Easter Vigil experience gives new meaning to baptism

Posted on October 26, 2009 by Franklin Ishida

Singapore is the meeting point of many church traditions within Asia. One of the challenges for Jeff Truscott, ELCA missionary teaching worship at Trinity Theological College, is to introduce students to the theology and practices that have shaped church worship throughout history.

Truscott and students experiencing an Easter Vigil

Truscott and students experiencing an Easter Vigil

In a recent class, he led his class in experiencing the Easter Vigil. Many students come from non-liturgical traditions. For them and even those who do have liturgies, the vigil gave new meaning to baptism within the context of the theology of Christ’s death and resurrection.

Truscott reports that students found special meaning in the service of light and the service of readings from the Old Testament. “The strong symbolism in the service communicated powerfully to them,” he says.

After this vigil experience, students submitted a paper that reflected on how they could use, adapt, and possibly augment this service for use in their own churches and traditions in different Asian countries.

This was just a start. Next semester, Truscott plans to have his worship and liturgy class celebrate the entire Paschal Triduum during a one-day long retreat/workshop that will be open to the entire seminary community.

Y. Franklin Ishida
Director for Asia and the Pacific, ELCA Global Mission