Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

VIGIL

The day or eve before a more or less prominent feast or solemnity. It was observed as a preparation for the following day with special offices and prayers and formerly with a fast, honoring the particular mystery of religion or the saint to be venerated on the feast day. The Church today observes solemn vigils for Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost. Although the number of such solemn vigils has been reduced since the Second Vatican Council, the Church still wants the notion of vigils to be kept alive in the minds of the faithful. Thus "it is fitting that Bible services on the vigils of great feasts, on certain ferial days of Lent and Advent, on Sundays and feastdays, should also have the same structure as the liturgy of the Word at Mass" (Inter Oecumenici, 1964, 38). (Etym. Latin vigilia, from vigil, alert.)

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Using the figure of Pope Francis for evangelization 17 hours ago
If Catholic priests never preach on sexual morality, be suspicious 17 hours ago
On Bishops and Jesuits, Saints and Angels September 30
Bishop Finn in Kansas City: Not quite up to date? September 30
Oh, that sort of misconduct September 29

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Cardinals criticize Kasper proposal, escalating debate on remarriage/Communion CWN - September 18
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30