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OCU Hosts Easter Eve Vigil Service

Oklahoma City University will host an Easter Vigil service at 7 p.m. April 19 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 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 will employ several styles of music featuring OCU’s performing arts students and faculty for a more creative experience.

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.

Music school voice professors Jan McDaniel and Catherine McDaniel will present a jazz reading of the creation story from Genesis 2. The Spirit of Grace Liturgical Dancers will interpret the Exodus story and Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones through movement. After a reading of the Easter story from Matthew’s Gospel by the congregation, the Spirit of Grace dancers will bring in the Easter lilies and drape the chapel in white as the congregation sings one of the great hymns of the church.

Following a rite of Holy Communion, the service ends with a song from the Generation Blessed gospel choir and the Oklahoma Collegiate Gospel Choirs leading the congregation in the African hymn, “We Are Marching in the Light of God.”

The service will last approximately 90 minutes and is designed for people of all ages. It is particularly geared toward youth and young adults.A pre-service orientation will be offered 45 minutes before the vigil in the chapel sanctuary.

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

Easter vigil

The Rev. Erica Thomas, associate pastor of Quayle United Methodist Church, leads the congregation in song during last year’s Easter Eve vigil service at Oklahoma City University.