Length of the Easter Vigil mass


I’m planning on attending my church’s Easter Vigil and mass on Sat. night, rather than Easter mass on Sunday morning. This is my first time doing this actually. Also, I am bringing someone along that usually doesn’t go to mass very often.

I am just wondering, how long is the Easter Vigil? I know its longer than a normal mass of course, but I wanted to let to person I am going with know what to expect.

I called my church, but I had trouble getting ahold of someone, so I’m asking here. What are you experiences?

Thank you!

Depends on how many readings will be done, ours is around 2.5 hours!

Plan on a minimum of 2 hours. Probably more like 2.5. Enjoy!

it depends on how many readings they do, all the readings, with psalms in between, can take an hour.
it depends on how many people attend, how long it takes for them to process in after lighting the paschal fire and candle
it depends on how many people are being baptized and confirmed, and how long it takes for them to dress after baptism

with no baptisms in the average church I would expect no less than 1.5 hours. with baptisms, 2.5 to 3 hours

I have been to Russian Orthodox Easter which begins and midnight and is all night long. Standing only, no pews, just some benches for old people. People come and go all night but the whole thing is awesome even when you don’t know the language.

Ours goes just under 3 hours.

We’re having 9 baptisms/confirmations at our Parish so we’ve been told to expect about 3 hours. Between the Chrism Mass last night, the Seder Supper tonight, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Saturday vigil, we’ll be putting in about about 10 hours of Church this week :slight_smile:

We read all the readings, usually have 15/20 baptisms/confirmations, sing 2 verses of most hymns, douse people with holy water, and swing incense around. About 3 hours or a bit over. A wonderful time!:smiley:

In 2009, our Easter Vigil ceremonies began at 10:30pm. Outdoor procession with candles for all the faithful. No baptisms or confirmations. Full Liturgy recited word-for-word from the 1962 Missal. Mass began at midnight. Finished by about 01:30am.

The past 2 or 3 years, ours has been about an hour and 40 minutes. One year there were 2 baptisms, but most years only a handful of confirmations and/or professions.

We do about half of the readings.

It is a wonderful celebration. This will be the third year that my 2 boys have served as altar servers at this Mass. They complain about the length, but something draws them back year after year.

Yea well get ready to “LIVE” there for 4 hours because there will be SEVEN readings plus the gospel plus the sermon, not to mention the extravagant BONFIRE they have to start the mass. You wanna go through all that? Be their guest.

You are too dramatic for your own good. What “draws” them back is YOU. They go when and where YOU go on that day. That’s what “draws” them back. Why do you think your 2 boys are “altar servers”? Coz YOU made them become ones. Don’t kid yourself.

I didn’t know where else to post this, so…

What is the dress code for Easter Vigil and Easter? Do people dress up?

I do dress up for Easter Mass no matter if I go to Vigil or the Sunday Mass on Easter Sunday.

When I went to Easter Vigil a few years ago because I was a sponsor/Godparent (my aunt and uncle also served as sponsors/Godparents) for my niece and nephew (at the time 7 and 9 years old) who were getting all 3 sacraments of initiation, it was a long Mass.

We had - the light/candle thing, 2 or 3 Old Testament readings, the Epistle, and the Gospel then the Homily.

After the Homily, was the Baptisms then Confirmations. About 10-12 people overall were received the sacraments (about 6 or 7 were young people from ages 7 to 13 then the rest were older teens/adults). Baptisms were first, and are done by immersion. My sister’s kids each went one at a time then me and my aunt helped them change from their robes with shorts and tees with bathing suit under to dressy clothes. The rest of the baptism ceremony including the receiving the Baptismal candles etc happened after the candidates changed from their wet robes to normal clothes. Confirmation was next, and all the candidates were confirmed.

After that was done, then it was to the Prayers of the Faithful, the collection, and the Eucharist. The candidates went to receive their First Communions followed by their families, then the rest of the congregation.

We had beautiful music of a variety of instruments (piano, organ, a few guitars, drums, a few different types of woodwinds etc) and a great adult choir that provided wonderful & moving vocal music throughout the whole Mass from start to finish in various places.

A reception with finger food type snacks, candy, cake and fruit punch was served after for those received into the Church and their families/friends.

Mass started at 9pm, and it ended around 11:45pm or so.

Great description of the Easter Vigil. I can’t wait!

Like most things, there will be a variety of dress and you could get away with pretty much anything clean and decent. That said, most people will be on the dressier side. We tell the catechumens etc. to wear nice church clothes, a dress/ skirt, pants/collared shirt.

We cut about half the readings and have a handful of baptisms, which usually clocks in at about two hours. I would plan on that as an absolute minimum. It’s a little dressier than an average mass.

Our parish’s Easter Vigil goes just over three hours. We will have 25 people for baptism and/or receiving confirmation and first communion. It is a very quick three hours, for something is always happening!

2.5 hours.

I have to say I was disappointed. The catechumens were baptized out in the vestibule where no one could see them (this is where the fount is).

So for about 15 minutes everyone in the church just stood and faced the back. We couldn’t hear or see a thing. It was obvious the families who came to support them were very disappointed.

That was disappointing . We have a portable font which is placed on the sanctuary for baptisms so it is very public. I can see the difficulty when a church is more traditionally set-up. I think the symbolism is that baptism is literally the way of entering the church, though.


Now I’m rethinking where I want to be confirmed. My friend, who was about 10 in the pre-Vatican II days, who came with me was not happy at all. She felt shut out and said she is going elsewhere next year. She said she has never seen it done that way ever.

I told her if I’m getting confirmed here, she will be forced to come. :slight_smile: