There's a remarkable Vigil service hidden in the Book of Common Prayer, but you have to know just where to find it.
You'd think that the Vigil of Pentecost might be found after the Great Vigil of Easter, but it's not.
In fact, it's not explained within "Proper Liturgies for Special Days" section of the prayer book, but above the first collect for Pentecost.
On page 175, above the Rite I collect, and again on page 227, above the Rite II collect.
The instructions read:
When a Vigil of Pentecost is observed, it begins with the Service of Light, page 109 (substituting, if desired, the Gloria in Excelsis for the Phos hilaron), and continues with the Salutation and Collect of the Day. Three or more of the appointed Lessons are read before the Gospel, each followed by a Psalm, Canticle, or hymn. Holy Baptism or Confirmation (beginning with the Presentation of the Candidates), or the Renewal of Baptismal Vows, page 292, follows the Sermon.
So we're collecting page numbers as we go. It's a scavenger hunt kind of service.
If you consult the prayer book lectionary (page 917) you get these choices:
Genesis 11:1-9 or Exodus 19:1-9,16-20a;20:18-20 or Ezekiel 37:1-14 or Joel 2:28-32 Acts 2:1-11 or Romans 8:14-17,22-27 John 7:37-39a
Here's where things get really fun. The "ors" in the lectionary don't insist on three lessons the way the rubric for the service does. At face value from the lectionary citation, you could read Genesis, Acts, and then go ahead to the gospel. Note that this is only two lessons, and not three. So, there's a problem here. I would suggest that probably a minimum of two Old Testament lessons should be read.
More on this in our next installment.
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