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OCU Hosts Easter Eve Vigil Service

Oklahoma City University will host a Vigil service at 7 p.m. March 30 in the Bishop W. Angie Smith Chapel on N.W. 23rd Street between Kentucky and Blackwelder avenues. The service is open to the public.

University Chaplain Rodney Newman said the event will give a modern and energetic interpretation to the traditional service.

“In the early years of Christianity, congregations gathered the night before Easter to retell the story of the faith, beginning in Genesis and advancing to again welcome the good news of the resurrection, and to celebrate the sacraments,” Newman said.

The service will follow a traditional order — scripture readings, remembrance of baptism and Holy Communion — but it will employ several styles of music featuring OCU’s performing arts students and faculty.

The event will begin on the east side of the chapel with the lighting of the Paschal fire and candle before moving to the sanctuary.

The scripture lessons will be staged dramatically. The creation account in Genesis 1 will be offered as a jazz reading. Dancers will portray through interpretive movement the Exodus and Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of the dry bones. Actors will present the Easter story from Luke’s gospel.

The service will feature musical styles from Latin chant to gospel and contemporary. After a remembrance of the baptism ritual, the Spirit of Grace Liturgical Dancers will bring in Easter lilies and white paraments as the congregation sings an Easter hymn. The service ends with Holy Communion with Rev. Meredith Kemp-Pappan from Central Presbyterian Church presiding, and songs led by Rev. Erica Thomas from Quayle United Methodist Church, followed by a reception in the chapel basement.

This service will last approximately 90 minutes and is designed for people of all ages. It is particularly geared toward youth and young adults.

For more information, contact Janet Boone at (405) 208-5020 or