A fire is kindled outside, around which the vigil is kept.
on this holy night,
as we gather to celebrate the rising of Christ our God
and rejoice in his victory over death,
let us take heart from Holy Scripture
and rejoice in the many and varied ways
in which God has come to save his people.
As we receive light and warmth from this fire,
so may our faith also be reignited
and our hearts set ablaze with love of him
whose paschal mystery has given us the hope of heaven.
We will retell the story of creation hearing how God’s Spirit hovered over the waters of chaos and, through his Word, created light and fashioned life.
We will hear how the floods subsided, saving Noah and his family by wood and water.
We will hear of the first days God called a people to himself through Abraham our father in faith, and we rejoice in the liberation of Israel through the waters of the Red Sea.
We receive afresh the invitation through the prophet Isaiah to ‘Come to the water and drink.’ And, at last, our hearts shall be filled with Easter joy as we proclaim Christ’s victory over death, praying that he will complete the saving work he has already begun in us, that as Christ was raised from the dead by the Father’s glory, we too might live a new life.
So, dear friends, let us be attentive and still, and listen again to the ancient stories which Sacred Scripture holds for us. Let the power of God’s word inflame our hearts and rekindle a passion for his ways. May God’s Word be a lantern to our feet and a light to our path, scattering the darkness before us, and enlightening our minds.
Let us pray.
you made this most holy night
to shine with the brightness of your one true light:
kindle within us the fire of your love,
and bring us to the feast of eternal light;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
First Reading – Genesis 1:1-5, 1:26 – 2:3
In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.’
So God created humankind in his image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.’ God said, ‘See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.’ And it was so. God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.
Salm 136: 1-9, 26
1-9Diolchwch oll i Dduw,
Cans da yw Duw y duwiau.
Arglwydd arglwyddi yw;
Mae’n gwneud mawr ryfeddodau:
Y byd a’r wybren dlos,
Yr haul liw dydd, a’r lleuad
A’r sêr yn olau i’r nos,
Cans byth fe bery ei gariad.
Gwaredodd ni, ac ef
Sy’n bwydo pawb drwy’r cread.
Diolchwch i Dduw’r nef,
Cans byth fe bery ei gariad.
Let us pray. (Silence)
Almighty and eternal God
you created the heavens and the earth
and made us in your own image.
Teach us to discern your hand in all your works
and your likeness in all your children;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen. (CW, minor amendments)
Second Reading – Genesis 7: 1-5, 11-16, 8:6-18, 9:8-13
Then the Lord said to Noah, ‘Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you alone are righteous before me in this generation. Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and its mate; and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and its mate; and seven pairs of the birds of the air also, male and female, to keep their kind alive on the face of all the earth. For in seven days I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights; and every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground.’ And Noah did all that the Lord had commanded him.
In the six-hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. The rain fell on the earth for forty days and forty nights. On the very same day Noah with his sons, Shem and Ham and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons, entered the ark, they and every wild animal of every kind, and all domestic animals of every kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every bird of every kind—every bird, every winged creature. They went into the ark with Noah, two and two of all flesh in which there was the breath of life. And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the Lord shut him in.
At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made and sent out the raven; and it went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth. Then he sent out the dove from him, to see if the waters had subsided from the face of the ground; but the dove found no place to set its foot, and it returned to him to the ark, for the waters were still on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took it and brought it into the ark with him. He waited another seven days, and again he sent out the dove from the ark; and the dove came back to him in the evening, and there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf; so Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth. Then he waited another seven days, and sent out the dove; and it did not return to him any more.
In the six hundred and first year, in the first month, on the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from the earth; and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and saw that the face of the ground was drying. In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry. Then God said to Noah, ‘Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. Bring out with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh—birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth—so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.’ So Noah went out with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives.
Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, ‘As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.’ God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.
1-2aDuw yw ein noddfa ni a’n nerth.
Ein cymorth yw o hyd.
Ac felly nid arswydwn pe
Symudai yr holl fyd;
2b-3Na phe bai’r holl fynyddoedd mawr
Yn cwympo i’r môr islaw;
Na phe terfysgai’r dyfroedd nes
I’r bryniau ffoi mewn braw.
4Mae afon deg a’i ffrydiau hi
Yn llonni dinas Duw,
Y ddinas sanctaidd, lle y mae’r
Goruchaf Un yn byw.
5-6Mae Duw’n ei chanol; diogel fydd;
Yn fore helpa hi.
Pan gwyd ei lais, mae gwledydd byd
Yn toddi o’i flaen yn lli.
7-8Mae Duw y Lluoedd gyda ni,
Duw Jacob yw ein caer.
O dewch i weld yr hyn a wnaeth,
Ei ddifrod ar y ddaer.
9Gwna i ryfeloedd beidio trwy
Y ddaear oll achlân.
Fe ddryllia’r bwa a’r waywffon,
Fe lysg dariannau â thân.
10-11Dysgwch mai ef yw’r unig Dduw,
Y dyrchafedig, claer.
Mae Duw y Lluoedd gyda ni,
Duw Jacob yw ein caer.
Let us pray. (Silence)
God our Father,
who saved Noah and his family from the flood grant that we,
who through the waters of baptism have been saved from sin
and received into the ark of Christ’s church,
may be steadfast in faith, joyful in hope and grounded in love,
through Christ our Lord.
Amen. (revised from BCP ‘Flood Prayer’)
3rd Reading Genesis 22.1-18
After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, ‘Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ He said, ‘Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt-offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you.’ So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; he cut the wood for the burnt-offering, and set out and went to the place in the distance that God had shown him. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place far away. Then Abraham said to his young men, ‘Stay here with the donkey; the boy and I will go over there; we will worship, and then we will come back to you.’ Abraham took the wood of the burnt-offering and laid it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. Isaac said to his father Abraham, ‘Father!’ And he said, ‘Here I am, my son.’ He said, ‘The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burnt-offering?’ Abraham said, ‘God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt-offering, my son.’ So the two of them walked on together.
When they came to the place that God had shown him, Abraham built an altar there and laid the wood in order. He bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to kill his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, and said, ‘Abraham, Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ He said, ‘Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.’ And Abraham looked up and saw a ram, caught in a thicket by its horns. Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt-offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place ‘The Lord will provide’; as it is said to this day, ‘On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.’
The angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven, and said, ‘By myself I have sworn, says the Lord: Because you have done this, and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will indeed bless you, and I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of their enemies, and by your offspring shall all the nations of the earth gain blessing for themselves, because you have obeyed my voice.’
1-4aO Dduw, cadw fi, cans llochesaf
Yn dawel am byth ynot ti.
Ti ydyw fy Arglwydd, a hebot
Nid oes dim daioni i mi.
Boed melltith ar bawb sy’n gwirioni
Ar dduwiau paganaidd y wlad;
Dim ond amlhau ei ofidiau
Y mae’r un a’u blysia mewn brad.
4b-7aNi roddaf waed-offrwm i’r rheini,
Na’u galw am help pan wyf wan.
Ti, Arglwydd, yw ’nghyfran a’m cwpan;
Ti sy’n diogelu fy rhan.
Fe syrthiodd i mi y llinynnau
Mewn mannau dymunol drwy f’oes.
Mae im etifeddiaeth ragorol;
Bendithiaf yr Arglwydd a’i rhoes.
7b-11Y mae fy meddyliau’n fy nysgu.
Yr Arglwydd yw nerth fy llaw dde.
Fe’i dodais o’m blaen i yn wastad:
Am hyn, ni’m symudir o’m lle.
Rwy’n llawen. Caf fyw yn ddiogel,
Ac ni ddaw un distryw i mi.
Dangosi imi lwybr pob gwynfyd.
Mae mwyniant am byth ynot ti.
Let us pray. (Silence)
God and Father of all believers
multiply by your grace the number of your faithful children,
that your church may rejoice to see the fulfilment
of your promise to our Father Abraham
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen. (1979 ECUSA modestly revised)
4th Reading – Exodus 14:10-31; 15:20-21
As Pharaoh drew near, the Israelites looked back, and there were the Egyptians advancing on them. In great fear the Israelites cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, ‘Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us, bringing us out of Egypt? Is this not the very thing we told you in Egypt, “Let us alone and let us serve the Egyptians”? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.’ But Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the Lord will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still.’
Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Why do you cry out to me? Tell the Israelites to go forward. But you lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the Israelites may go into the sea on dry ground. Then I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them; and so I will gain glory for myself over Pharaoh and all his army, his chariots, and his chariot drivers. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gained glory for myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his chariot drivers.’
The angel of God who was going before the Israelite army moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and took its place behind them. It came between the army of Egypt and the army of Israel. And so the cloud was there with the darkness, and it lit up the night; one did not come near the other all night.
Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided. The Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. The Egyptians pursued, and went into the sea after them, all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and chariot drivers. At the morning watch the Lord in the pillar of fire and cloud looked down upon the Egyptian army, and threw the Egyptian army into panic. He clogged their chariot wheels so that they turned with difficulty. The Egyptians said, ‘Let us flee from the Israelites, for the Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.’
Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and chariot drivers.’ So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea returned to its normal depth. As the Egyptians fled before it, the Lord tossed the Egyptians into the sea. The waters returned and covered the chariots and the chariot drivers, the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not one of them remained. But the Israelites walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left.
Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Israel saw the great work that the Lord did against the Egyptians. So the people feared the Lord and believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses.
Then the prophet Miriam, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dancing. And Miriam sang to them:
‘Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously;
horse and rider he has thrown into the sea.’
Canaf i’r Arglwydd am iddo weithredu’n fuddugoliaethus :
bwriodd y ceffyl a’i farchog i’r môr.
2 Yr Arglwydd yw fy nerth a’m cân :
ac ef yw’r un a’m hachubodd;
3 Ef yw fy Nuw, ac fe’i gogoneddaf :
Duw fy nhad, ac fe’i dyrchafaf.
4 Y mae’r Arglwydd yn rhyfelwr :
yr Arglwydd yw ei enw.
5 Y mae nerth dy ddeheulaw, O Arglwydd, yn ogoneddus :
dy ddeheulaw, O Arglwydd a ddryllia’r gelyn.
6 Trwy chwythiad dy ffroenau casglwyd y dyfroedd ynghyd :
safodd y ffrydiau yn bentwr a cheulodd y dyfn/deroedd yng nghanol y môr.
7 Yn dy drugaredd, arweini’r bobl a waredaist :
a thrwy dy nerth eu tywys i’th drigfan sanctaidd.
8 Fe’u dygi i mewn a’u plannu ar y mynydd sy’n eiddo i ti :
y man, O Arglwydd, a wnei yn drigfan i ti dy hun,
9 Y cysegr, O Arglwydd :
a godi â’th – ddwylo.
Let us pray. (Silence)
who heard the cry of your people
and sent your servant Moses to rescue them from slavery.
In baptism you freed us from the tyranny of sin and death;
by the leading of your Spirit bring us to our heavenly home,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen. (CW/LHWE revised)
5th Reading – Isaiah 55: 1-11
Ho, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and you that have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labour for that which does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
Incline your ear, and come to me;
listen, so that you may live.
I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
my steadfast, sure love for David.
See, I made him a witness to the peoples,
a leader and commander for the peoples.
See, you shall call nations that you do not know,
and nations that do not know you shall run to you,
because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel,
for he has glorified you.
Seek the Lord while he may be found,
call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake their way,
and the unrighteous their thoughts;
let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
and do not return there until they have watered the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
Cân am Achubiaeth
1 “Wele, Duw yw fy iachawdwriaeth :
rwy’n hyderus ac nid ofnaf;
2 Canys yr Arglwydd Dduw yw fy nerth a’m cân :
ac ef yw fy iachawdwr.
3 Mewn llawenydd fe dynnwch ddŵr :
o ffyn/honnau iachawdwriaeth.
4 Yn y dydd hwnnw fe ddywedi :
“Diolchwch i’r Arglwydd galwch ar ei enw;
5 Hysbyswch ei weithredoedd ymhlith y cen/hedloedd :
cyhoeddwch fod ei enw’n oruchaf.
6 Canwch salmau i’r Arglwydd canys enillodd fuddugoliaeth :
hysbyser hyn yn yr holl – dir.
7 Bloeddia, llefa’n llawen ti sy’n preswylio yn / Seion :
canys y mae Sanct Israel yn fawr yn eich plith.”
Let us pray. (Silence)
Almighty God. creator all things,
you renew the earth by your Spirit.
Grant to your people the water of life
that they may thirst no more and live to your glory;
through Christ our Lord,
Amen. (CinW, 1984 modernised)
6th Reading – Ezekiel 37: 1-14
The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me all round them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. He said to me, ‘Mortal, can these bones live?’ I answered, ‘O Lord God, you know.’ Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.’
So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.’ I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.
Then he said to me, ‘Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, “Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.” Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord.’
1-2Arglwydd, clyw fy ngweddi, gwrando fy neisyfiad.
Yn dy fawr ffyddlondeb a’th gyfiawnder, ateb fi.
Paid â rhoi dy was, O Arglwydd, dan gondemniad:
Nid oes neb byw yn gyfiawn o’th flaen di.
3-5aY mae’r gelyn wedi f’ymlid i a’m llorio,
Gwnaeth im eistedd, fel y meirw, mewn tywyllwch du.
Pallodd f’ysbryd ynof, ac rwyf yn arswydo,
Ond rwyf yn cofio am yr hyn a fu.
5b-6Ar bob peth a wnaethost yr wyf yn myfyrio,
Ac yr wyf yn meddwl am holl waith dy ddwylo gwych.
Arglwydd, rwyf yn estyn atat ti fy nwylo,
Ac yn sychedu amdanat fel tir sych.
7-8aBrysia ataf, Arglwydd; pallu y mae fy ysbryd;
Arglwydd, paid â chuddio d’wyneb oddi wrthyf fi,
Neu mi fyddaf fel y meirw yn yr isfyd.
Rho im, y bore, flas o’th gariad di.
8b-9Cans rwyf yn ymddiried ynot, Arglwydd ffyddlon.
Dangos imi’r ffordd i’w cherdded, cans dyrchefais i
F’enaid atat. Gwared fi rhag fy ngelynion,
Oherwydd ffois am gysgod atat ti.
10-11aDysg im wneuthur dy ewyllys di a’th fwriad,
Canys ti, O Arglwydd, ti yn unig, yw fy Nuw.
Boed i’th ysbryd da fy arwain i dir gwastad;
Er mwyn dy enw cadw fi yn fyw.
11b-12Yn dy fawr gyfiawnder dwg fi o’m hanallu,
A’m gelynion, yn dy gariad mawr, distawa di.
A dinistria’r holl rai sydd yn fy ngorthrymu,
Canys dy was, O Arglwydd, ydwyf fi.
Let us pray. (Silence)
who gives life to your people
breathe your Spirit upon the Church
that she may proclaim confidently the resurrection of your Son,
our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
7th Reading Zephaniah 3: 14-20
Sing aloud, O daughter Zion;
shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter Jerusalem!
The Lord has taken away the judgements against you,
he has turned away your enemies.
The king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
you shall fear disaster no more.
On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Do not fear, O Zion;
do not let your hands grow weak.
The Lord, your God, is in your midst,
a warrior who gives victory;
he will rejoice over you with gladness,
he will renew you in his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing
as on a day of festival.
I will remove disaster from you,
so that you will not bear reproach for it.
I will deal with all your oppressors
at that time.
And I will save the lame
and gather the outcast,
and I will change their shame into praise
and renown in all the earth.
At that time I will bring you home,
at the time when I gather you;
for I will make you renowned and praised
among all the peoples of the earth,
when I restore your fortunes
before your eyes, says the Lord.
1Canwch oll i’r Arglwydd
Newydd gân, oherwydd
Gwnaeth weithredoedd odiaeth;
2Rhoddodd Duw wybodaeth
Am ei iachawdwriaeth.
Dengys ei gyfiawnder
I genhedloedd lawer.
3Deil ei serch yn ddiogel
At ei bobl, Israel.
Cafodd pob tiriogaeth
Weld ei iachawdwriaeth.
4Rhowch i Dduw wrogaeth,
Yr holl ddaear helaeth.
Canwch mewn llawenydd,
A rhowch fawl yn ddedwydd.
5-6Canwch iddo â thannau
Telyn a thympanau.
Rhowch wrogaeth ddibrin
O flaen Duw, y brenin.
7-8Rhued tir ac eigion,
A phawb o’u trigolion.
Llawenhaed y dyfroedd.
Caned y mynyddoedd.
9Cans mae Duw yn dyfod.
Barna’r ddaear isod:
Barnu’r byd yn gyfiawn,
Barnu’r bobl yn uniawn.
Let us pray. (Silence)
God of unchangeable power and eternal light,
look with mercy and favour on your Church,
that wonderful and sacred mystery;
by the effectual working of your providence,
carry out in tranquillity the plan of salvation;
let the whole world see and know
that things which were cast down are being raised up,
and things which had grown old are being made new,
and that all things are being brought to perfection
by him through whom all things were made,
your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (CinW 1984/1979 ECUSA modernised)
There now follows the Service of Light