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What is the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday like?
The Easter Vigil takes place on Holy Saturday, the evening before Easter Sunday.
This is the night that "shall be as bright as day" as proclaimed by the Exsultet, an ancient church hymn as we joyfully anticipate Christ's Resurrection. The Holy Saturday Liturgy begins with the Service of Light, which includes the Blessing of the New Fire and the Paschal Candle which symbolizes Jesus, the Light of the World. The second part consists of the Liturgy of the Word with a series of Scripture readings. After the Liturgy of the Word, the Catechumens are presented to the parish community, who pray for them with the Litany of the Saints. Next, the Priest blesses the water. Those seeking Baptism then renounce sin and profess their faith after which they are Baptized with the Priest pronouncing the words, "I Baptize you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."
After the Baptism the newly Baptized are dressed in white garments and presented with a candle lighted from the Paschal Candle. They are then Confirmed by the Priest or Bishop who lays hands on their heads, and invokes the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. He then anoints them with the oil called Sacred Chrism. The Mass continues with the newly Baptized participating in the general intercessions and in bringing gifts to the Altar. At Communion, the newly Baptized receive the Eucharist, Christ's Body and Blood, for the first time.