How many OT readings do you use at Easter Vigil?
  • For years, our pastor has limited the OT readings at the Vigil to three. This year I was able to expand it to four. Just curious--does anyone (correctly!) do all seven readings? We, of course, always do the Exodus reading and sing the (over-the-top!) chant setting of the Canticle of Moses by Theodore Marier. (After singing about "Pharaoh's char-i-ots, he has cast into the sea", there is NO DOUBT that this really happened!) The power of chant!
  • Yes, at our little humble parish, Fr. never skips any of the readings! This will be a first for me, since everywhere else I have lived they had similar rules to those you mention!
  • marajoymarajoy
    Posts: 781
    We do all seven! (correctly.)
    I think my pastor figures (and he is correct,) that people should know that when they come to the Vigil, it's not going to be a typical 58-minute Sunday Mass...
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 1,021
    Wonderful to hear that all seven readings are being done.

    We are doing 3 readings (1, 3, and 7), but only 1 of the psalms! (the one after reading 7). The pastor says that it is just "too long" otherwise and he wants people to "come back next year." Oh, well.

    While omitting the psalms is not allowed (I guess we're doing it anyway), omitting some of the readings is OK.
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,577
    All seven sets of "reading and psalm and prayer".
    It took a few years to build up from three to seven.

    The psalms are presented variously (Latin chant, English chant with response, solo through-composed, Latin polyphony).
  • francis
    Posts: 10,639
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,499
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 993
    I've spent the last couple of years in parishes with 3 readings. This year I'm playing at one with all 7. I always think - Come on, folks - once a year a long service is worth it. However, I've learned that the average Catholic tires easily and the "ticket can be punched" with the shorter service on Easter morning.
  • G
    Posts: 1,397
    The "grave pastoral circumstances demanding" the abbreviated OT readings?
    Who knows...

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
  • The 3rd edition of the Missal adds more teeth to the directive to use all seven.

    Anyhow, all 7 in my parish. :)
  • JamJam
    Posts: 636
    We did seven, and seven psalms I think at St. Mary's last year.

    Was it ever a legitimate option to not use all seven? Or do people just cut some out because they feel like it?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,135
    It's lawful to reduce the number of Old Testament readings due to "grave pastoral circumstances" from seven down to at least three, one of which must be the reading from Exodus 14.

    Attamen ubi graviores circumstantiæ pastorales id postulent, minui potest numerus lectionum e Vetere Testamento; semper tamen attendatur lectionem verbi Dei esse partem fundamentalem huius Vigiliæ paschalis. Legantur saltem tres lectiones e Vetere Testamento desumptæ, et quidem ex Lege et Prophetis, et canantur respectivi Psalmi responsorii. Numquam autem omittatur lectio cap. 14 Exodi cum suo cantico.
    (Missale Romanum, 2002, Vigilia Paschalis, para. 21)
  • JamJam
    Posts: 636
    What constitutes as "grave pastoral circumstances"?! Extremely impatient congregations?
  • francis
    Posts: 10,639
    reading update!

    5 I hear 6?!


    You got that one right!)
  • I've been in parishes that did all 7, some that do 5, but most tend to do 3 in my experience -- Genesis, the requisite Exodus, and often the Isaiah "Come to the Water" -- i love the psalm which corresponds.

    Even with just 3 OT readings, our vigil tends to go over 2 hours so I don't feel like people come to the Vigil expecting regular lengths of time.
  • All seven at the Chapel of St Basil (University of St Thomas, Houston)

    All seven at Our Lady of Walsingham, Houston

    I should think all of them would be a given at all Anglican Use parishes.

    (Anglicans relish doing all, every conceivable thing, that can be done and doing it with all due ceremony and propriety - it's our way of making a fuss over God.)
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,927
    7 readings and 7 psalms. The psalms are sung.
  • JamJam
    Posts: 636
    I'm actually serious... when that "rule" was written -- the thing in Latin -- what exactly did they have in mind that would constitute "grave pastoral circumstances"?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,135
    The Church usually leaves phrases like that to be interpreted by the competent authority; that is, the bishop or maybe the pastor. In some cases, liturgical guidelines are decided by the bishops' conference.

    I'm guessing that "grave pastoral circumstances" covers a variety of situations: e.g., a church crowded to the point of unsafety, extreme weather, war, natural disasters, military service, urban curfews.
  • I've posted my Holy Week liturgy booklet in the Organ Music in Programs discussion.
  • * M. Jackson Osborn wrote:
    "Anglicans relish doing all, every conceivable thing, that can be done and doing it with all due ceremony and propriety - it's our way of making a fuss over God."

    I absolutely LOVE your comment..."making a fuss over God". I shall be quoting this to the pastor.
  • 3/Gen/Ex/Ez
    My $.02 on what constitutes "grave circumstances" (which is an odd way of characterizing any aspect of a liturgy, IMO)-
    We have had Vigils in which 70-100 souls were received into full Communion. (We have 6000+ families.) That could be the contingency or accomodation addressed within paragraph 21. Even when we have years of 40-60 souls, Vigil goes 4.5 hours in any case. Not editorializing or lobbying, just thinking out loud.
  • Unfortunately we are doing only 2, but I am just a choir lackey for this one. Our grave circumstances are a VERY old congregation here in S Florida, but 2? C'mon..
  • a1437053a1437053
    Posts: 198
    4 w/ OCP Psalms
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,451
    All seven. Three Eng, Three Spanish..It does tell a narrative story - the story of our salvation.
    BTW, I am curious, how many of you do all the music (including all the psalms) a-capella up to the Gloria?
  • francis
    Posts: 10,639
    We did the WLP psalms w/ organ and they weren't too bad. We did the alleluia with whole step key changes with trumpet. Very festive.
  • 3, but if the length of the musically prolix responsorial psalms had been cut to a reasonable length, we could have squeezed in a couple more readings in the same time.
  • G
    Posts: 1,397
    how many of you do all the music (including all the psalms) a-capella up to the Gloria?

    We do.
    It was a great excuse for eliminating the favored sacchro-pop psalms that had been the norm.
    Other than our deacon starting the "Lumen Christi" in an impossibly high key 9and thus, LOWERING each subsequent iteration,) it all went fairly well.
    The Exultet was gorgeously chanted, in English (the cantor was mortified by a couple mistakes, but I doubt anyone noticed.)
    Other than Come to the Water being used for the sprinkling rite, it was not a bad weekend, musically speaking.

    (Save the Liturgy, save the World)