A vigil, from the Latin vigilia meaning wakefulness (Greek: pannychis,[1] παννυχίς or agrypnia[2] ἀγρυπνία),[3] is a period of purposeful sleeplessness, an occasion for devotional watching, or an observance. The Italian word vigilia has become generalized in this sense and means "eve" (as in on the eve of the war).

50-aspetti di vita quotidiana, veglia,Taccuino Sanitatis, Ca
Vigil, tacuinum sanitatis casanatensis (14th century)
Pettie, The Vigil
A Knight's Vigil by John Pettie

Eves of religious celebrations

A vigil may be held on the eve of a major religious festival (feast days), observed by remaining awake—"watchful"—as a devotional exercise or ritual observance on the eve of a holy day.[4] Such liturgical vigils usually consist of psalms, prayers and hymns, possibly a sermon or readings from the Holy Fathers, and sometimes periods of silent meditation.

The term "morning" means that the observance begins on the evening before. In traditional Christianity, the celebration of liturgical feasts begins on the evening before the holy day because the Early Church continued the Jewish practice of beginning the day at sunset rather than midnight.

Most likely the best known vigil is the Easter Vigil held at night between Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday. The Midnight Mass held on Christmas Eve is a remnant of this practice. Christmas Eve is a time of reflection for Christians all over the world.

In the Eastern Orthodox Church an All-Night Vigil (consisting of Great Vespers, Matins and the First Hour) is held on the eves of Sundays and all Major Feast Days (such as the Twelve Great Feasts and the Feast Days of important Saints) during the liturgical year.

Vigils are also commonly observed on Holy Days in the Anglican, Lutheran and Methodist Churches.[5]

Vigils at the time of death

When a Jew dies, a watch is kept over the body and Tehillim are recited constantly, until the burial service.

In Christianity, especially the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic traditions, a vigil is often held when someone is gravely ill or mourning. Prayers are said and votives are often made. Vigils extend from eventual death to burial, ritualistically to pray for a loved one, but more so their body is never left alone.

Medieval knights

During the Middle Ages, a squire on the night before his knighting ceremony was expected to take a cleansing bath, fast, make confession, and then hold an all-night vigil of prayer in the chapel, preparing himself in this manner for life as a knight. For the knighting ceremony, he dressed in white as a symbol for purity and over that was placed a red robe to show his readiness to be wounded, over which a black robe was placed as a symbol of his willingness to die for his king.

See also


  1. ^ παννυχίς. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project
  2. ^ ἀγρυπνία. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project
  3. ^ Cross, F. L. Cross; Livingstone, E. A., eds. (2005). The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. Oxford University Press. Available (limitedly) online at the Oxford Reference.
  4. ^ Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Eve of a Feast" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.
  5. ^ Archived October 21, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
All-night vigil

The All-night vigil is a service of the Eastern Orthodox Church (and Eastern Catholic Church) consisting of an aggregation of the three canonical hours of Vespers, Matins, and the First Hour. The vigil is celebrated on the eves of Sundays and of major liturgical feasts.The vigil has been set to music most famously by Sergei Rachmaninoff, whose setting of selections from the service is one of his most admired works. Tchaikovsky's setting of the all-night vigil, along with his Divine Liturgy and his collection of nine sacred songs were of seminal importance in the later interest in Orthodox music in general, and settings of the all-night vigil in particular. Other musical settings include those by Chesnokov, Grechaninov, Ippolitov-Ivanov, Alexander Kastalsky, Hilarion Alfeyev, Clive Strutt and Einojuhani Rautavaara. It is most often celebrated using a variety of traditional or simplified chant melodies based on the Octoechos or other sources.

Bloody Monday (Danville)

Bloody Monday is a name used to describe a series of arrests and attacks that took place during a civil rights protest held on June 10, 1963 in Danville, Virginia. It was held to protest segregation laws and racial inequality and was one of several protests held during the month of June. It attracted veteran protesters from out of town, such as Ivanhoe Donaldson, Avon Rollins, Robert Zellner and Dorthy Miller (Zellner) of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. The events received widespread criticism from national media, especially for the subsequent trials overseen by Judge Archibald M. Aiken.During the day thirty-eight protesters were arrested and jailed for their participation in the protests. In response fifty protesters gathered at the city jail to hold a prayer vigil that evening. Participants at the vigil were attacked by the town's police and deputized citizens using billy clubs and water hoses. Sixty-five people were taken to the town's African-American hospital as a result of the events of that day. Forty-seven of the victims were people attending the prayer vigil. Martin Luther King Jr. visited Danville to support the demonstrators on July 11, 1963, but chose not to hold a march.Judge Aiken began trying the arrested protesters on June 17. His handling of the cases of those arrested has received criticism from several people and organizations such as the United States Department of Justice. During the trials Aiken refused to give out bills of particulars or grant continuances or bail. He also announced guilty verdicts from a pre-typed script and made it nearly, if not completely, impossible for the defendants to appeal their sentences.

Candlelight vigil

A candlelight vigil or candlelit vigil is an outdoor assembly of people carrying candles, held after sunset in order to show support for a specific cause. Such events are typically held either to protest the suffering of some marginalized group of people, or in memory of the dead. In the latter case, the event is often called a candlelight memorial. A large candlelight vigil will usually have invited speakers with a public address system and may be covered by local or national media. Speakers give their speech at the beginning of the vigil to explain why they are holding a vigil and what it represents. Vigils may also have a religious or spiritual purpose. On Christmas Eve many churches hold a candlelight vigil.

Candlelight vigils are seen as a nonviolent way to raise awareness of a cause and to motivate change, as well as uniting and supporting those attending the vigil.

Diego Vigil Cocaña

Diego Vigil Cocaña (1799, Tegucigalpa, Honduras – 10 January 1845, Granada, Nicaragua) was a Central American politician. He was the last president of the Federal Republic of Central America (1839–40), during its disintegration. He was also chief of state of the federal states of Honduras (1829) and El Salvador (1836–37 and 1837–38).

Easter Vigil

Easter Vigil, also called the Paschal Vigil or the Great Vigil of Easter, is a service held in traditional Christian churches as the first official celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus. Historically, it is during this service that people are baptized and that adult catechumens are received into full communion with the Church. It is held in the hours of darkness between sunset on Holy Saturday and sunrise on Easter Day – most commonly in the evening of Holy Saturday or midnight – and is the first celebration of Easter, days traditionally being considered to begin at sunset.

Among liturgical western churches including the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, and Lutheran churches, the Easter Vigil is the most important service of public worship and Masses of the liturgical year, marked by the first use since the beginning of Lent of the exclamatory "Alleluia", a distinctive feature of the Easter season.

In Eastern Orthodox churches, Oriental Orthodox churches, and other traditions of Eastern Christianity, the extremely festive ceremonies and Divine Liturgy which are celebrated during the Easter Vigil are unique to that night and are the most elaborate and important of the liturgical year.


Halloween or Hallowe'en (a contraction of Hallows' Even or Hallows' Evening), also known as Allhalloween, All Hallows' Eve, or All Saints' Eve, is a celebration observed in several countries on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows' Day. It begins the three-day observance of Allhallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed.It is widely believed that many Halloween traditions originated from ancient Celtic harvest festivals, particularly the Gaelic festival Samhain; that such festivals may have had pagan roots; and that Samhain itself was Christianized as Halloween by the early Church. Some believe, however, that Halloween began solely as a Christian holiday, separate from ancient festivals like Samhain.Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (or the related guising and souling), attending Halloween costume parties, carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, divination games, playing pranks, visiting haunted attractions, telling scary stories, as well as watching horror films. In many parts of the world, the Christian religious observances of All Hallows' Eve, including attending church services and lighting candles on the graves of the dead, remain popular, although elsewhere it is a more commercial and secular celebration. Some Christians historically abstained from meat on All Hallows' Eve, a tradition reflected in the eating of certain vegetarian foods on this vigil day, including apples, potato pancakes, and soul cakes.

Liturgical colours

Liturgical colours are those specific colours used for vestments and hangings within the context of Christian liturgy. The symbolism of violet, white, green, red, gold, black, rose and other colours may serve to underline moods appropriate to a season of the liturgical year or may highlight a special occasion.

There is a distinction between the colour of the vestments worn by the clergy and their choir dress, which with a few exceptions does not change with the liturgical seasons.

Lying in state

Lying in state is the tradition in which the body of a dead official is placed in a state building, either outside or inside a coffin, to allow the public to pay their respects. It traditionally takes place in the principal government building of a country, state, or city. While the practice differs among countries, a viewing in a location other than the principal government building may be referred to as lying in repose.


Matins is a canonical hour of Christian liturgy.

The earliest use of the name was in reference to the canonical hour, also called the vigil, which was originally celebrated by monks from about two hours after midnight to, at latest, the dawn, the time for the canonical hour of lauds. It was divided into two or (on Sundays) three nocturns. Outside of monasteries, it was generally recited at other times of the day, often in conjunction with lauds.

In the Byzantine Rite these vigils correspond to the aggregate comprising the midnight office, orthros, and the first hour.In a later use, especially in Anglican tradition, the hour of matins (also spelled mattins) is morning prayer. Lutherans preserve recognizably traditional matins distinct from morning prayer, but "matins" is sometimes used in other Protestant denominations to describe any morning service.

Order of the Arrow honors and awards

It is important to distinguish between awards, honors, and membership levels in the Order of the Arrow – the honor camping society of the Boy Scouts of America. The Founder's Award, the Red Arrow Award, and the Distinguished Service Award are all awards. Any of the awards of the Order of the Arrow (OA) may be presented to an individual regardless of which membership level he or she has achieved. The Vigil Honor may only be presented to Brotherhood Members.

Paschal Triduum

Easter Triduum (Latin: Triduum Paschale), Holy Triduum (Latin: Triduum Sacrum), or Paschal Triduum, or The Three Days, is the period of three days that begins with the liturgy on the evening of Maundy Thursday, reaches its high point in the Easter Vigil, and closes with evening prayer on Easter Sunday. It recalls the passion, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, as portrayed in the canonical Gospels.In the Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist, and Reformed traditions, the Paschal Triduum straddles the two liturgical seasons of Lent and Easter in the Church calendar; however, in the Roman Catholic tradition, since the 1955 reform by Pope Pius XII, the Easter Triduum has been more clearly distinguished as a separate liturgical period. Previously, all these celebrations were advanced by more than twelve hours. The Mass of the Lord's Supper and the Easter Vigil were celebrated in the morning of Thursday and Saturday respectively, and Holy Week and Lent were seen as ending only on the approach of Easter.

After the Gloria in Excelsis Deo at the Mass of the Lord's Supper all church bells are silenced and the organ is not used. The period that lasted from Thursday morning to before Easter Sunday began was once, in Anglo-Saxon times, referred to as "the still days".In the Catholic Church, weddings, which were once prohibited throughout the entire season of Lent and during certain other periods as well, are prohibited during the Triduum. Lutherans still discourage weddings during the entirety of Holy Week and the Easter Triduum.

Sergio Vigil

Sergio Vigil (born 11 August 1965 in Buenos Aires) is an Argentine former field hockey player, who later became a coach in his sport. In 1997 he was appointed as the head coach of the Argentine Women's Team, that won the silver medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney under his guidance.Besides that, Vigil coached Las Leonas to gold medals at the 2002 Women's Hockey World Cup, 2001 Champions Trophy and at the 1999 Pan American Games. Under his guidance, Las Leonas have also won the silver medal at the 2002 Champions Trophy and the bronze medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.

Sergio has also coached Argentina men's national field hockey team from 2004 to 2008.

The Ghost Inside (band)

The Ghost Inside, formerly known as A Dying Dream, is an American metalcore band from Los Angeles, California, formed in 2004. The band currently consists of vocalist Jonathan Vigil, guitarists Zach Johnson and Chris Davis, bassist Jim Riley and drummer Andrew Tkaczyk. They have released one EP and four studio albums, with their latest, Dear Youth, released in November 2014 through Epitaph Records and peaking at number 63 on the American Billboard 200 chart.

Thomas (activist)

William Thomas Hallenback, Jr., known as William Thomas or simply as Thomas (March 20, 1947 – January 23, 2009), was an American anti-nuclear activist and simple-living adherent who undertook a 27-year peace vigil – the longest recorded vigil in US history – in front of the White House.Thomas was born in Tarrytown, New York and became a truck driver, jewelry maker and carpenter. Inspired by the Sermon on the Mount, he became a pilgrim and began traveling the world in the interests of world peace.In 1978, having tried to swim across the Suez Canal on his way to Israel, Thomas spent eight months in an Egyptian prison. Later, in response to United States foreign policy, he destroyed his passport while trying to renounce his American citizenship in London. The British authorities returned him to the United States in 1980.In 1981, Thomas traveled to Washington, D.C. and spent several months at Mitch Snyder's Community for Creative Non-Violence. On June 3, he launched the White House Peace Vigil in Lafayette Square. A couple of months later, in August 1981, he was joined by Concepcion Picciotto and then, in April 1984, by Ellen Benjamin. The following month, on May 6, 1984, Thomas and Ellen were married at a Quaker wedding.During the first three years of the vigil, the Park Police had arrested Thomas sixteen times. The charges ranged from illegal camping to disorderly conduct. In subsequent years, Thomas and Ellen protested with numerous other activists, including representatives from the Catholic Worker and Plowshares movements.Thomas died on January 23, 2009, aged 61, of pulmonary disease.Thomas and the White House Peace Vigil inspired Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton to introduce the Nuclear Disarmament and Economic Conversion Act to Congress in 1994. It would require the United States to disable and dismantle its nuclear weapons – once all other nations possessing nuclear weapons did likewise – and redirect the funds saved into renewable energy and social projects. Since 1994, Norton has continued to introduce revised or renewed versions of the bill. In March 2011, for example, following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan, it was reintroduced under the name of the "Nuclear Weapons Abolition and Economic and Energy Conversion Act".The Oracles of Pennsylvania Avenue, a 2012 TV documentary commissioned by the Al Jazeera Documentary Channel, recounts the lives of Thomas, Ellen, Concepcion Picciotto and Norman Mayer.

USS Vigil (AGR-12)

USS Vigil (AGR-12/YAGR-12) was a Guardian-class radar picket ship acquired by the U.S. Navy in 1956 from the "mothballed" reserve fleet. She was reconfigured as a radar picket ship and assigned to radar picket duty in the North Atlantic Ocean as part of the Distant Early Warning Line.

Vigil II

For the 1876 American horse of the same name, see Vigil (horse).Vigil (foaled 1920) was an American Thoroughbred racehorse best known for winning the 1923 Preakness Stakes in a performance the Los Angeles Times called "the most brilliant victory in the history of the Preakness."

Bred by Arthur B. Hancock, Vigil was a bay horse sired by the Hopeful Stakes winner Jim Gaffney. His dam, Vignola, was a great-granddaughter of the British mare Thoughtless, whose other descendants included the 2000 Guineas winner Adam's Apple. Vigil was purchased and raced by Walter J. Salmon, Sr. His trainer was future U.S. Racing Hall of Fame inductee, Thomas "T.J." Healey

Vigil in the Night

Vigil in the Night is a 1940 film (produced and distributed by RKO Pictures) based on the 1939 serialized novel Vigil in the Night, by A. J. Cronin. The film was produced and directed by George Stevens and stars Carole Lombard, Brian Aherne and Anne Shirley.

Wake (ceremony)

A wake is a social gathering associated with death, usually held before a funeral. Traditionally, a wake takes place in the house of the deceased with the body present; however, modern wakes are often performed at a funeral home or another convenient location. A wake is also sometimes held in place of a funeral as a social celebration of the person's life. In the United States and Canada it is synonymous with a viewing. It is often a social rite that highlights the idea that the loss is one of a social group and affects that group as a whole.The term originally referred to a late-night prayer vigil but is now mostly used for the social interactions accompanying a funeral. While the modern usage of the verb wake is "become or stay alert", a wake for the dead harks back to the vigil, "watch" or "guard" of earlier times. It is a misconception that people at a wake are waiting in case the deceased should "wake up".

White House Peace Vigil

The White House Peace Vigil is an anti-nuclear weapons peace vigil started by William Thomas in 1981. Thomas believed it to be the longest running uninterrupted anti-war protest in U.S. history.After Thomas's death in 2009, it was maintained around-the-clock by Concepcion Picciotto until her death in 2016, and also by other volunteers to prevent the vigil from being dismantled by authorities.

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