This is probably the oldest feature of the Easter celebrations. From its earliest times the Church would keep watch through the night and meditate on the mighty works of God. Christians would pray until the earliest hours of the morning, when Christ’s resurrection was acclaimed.The Vigil is properly a service for the night and should never begin before sunset on Holy SaturdayDuring the Easter Vigil the priest lights the Paschal Candle, proclaiming the "new fire" that has entered the world. Incense is sprinkled liberally around the altar, and biblical passages are read and meditated upon. The flame from the new fire ignites the candles throughout the church, until, finally, all the lights come on. Worshippers exit into the night.
Alleluias, ringing bells, and Easter egg hunts will begin in a few hours.