The Paschal Triduum is the center of the liturgical year, and the Easter Vigil is its high point. It is the liturgy at which night turns into day, and death into resurrection.
Why vigil? St. Augustine had a pithy insight into this question: “We now need not wait for the Lord to arrive…. And yet our annual celebration is not simply a commemoration of a past event; it implies a present action on our part, which we accomplish by our life of faith and of which this Vigil is the symbol. The entire course of time is in fact one long night during which the church keeps watch, waiting for the return of the Lord, waiting ‘until He comes.'”
The Easter Vigil is a masterpiece of inculturation. The oldest annual celebration in the calendar, it bears the marks of its creative handling over almost two millennia. Let it wash over you, and lead you into the mystery of Easter tonight.
This liturgy is full of unsuspected delights.