Ceremonial History And Significance
The prayer vigil is normally celebrated the evening before the ceremony of investiture, and consists of a liturgy of the Word, with appropriate prayers, readings and homily. In the early days, the Vigil was considered a “liturgical waiting for the act of the spirit of God.”
During the service, which contains symbolism and meaning specific to the Order’s mission, candidates are asked to approach the sanctuary where they touch the Book of the Gospels – the true code of a Knight of Christ. It is also a reminder of the permanent evangelical commitment made by each person entering the Order. At the altar, the candidate signs a solemn promise to submit and respond to the Order’s needs and initiatives. A vesting ceremony also takes place whereby each priest candidate is vested with a white mozetta with the red Jerusalem cross.
The solemn day is devoted to prayer and reflection and also includes conferences that are meant to teach new candidates about the Order’s mission, as well as their responsibilities as members.