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The Paschal vigil on Saturday evening was the climax of the feast: the mother of all holy vigils, during which the entire world stands vigil Aug., Serm. 219. The development of the vigil has its roots in the tradition of the primitive Paschal celebration, which is still reflected in the Didascalia siriaca of the 3rd c.: stay together in the same place, persevering in vigil all night long, making supplication and prayers, reading the prophets, the Gospel and the Psalms with fear and trembling, with fervent supplication until the third hour of the night following the Saturday, then eat, rejoice, be glad and exalt because Christ, the pledge of our resurrection, has arisen V, 19. During the 4th c. and probably already in the Apostolic Tradition of the 3rd c.; see Tertull., Bapt. 19,1, the Paschal vigil was also the solemn moment of baptism; the catechetical homilies of both East and West describe for us in detail the baptismal rites and symbols. With the decline of the catechumenate of the ancient church with the increase of the practice of infant baptism, the Easter vigil would lose its importance along with the entire Easter triduum; fortunately, this mother of the vigils is being recovered in all the churches. c. The Octave of Easter. During the eight days following Easter, church leaders imparted to the newly baptized the mystagogical catechesis on the sacraments recently received, that is, baptism, anointing and Eucharist, as well as an explanation of the Lord’s Prayer. For the Dominica in albis also known as Quasimodo geniti, which follows the end of the octave, the catechumens wore their white garments for the last time. Pentecost: the 50 days separating Easter from Pentecost established Eastertide, qui est propri dies festus Tertull., Bapt. 19.2. From the 4th c. on there is also evidence of the Feast of the Ascension on the 40th day after Easter Itin. Egeriae 42.

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