Vigil Suggestions

The student liturgy team was pleased and excited about their experience with the All Saints Vigil this past Sunday. They want to do more. There are Eucharistic Vigils, of course, connected with major liturgical feasts like Epiphany and Pentecost. Unfortunately, many of these lie within the days of academic breaks.

Our patronal feast is January 28th, and in 2011, we will bump the fourth ordinary Sunday to observe that liturgically at weekend Masses on January 29th and 30th. One opportunity for a vigil would be that Friday evening the 28th, honoring the actual day in some way.

I was wondering about letting the students loose with a “votive” vigil. Find an appropriate theme, like Holy Wisdom, and plant it in an appropriate place, like before finals week. Then see how many people show up to pray for their academic futures. Any ideas, either within the liturgical year or around a good thematic idea?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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4 Responses to Vigil Suggestions

  1. anne says:

    Just wondering…who is on the student team? I mean what are their talents, ministries, interests etc.that got them involved? Where they chosen or did they volunteer? This is a great idea! At the college level, my daughters were involved with liturgy for young adults. They loved it…not so much now at home parish masses.

    • Todd says:

      The head of the team is our liturgy peer minister. That person is one of four PM’s who live here in return for 13-15 hours per week of “service,” mainly in campus ministry.

      She has a team of about ten persons, each of whom must apply in April for the coming academic year, August through May. They meet weekly. They oversee liturgical and spiritual life activities for students.

      Some join to learn about liturgy. Some already have an interest or are active in liturgical ministry.

      Off the top of my head, the parish Communion ministry coordinator is on the team, as are about four Communion ministers, one of our major choir accompanists, another musician, a sacristan. It’s a good mix.

  2. Liam says:

    Wonderful! Wonderful!

    I think that students – especially those in graduate or professional studies- might also need a vigil around the Dark Night of the Senses/Soul – the desert experience, as it were. A vigil in the desert would be one where sensory consolations were minimized in a variety of ways.

    The reason I suggest this is because prolonged studies without signs of demonstrable progress (or even a discernable goal) can be an initiation into the desert experience for students, and our culture is designed to suppress and deny that experience rather than cultivate it as a normal part of life, especially spiritual life.

  3. anne says:

    Not a bad idea Liam but how would one promote something like this that is not the norm for liturgy let alone suppressed by the culture.. It would be interesting to hear a discussion coming from young people while preparing such a liturgy.

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