Night Vigil – What happens?
A spiritual and spiritually transforming alternative for late-night weekend activities, the All Night Vigil provides both a prayerful and social atmosphere. Parishioners and other participants are given a non-threatening opportunity to regroup spiritually, receive the sacraments, and make a fresh start in their Christian discipleship.
Where it came from ?
In 1960, Pope John XXIII officially recognized the importance of the All Night Vigils. The Pope opened the last part of the Fatima Secret and later met with the Bishop of Fatima, who subsequently wrote to all other Bishops throughout the world to start All Night Vigils of prayer and reparation to Our Lady of Fatima.
How it works:
The following schedule was developed by Fr. Archangel Sica O.F.M.in America, but it is flexible. We have compiled the prayers in a Vigil Book that is made available to all participants.
- Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament
- Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary
- Prayers to Our Lady, the Sacred Heart and the Holy Spirit
- Silent time for private personal prayer and meditation
- Chaplet of Divine Mercy
- Mass (this occurs around 11pm, so that people can go to confession beforehand)
- Before the final blessing, the priest processes through the congregation with the Blessed Sacrament. Mass concludes with the Angelus before adoration continues.
- After Mass, for those who wish, we have a 45 minute snack/coffee break in the parish hall. Some people go home at this point, others are just arriving.
- Resume adoration with the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary
- Time for personal prayer
- Stations of the Cross (plenary indulgence)
- Another snack/coffee break around 3am
- Resume adoration with the Glorious Mysteries
- Litanies and other devotional prayers
- Solemn Benediction
- Mass at 5am
A variety of methods are being adopted in prayer. Some of the most effective methods of prayer include fasting prayer, prayer at dawn and night vigil. Many a time, the faithful and preachers discount the importance of night vigil. Those who say that night vigil is unnecessary are those who have forgotten the fact that Jesus remained awake and prayed in the night before he was crucified. When we take part in night vigil, we emulate Jesus.
(Luke 6: 12) “Jesus went out into a mountain to pray, and he passed the whole night in the prayer of God.”
(Mathew 14: 23) “Jesus went into a mountain alone to pray. And when it was evening, he was there alone.”
(Luke 22: 46) “And he (Jesus) said to them: “Why sleep you? Arise, pray, lest you enter into temptation.”
Benefits of night vigil
1. Miracles in our life.
In (Mathew 14: 22-25) we understand that Jesus did great miracles after his prayer in the night by remaining awake after climbing a mountain alone to pray. He was able to bring to a standstill the activity of strong winds by the power of prayer at night. The same power was instrumental in healing a number of people.
(Mathew 14: 36) “And they besought him that they might touch but the hem of his garment. And as many as touched, were made whole.”
Accordingly, night vigil will be of help in tackling the challenges that toss us like giant sea waves.
2. Decode mysteries in the Holy Bible
In Christ’s discourse by night with Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews (John 3:1-3) He says “unless a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” This discussion at the night enlightened Nicodemus about the need for being born again, the power of the Holy Spirit and the power of a person who is born again. (Luke 6: 12, 13)
3. Making crucial decisions in life
Jesus prayed in the night before he chose his disciples. Selecting the right persons for support is the most important aspect in a mission. Similarly, night vigil will help us make good decisions in life.
4. Gain mental and physical strength
Jesus prayed at Gethsemane in the night before his way of the cross. An angel appeared to strengthen him. He was able to bear the agony by gaining mental and physical power through his night vigil at Gethsemane. (Luke 22: 4, 3)
5. Avoid the temptation of Satan and emerge victorious
According to (Mathew 13: 24-26), “While men were asleep, his enemy came and oversowed cockle among the wheat and went his way.” Jesus says (Luke 22: 46) to his disciples to arise and pray, lest they enter into temptation.
6. To demolish stumbling blocks in life
In the Acts of the Apostles 16:25, we find Paul and Silas praying and praising God at midnight when they were in prison. “And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and the bands of all were loosed.” Night vigil helps us break the bonds of Satan and become free from other magical powers of evil spirits and witchcraft in our life.
7. Visions and revelations
Daniel had visions and was able to experience revelations on account of his night vigil. During night vigil we would have similar experiences. (Daniel 6: 18)
8. Night vigil includes Morning Prayer
The Night Vigil turns into a Morning Prayer when we pray for a longer period of time. This brings us the benefits of Morning Prayer too. When we wake up early to seek God, we find wisdom, says the Book of Wisdom 6: 14. Morning Prayer has more powers as we understand from the Bible that Jesus walked on the Sea at dawn. (Mathew 14: 25)
Dear brethren, the season of Lent is round the corner. Night Vigil will enhance the power of our prayers during the season of Lent and also strengthen our relationship with God.
Every Christian vigil derives its meaning from the Christ’s triumph over death, sin and evil. Keeping nightly vigil until dawn, we enter into the paschal dynamic of passing with Christ from darkness to light. The Vigil itself derives from the Jewish Passover, celebrating the night when God freed Israel from slavery, “the night when the Lord kept vigil to bring them out of Egypt” (Deut 12:42). The original vigil was kept by God, watching in love, overseeing and making possible the people’s escape. In keeping vigil, we respond to what God has first done for us! We celebrate God’s vigilance towards ourselves, particularly God’s vigilant love in Christ, which triumphed even over sin and death.
The king of Syria to arrest Elisha in 2 Kings 6:13-14, he came in the night. For the kingdom of darkness, night time is conference time. It is when the enemies meet to deliver their reports, re-strategize and take decisions concerning the fate of many-including Christians. It is also when they renew covenants, curses and sacrifices. It is the time they supervise the burdens, punishment and yokes already placed on their victims.
But more importantly, it is the time they alter the destiny of many. Every night activity of the satanic kingdom against you this season will come to nothing in Jesus’ name. Believers must be active participants in the spiritual realm. Praying for one hour at night has great effects on the operations of the dark kingdom, much more all night prayer. Reduce your sleep! As they meet to determine your fate, you go on your kneel and determine theirs, scatter their meeting and strip them powerless.
Similarly, we learn that a lot can happen in one night. In Judges 16:2-3, it was at night that the gates of Gaza shut against Samson, were uprooted and dumped at the mountain top. Every gate of blessing the enemies have shut against you can easily be opened through effective night prayers.
Also, taking a cue from Paul and Silas in prison, night time is when to effectively use the weapon of praise to break every yoke in your life, and set other captives free (Acts 16:25-26). In addition, going by Peter’s experience in Acts 12:5-10, midnight prayers easily attract angelic presence and intervention in preventing the unwanted. As you rise to pray from tonight, you shall experience angelic visitations and every undesirable situation in your life will be terminated.
Never underestimate the power of a vigil. In 2 Kings 19:35-37, the chief oppressor of nations- king Senacherib lost an army of 185,000 in one night to an angel. If you can rise up and pray and worship God at night, you can destroy all your enemies in one night. In other words, night time is a period of stressless and total victory.
It is also the time to tame wild lions and beasts taking a look at Daniel’s case. In one night, he saw wild hungry lions turn to domesticated and satisfied lambs. As you arise and pray from tonight, God will tame all lions and oppressors sent after you. All your enemies will perish, you will receive divine visitation and you will stay on top.
What the enemies do in their covens you can do much more at the Throne of Grace at night. Declare a period of continuous vigils of at least 2 hours from 12 midnight -2am. For 1,2,3 or 4 weeks. Evaluate your gains afterwards…
Until then watch and pray.