have unlocked the meaning

    of wonders worked in former times,

    so that the Red Sea prefigures the sacred font

    and the nation delivered from slavery

    foreshadows the Christian people,

    grant, we pray, that all nations,

    obtaining the privilege of Israel by merit of faith,

    may be reborn by partaking of your Spirit.

    Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

     

    Hymn

     

    Be still and know that I am God. x 3

    I am the Lord that healeth thee. x 3

    In Thee, O Lord, I put my trust.  x 3

     

    Third reading.     A Reading from the Prophet Isaiah

     

    Thus says the Lord:

    Oh, come to the water all you who are thirsty;

    though you have no money, come!

    Buy corn without money, and eat,

    and, at no cost, wine and milk.

    Why spend money on what is not bread,

    your wages on what fails to satisfy?

    Listen, listen to me, and you will have good things to eat

    and rich food to enjoy.

    Pay attention, come to me;

    listen, and your soul will live.

    With you I will make an everlasting covenant

    out of the favours promised to David.

    See, I have made of you a witness to the peoples,

    a leader and a master of the nations.

    See, you will summon a nation you never knew,

    those unknown will come hurrying to you,

    for the sake of the Lord your God,

    of the Holy One of Israel who will glorify you.

    Seek the Lord while he is still to be found,

    call to him while he is still near.

    Let the wicked man abandon his way,

    the evil man his thoughts.

    Let him turn back to the Lord who will take pity on him,

    to our God who is rich in forgiving;

    for my thoughts are not your thoughts,

    my ways not your ways – it is the Lord who speaks.

    Yes, the heavens are as high above earth

    as my ways are above your ways,

    my thoughts above your thoughts.

    Yes, as the rain and the snow come down from the heavens

    and do not return without watering the earth,

    making it yield and giving growth

    to provide seed for the sower and bread for the eating,

    so the word that goes from my mouth does not return to me empty,

    without carrying out my will and succeeding in what it was sent to do.

     

    The word of the Lord.     Thanks be to God.

     

    Hymn

     

    Water of Life, cleanse and refresh us.

    Bring us to life in Christ Jesus.

     

    All you who thirst, come to the water,

    And you will never be thirsty again.

    Water of Life, cleanse and refresh us.

    Bring us to life in Christ Jesus.

     

    As rain from heaven, so is God’s holy word.

    It waters the earth and brings forth life.  

    Water of Life, cleanse and refresh us.

    Bring us to life in Christ Jesus.

     

    Let us pray

     

    Almighty ever-living God,

    hope of the world,

    who by the preaching of your Prophets

    revealed the mysteries of this present age,

    graciously increase the longing of your people,

    for only at the prompting of your grace

    do the faithful progress in any kind of virtue.

    Through Christ our Lord.

    Amen.

     

     

    Fourth reading.      A Reading from the Prophet Baruch

     

    Listen, Israel, to commands that bring life;

    hear, and learn what knowledge means.

    Why, Israel, why are you in the country of your enemies,

    growing older and older in an alien land,

    sharing defilement with the dead,

    reckoned with those who go to Sheol?

    Because you have forsaken the fountain of wisdom.

    Had you walked in the way of God,

    you would have lived in peace for ever.

    Learn where knowledge is, where strength,

    where understanding, and so learn

    where length of days is, where life,

    where the light of the eyes and where peace.

    But who has found out where she lives,

    who has entered her treasure house?

    But the One who knows all knows her,

    he has grasped her with his own intellect,

    he has set the earth firm for ever

    and filled it with four-footed beasts.

    He sends the light – and it goes,

    he recalls it – and trembling it obeys;

    the stars shine joyfully at their set times:

    when he calls them, they answer, ‘Here we are’;

    they gladly shine for their creator.

    It is he who is our God,

    no other can compare with him.

    He has grasped the whole way of knowledge,

    and confided it to his servant Jacob,

    to Israel his well-beloved;

    so causing her to appear on earth

    and move among men.

    This is the book of the commandments of God,

    the Law that stands for ever;

    those who keep her live,

    those who desert her die.

    Turn back, Jacob, seize her,

    in her radiance make your way to light:

    do not yield your glory to another,

    your privilege to a people not your own.

    Israel, blessed are we:

    what pleases God has been revealed to us.

     

    The word of the Lord.    Thanks be to God.

     

    Responsorial Psalm

     

    You have the message of eternal life, O Lord.

    You have the message of eternal life, O Lord.

     

    The law of the Lord is perfect,

    it revives the soul.

    The rule of the Lord is to be trusted,

    it gives wisdom to the simple.

    You have the message of eternal life, O Lord.

     

    The precepts of the Lord are right,

    they gladden the heart.

    The command of the Lord is clear,

    it gives light to the eyes.

    You have the message of eternal life, O Lord.

     

    The fear of the Lord is holy,

    abiding for ever.

    The decrees of the Lord are truth

    and all of them just.

    You have the message of eternal life, O Lord.

     

    They are more to be desired than gold,

    than the purest of gold

    and sweeter are they than honey,

    than honey from the comb.

    You have the message of eternal life, O Lord.

     

    Let us pray

     

    O God, who constantly increase your Church

    by your call to the nations,

    graciously grant

    to those you wash clean in the waters of Baptism

    the assurance of your unfailing protection.

    Through Christ our Lord.

    Amen.

     

    Conclusion

     

    Brothers and sisters,

    we have begun our vigil of prayer

    in preparation for our celebration

    of the Resurrection from the Dead

    of Christ our Redeemer.

    May our meditation on the word of God.

    the history of our salvation from the moment of creation,

    and the record of the Law and the Prophets,

    help us worthily proclaim Christ as Saviour of the world.

     

    Let us bless the Lord.  Thanks be to God.

     

     

    Final Hymn.  (Verses available in most hymnals)

     

    Oh the Word of my Lord, deep within my being.

    Oh the Word of my Lord, you have filled my mind.

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