Readings for the Easter Vigil

Genesis 1:1-2:4a

In the beginning God created heaven and earth.  Now the earth was a formless void, there was darkness over the deep, with the spirit of God sweeping over the waters. God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.  God saw that light was good, and God separated light from darkness. God called light ‘day’, and darkness he called ‘night’.  And there was evening and morning, the first day

God said, ‘Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters to divide the waters in two.’  And so it was. God made the dome, and it divided the waters under the dome from the waters above the dome.  God called the dome ‘sky’.  And there was evening and morning, the second day.

God said, ‘Let the waters under the sky come together into a single mass, and let dry land appear.’ And so it was. God called the dry land ‘earth’ and the mass of waters ‘seas’, and God saw that it was good. God said, ‘Let the earth produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants, and fruit trees on earth, each bearing fruit of its own kind within it.’ And so it was. The earth produced vegetation: the various kinds of seed-bearing plants and the fruit trees, each bearing fruit of its own kind within it. God saw that it was good. And there was evening and morning, the third day. 

God said, ‘Let there be lights in the dome of heaven to separate day from night, and let them be signs for festivals, days and years. Let them be lights in the dome of heaven to give light on the earth.’ And so it was. God made the two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, the smaller light to rule the night, and the stars. God set them in the dome of heaven to give light on the earth, to rule the day and the night and to separate light from darkness.  God saw that it was good.  And there was evening and morning, the fourth day.

God said, ‘Let the waters teem with living creatures, and let birds wing their way above the earth across the dome of heaven.’ And so it was. God created great sea monsters and all the creatures of every kind that glide and teem in the waters, and winged birds of every kind.  God saw that it was good. God blessed them, saying, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the waters of the seas; and let the birds multiply on land.’ And there was evening and morning, the fifth day.

God said, ‘Let the earth produce living creatures of every kind: cattle, creeping things and wild animals of every kind.’ And so it was. God made wild animals in their own kind, and cattle in theirs, and all the creatures that creep along the earth in their own kind. God saw that it was good. God said, ‘Let use make man in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves, and let them be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven, the cattle, all the wild animals and all the creatures that creep along the earth.’ God created man in the image of himself, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.  God blessed them, saying to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. Be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven and all the creatures that creep along the earth.’ God also said, ‘Look, to you I give all the seed-bearing plants on the surface of the earth, and all the trees with seed-bearing fruit; this will be your food.  And to all the wild animals, all the birds of heaven and all the living creatures that creep along the ground, I give all the foliage of the plants as their food.’ And so it was. God saw all he had made, and indeed it was very good. And there was evening and morning, the sixth day.

​Thus heaven and earth were completed and all their array. On the seventh day God had completed the work he had done. He rested on the seventh day after all the work he had been doing. God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on that day he rested after all his work of creating.  Such was the origin of heaven and earth when they were created.

Responsorial Psalm 104:1-2,5-6,10,12-14,24,35

Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.

Bless the Lord, my soul!
    Lord God, how great you are,
clothed in majesty and glory,
    wrapped in light as in a robe!

Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.

You founded the earth on its base,
    to stand firm from age to age.
You wrapped it with the ocean like a cloak:
    the waters stood higher than the mountains.

Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.

You make springs gush forth in the valleys;
    they flow in between the hills.
On their banks dwell the birds of heaven;
    from the branches they sing their song.

Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.

From your dwelling you water the hills;
    earth drinks its fill of your gift.
You make the grass grow for the cattle
    and the plants to serve man’s needs.

Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.

How many are your works, O Lord!
    In wisdom you have made them all.
    The earth is full of your riches.
Bless the Lord, my soul!

Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.

Exodus 14:15-15:1

The Lord said to Moses, ‘Why do you cry to me so? Tell the sons of Israel to march on. For yourself, raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and part it for the sons of Israel to walk through the sea on dry ground. I for my part will make the heart of the Egyptians so stubborn that they will follow them. So shall I win myself glory at the expense of Pharaoh, of all his army, his chariots, his horsemen. And when I have won glory for myself, at the expense of Pharaoh and his chariots and his army, the Egyptians will learn that I am the Lord.’

    Then the angel of God, who marched at the front of the army of Israel, changed station and moved to their rear. The pillar of cloud changed station from the front to the rear of them, and remained there. It came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel. The cloud was dark, and the night passed without the armies drawing any closer the whole night long.

    Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove back the sea with a strong easterly wind all night, and he made dry land of the sea. The waters parted and the sons of Israel went on dry ground right into the sea, walls of water to right and to left of them. The Egyptians gave chase: after them they went, right into the sea, all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.

    In the morning watch, the Lord looked down on the army of the Egyptians from the pillar of fire and of cloud, and threw the army into confusion. He so clogged their chariot wheels that they could scarcely make headway. ‘Let us flee from the Israelites,’ the Egyptians cried. ‘The Lord is fighting for them against the Egyptians!’

    ‘Stretch out your hand over the sea,’ the Lord said to Moses, ‘that the waters may flow back on the Egyptians and their chariots and their horsemen.’

    Moses stretched out his hand over the sea and, as day broke, the sea returned to its bed. The fleeing Egyptians marched right into it, and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the very middle of the sea. The returning waters overwhelmed the chariots and the horsemen of Pharaoh’s whole army, which had followed the Israelites into the sea; not a single one of them was left. But the sons of Israel had marched through the sea on dry ground, walls of water to right and to left of them.

    That day, the Lord rescued Israel from the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. Israel witnessed the great act that the Lord had performed against the Egyptians, and the people venerated the Lord; they put their faith in the Lord and in Moses, his servant.

    It was then that Moses and the sons of Israel sang this song in honour of the Lord:

Responsorial Canticle

I will sing to the Lord, glorious his triumph!

I will sing to the Lord, glorious his triumph!
    Horse and rider he has thrown into the sea!
The Lord is my strength, my song, my salvation.
    This is my God and I extol him,
    my father’s God and I give him praise.

I will sing to the Lord, glorious his triumph!

The Lord is a warrior! ‘The Lord’ is his name.
    The chariots of Pharaoh he hurled into the sea,
the flower of his army is drowned in the sea.
    The deeps hide them; they sank like a stone.

I will sing to the Lord, glorious his triumph!

Your right hand, Lord, glorious in its power,
    your right hand, Lord, has shattered the enemy.
    In the greatness of your glory you crushed the foe.

I will sing to the Lord, glorious his triumph!

You will lead your people and plant them on your mountain,
    the place, O Lord, where you have made your home,
the sanctuary, Lord, which your hands have made.
    The Lord will reign for ever and ever.

I will sing to the Lord, glorious his triumph!

Isaiah 54:5-14

Thus says the Lord: “Now your creator will be your husband, his name, the Lord of Hosts; your redeemer will be the Holy One of Israel, he is called the God of the whole earth.”

Yes, like a forsaken wife, distressed in spirit, the Lord calls you back.  “Does a man cast off the wife of his youth?” says your God.  “I did forsake you for a brief moment, but with great love will I take you back.  In excess of anger, for a moment I hid my face from you.  But with everlasting love I have taken pity on you,” says the Lord, your redeemer.

“I am now as I was in the days of Noah when I swore that Noah’s waters should never flood the world again.  So now I swear concerning my anger with you and the threats I made against you; for the mountains may depart, the hills be shaken, but my love for you will never leave you and my covenant of peace with you will never be shaken,” says the Lord who takes pity on you.

“Unhappy creature, storm-tossed, disconsolate, see, I will set your stones on carbuncles and your foundations on sapphires.  I will make rubies your battlements, your gates crystal, and your entire wall precious stones.  Your sons will all be taught by the Lord.  The prosperity of your sons will be great.  You will be founded on integrity; remote from oppression, you will have nothing to fear; remote from terror, it will not approach you.”

Responsorial Psalm

I will praise you, Lord, you have rescued me.

I will praise you, Lord, you have rescued me
    and have not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O Lord, you have raised my soul from the dead,
    restored me to life from those who sink into the grave.

I will praise you, Lord, you have rescued me.

Sing psalms to the Lord, you who love him,
    give thanks to his holy name.
His anger lasts a moment; his favour all through life.
    At night there are tears, but joy comes with dawn.

I will praise you, Lord, you have rescued me.

The Lord listened and had pity.
    The Lord came to my help.
For me you have changed my mourning into dancing:
    O Lord my God, I will thank you for ever.

I will praise you, Lord, you have rescued me.

Ezekiel 36:16f,18-28

The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows: ‘Son of man, the members of the House of Israel used to live in their own land, but they defiled it by their conduct and actions. I then discharged my fury at them because of the blood they shed in their land and the idols with which they defiled it. I scattered them among the nations and dispersed them in foreign countries. I sentenced them as their conduct and actions deserved. And now they have profaned my holy name among the nations where they have gone, so that people say of them, “These are the people of the Lord; they have been exiled from his land.”

    ‘But I have been concerned about my holy name, which the House of Israel has profaned among the nations where they have gone.

    ‘And so, say to the House of Israel, “The Lord says this: I am not doing this for your sake, House of Israel, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. I mean to display the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned among them. And the nations will learn that I am the Lord – it is the Lord who speaks – when I display my holiness for your sake before their eyes. Then I am going to take you from among the nations and gather you together from all the foreign countries, and bring you home to your own land.

    ‘“I shall pour clean water over you and you will be cleansed; I shall cleanse you of all your defilement and all your idols. I shall give you a new heart, and put a new spirit in you; I shall remove the heart of stone from your bodies and give you a heart of flesh instead. I shall put my spirit in you, and make you keep my laws and sincerely respect my observances. You will live in the land which I gave your ancestors. You shall be my people and I will be your God.”’

Responsorial Psalm 30:2,4-6,11-13

Like the deer that yearns for running streams, so my soul is yearning for you, my God.

My soul is thirsting for God,
    the God of my life;
when can I enter and see
    the face of God?

Like the deer that yearns for running streams, so my soul is yearning for you, my God.

These things will I remember
    as I pour out my soul:
how I would lead the rejoicing crowd
    into the house of God,
amid cries of gladness and thanksgiving,
    the throng wild with joy.

Like the deer that yearns for running streams, so my soul is yearning for you, my God.

O send forth your light and your truth;
    let these be my guide.
Let them bring me to your holy mountain,
    to the place where you dwell.

Like the deer that yearns for running streams, so my soul is yearning for you, my God.

And I will come to the altar of God,
    the God of my joy.
My redeemer, I will thank you on the harp,
    O God, my God.

Like the deer that yearns for running streams, so my soul is yearning for you, my God.

Romans 6:3-11

When we were baptised in Christ Jesus we were baptised in his death; in other words, when we were baptised we went into the tomb with him and joined him in death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the Father’s glory, we too might live a new life.

    If in union with Christ we have imitated his death, we shall also imitate him in his resurrection. We must realise that our former selves have been crucified with him to destroy this sinful body and to free us from the slavery of sin. When a Christian dies, of course, he has finished with sin.   But we believe that having died with Christ we shall return to life with him: Christ, as we know, having been raised from the dead will never die again. Death has no power over him any more. When he died, he died, once for all, to sin, so his life now is life with God; and in that way, you too must consider yourselves to be dead to sin but alive for God in Christ Jesus.

Sunday Mass: Palm Sunday

Our Church is open for Mass this Sunday at 10:15am starting in the Parish Hall followed by a Procession of the Palms to the church. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Please note that the Stations of the Cross which was scheduled for Sunday afternoon will now be held on Friday 15th at 11am.

For those who would like to attend virtually the live stream is available on YouTube using the following link: https://youtu.be/OP5wTE6hYJ4. The live stream will only cover the service in the Church not the procession.