Easter Vigil, Year C

We have two homilies for Easter Vigil, Year C. The first was delivered by Father Hanly then transcribed by us. The second is a written version by Father Hanly which he delivered at another Mass.

Two Homilies:

Proclaim the Resurrection!

Proclaim the Resurrection!

In this beautiful homily for the Easter Vigil, Year C, Father Hanly enjoins us to proclaim the Resurrection.

Readings for the Easter Vigil in the Holy Night of Easter, Year C

  • First Reading: Genesis 1:1–2:2 or 1:1, 26-31
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 104:1-2, 5-6, 10, 12, 13-14, 24, 35, or Psalms 33:4-5, 6-7, 12-13, 20-22
  • Second Reading: Genesis 22:1-18 or 22:1-2, 9, 10-13, 15-18
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 16:5, 8, 9-10, 11
  • Third Reading: Exodus 14:15–15:1
  • Responsorial Psalm: Exodus 15:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 17-18
  • Fourth Reading: Isaiah 54:5-14
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11-12, 13
  • Fifth Reading: Isaiah 55:1-11
  • Responsorial Psalm: Isaiah 12:2-3, 4, 5-6
  • Sixth Reading: Baruch 3:9-15, 32–4:4
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 19:8, 9, 10, 11
  • Seventh Reading: Ezekiel 36:16-28
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 42:3, 5; 43:3, 4, or Isaiah 12:2-3, 4, 5-6, or Psalms 51:12-13, 14-15, 18-19
  • Epistle: Romans 6:3-11
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 118:1-2, 16, 17, 22-23
  • Gospel: Luke 24:1-12

Recording

Transcript

This evening is the most important liturgical service throughout the church year. And, of course, as you know, very shortly, we welcome new members into the church on every level.

The sacraments of initiation into the church are three.  There is, of course, Baptism, and then there is Confirmation and Holy Communion.

And some of our children are at the first stage and our adults at the final stage.  And so we congratulate them all and welcome them to this most happy occasion.

The Resurrection, of course, is at the soul and centre of everything that we believe in and hope for and love. And this evening is no exception.

To understand the past three days…

At the Last Supper, we dined with Jesus our Saviour and we watched him wash the feet of his disciples to tell us that at the heart of the Christian ministry is love: God’s love, Jesus’ love and, hopefully, our love.

And, of course, that love is expressed in service. If there is no service, there is no love. And love without service is empty, and service without love is slavery.

And so it is that we come to the Crucifixion and the death of everyone’s dreams and hopes, when everyone runs away before the face of Jesus as he dies upon the cross saying, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

It is his final service. Everything, he gave everything, and, finally, he asked his Father to forgive us all.

Peguy, the poet, says that in that time the two arms of God…

Justice that must be served and Mercy that must be given, these are the two arms of God Almighty.

But when Jesus cries out, “Father forgive them, they just don’t know what they are doing,” he is saying we have tied the arm of justice and, from Jesus on, we only expect mercy from God.

Today, we proclaim the Resurrection.

In the story that we read just now, the women came to bury Jesus and found an empty tomb. And they saw two men there telling them that Jesus had risen.

And then they went and announced it to the other disciples. But the disciples thought it was all nonsense because it came from the women.

And yet, slowly but gradually, the realisation came about that the announcement of Jesus’ rising from the dead was true. It was true.

And then we are supposed, not just to announce that he arise from the dead, but we are supposed to proclaim that he has risen from the dead, which is quite different.

Announcing a fact is announcing a fact. To proclaim something, of course, is to do it with your whole heart and your whole soul.

When we proclaim, we are saying that not only did Jesus rise from the dead, but he lives on in us, each and every one of us.

And from that day on, if you are looking for God, you must find Him in human beings and not in the sky. For if God’s son Jesus lives, he lives in us. And the only way he can be found is if we live out that love and service of God Himself for each other.

So I thought, this evening, I would ask you to join me in proclaiming your resurrection, “Jesus Christ, Risen Lord, have mercy on us,” in this very short and lovely prayer by Lucien Deiss.

It’s done in stanzas and after each stanza I ask you to affirm: “Jesus Christ, Risen Lord, have mercy on us”.

Help us, O Risen Lord,
to proclaim your resurrection
by bringing good news to the poor
and healing the hearts that are broken. 

Everyone: Jesus Christ, Risen Lord, have mercy on us.

Help us, O Risen Lord,
to proclaim your resurrection
by feeding those who are hungry
and clothing those who are naked. 

Jesus Christ, Risen Lord, have mercy on us.

Help us, O Risen Lord,
to proclaim your resurrection
by releasing the captives of injustice
and all those who are imprisoned by their own sins. 

 Jesus Christ, Risen Lord, have mercy on us.

Help us, O Risen Lord,
to proclaim your resurrection
by welcoming the strangers
and by visiting the lost and lonely ones among us. 

Jesus Christ, Risen Lord, have mercy on us.

Help us, O Risen Lord,
to proclaim your resurrection
by bringing your peace to those who are in trouble
and bringing your joy to those who are in sorrow. 

Jesus Christ, Risen Lord, have mercy on us.

God, our Father,
who raised your Son from the dead,
help us to understand, we beg you,
that we conquer our own death
and rise with Jesus today
when we learn to live and walk in his love.

Love for a Father who gave his only begotten Son that we might be healed and saved,
love for a Son who has risen and will always be with us,
and love for the Spirit of love that brings us all into one family.

We ask you this grace through Jesus Christ,
who died for our sins,
who rose for our life,
and lives with us for ever and ever.

Amen.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.


With Us Always

With Us Always

In this beautiful homily for the Easter Vigil, Year C, Father Hanly invites us to celebrate the fact that Jesus is now with us always.

Readings for the Easter Vigil in the Holy Night of Easter, Year C

  • First Reading: Genesis 1:1–2:2 or 1:1, 26-31
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 104:1-2, 5-6, 10, 12, 13-14, 24, 35, or Psalms 33:4-5, 6-7, 12-13, 20-22
  • Second Reading: Genesis 22:1-18 or 22:1-2, 9, 10-13, 15-18
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 16:5, 8, 9-10, 11
  • Third Reading: Exodus 14:15–15:1
  • Responsorial Psalm: Exodus 15:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 17-18
  • Fourth Reading: Isaiah 54:5-14
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11-12, 13
  • Fifth Reading: Isaiah 55:1-11
  • Responsorial Psalm: Isaiah 12:2-3, 4, 5-6
  • Sixth Reading: Baruch 3:9-15, 32–4:4
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 19:8, 9, 10, 11
  • Seventh Reading: Ezekiel 36:16-28
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 42:3, 5; 43:3, 4, or Isaiah 12:2-3, 4, 5-6, or Psalms 51:12-13, 14-15, 18-19
  • Epistle: Romans 6:3-11
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 118:1-2, 16, 17, 22-23
  • Gospel: Luke 24:1-12

Recording

Written Homily

In the gospel that we read just now, the women came to anoint and bury Jesus and found an empty tomb, and they saw two men sitting there who told them Jesus had risen. 

They ran to tell the disciples to announce the astounding news. But the disciples thought it nonsense, no doubt because it came from the women.

It was a difficult, a terrible time for them all.  Jesus, their Lord and master, crucified! The death of all their hopes and dreams, and the shame that they had run away, leaving Jesus among his enemies to suffer and die alone … except for his mother and a few friends.

And yet, in his final agony, he was heard to say from the cross: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” And this was to be his final gesture of self-sacrificing love and service to us all. 

The saviour of the world, and we unable to raise a hand to save him.  “Lord have mercy on us all.”

Peguy, the poet, once wrote about the “two arms of God,” the right arm of Justice, and justice must be served, and the left arm of mercy, mercy that always forgives.

And when Jesus cries out on the cross “Father, forgive them they know not what they do,” his Father is left no choice, silenced by His Son who asks for mercy and forgiveness for us all.

Today, we do not celebrate Jesus’ rising from the dead to go back to some heaven from where he came.  We celebrate something more.

Jesus comes to stay. To share our lives with us, not to teach us how to die and go and leave us, but how to live and love in this often sad and weary world.

That is why the Father gives his Son to us, that we might never be alone again without his loving care. 

Jesus knows our aches and pains and all our sorrows too, our need to love and to be loved, to reach out and care for one another as he himself has always cared for us. 

Jesus has promised us “to be with us always” and we’ll never be alone again. 

“Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

I thought, this evening, to invite you to join with me in a very lovely prayer by Lucien Deiss: “Help Us O Risen Lord.” The refrain is: “Jesus Christ, Risen Lord, have mercy on us.”

Help us, O Risen Lord,
to proclaim your resurrection
by bringing good news to the poor
and healing the hearts that are broken. 

Everyone: Jesus Christ, Risen Lord, have mercy on us.

Help us, O Risen Lord,
to proclaim your resurrection
by feeding those who are hungry
and clothing those who are naked. 

Jesus Christ, Risen Lord, have mercy on us.

Help us, O Risen Lord,
to proclaim your resurrection
by releasing the captives of injustice
and all those who are imprisoned by their own sins. 

 Jesus Christ, Risen Lord, have mercy on us.

Help us, O Risen Lord,
to proclaim your resurrection
by welcoming the strangers
and by visiting the lost and lonely ones among us. 

Jesus Christ, Risen Lord, have mercy on us.

Help us, O Risen Lord,
to proclaim your resurrection
by bringing your peace to those who are in trouble
and bringing your joy to those who are in sorrow. 

Jesus Christ, Risen Lord, have mercy on us.

Prayer to the Father:

God, our Father,
who raised your Son from the dead,
help us to understand, we beg you,
that we conquer our own death
and rise with Jesus today
when we learn to live and walk in his love.

Love for a Father who gave his only begotten Son that we might be healed and saved,
love for a Son who has risen and will always be with us,
and love for the Spirit of love that brings us all into one family.

We ask you this grace through Jesus Christ,
who died for our sins,
who rose for our life,
and lives with us for ever and ever.

Happy Easter!

FAQ for Homily for Easter Vigil, Year C

WHEN IS Easter Vigil, Year C, IN 2019?20th April 2019
What is the next homily by Father Hanly in this Liturgical Cycle?
Easter Sunday, Year C
WHO WAS FATHER HANLY?FATHER DENIS J. HANLY WAS A MARYKNOLL MISSIONARY
HOW CAN WE FIND OTHER HOMILIES BY FATHER HANLY?BY LITURGICAL CALENDAR OR BY TOPIC OR BY TITLE

Information about Father Hanly’s homilies for Easter Vigil, Year C

All Rights Reserved.
If you would like to use our transcripts of either of these sermons (updated 2019), please contact us for permission.

Father Hanly's sermon for Easter Vigil, Year C, "Proclaim the Resurrection!" was delivered on 3rd April 2010. Father Hanly's sermon for Easter Vigil, Year C, "With Us Always" was delivered on 30th March 2013. It is sometimes hard to accurately transcribe Father Hanly's reflections, so please let us know if you think we have made a mistake in any of our transcripts, and let us have your suggestions.

We hope that Father Hanly’s homilies, always kind, always wise, always full of love, will restore you to peace and harmony through a new understanding of what is important in this world. We believe these homilies are inspiring for everyone, not only for Roman Catholics or other Christians.

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