In the early Church, Holy Saturday was also known as Great Saturday, Grand Saturday, and Angelic Night. It was also the only Saturday in which fasting was permitted. There are four parts to the Easter Vigil:
THE CEREMONY OF FIRE: The fire represents God's power. It brings life and death, but tonight it represents life overcoming the darkness of death. The Paschal candle is lit from this holy fire and represents the Risen Christ come alive with new life.
THE LITURGY OF THE WORD: Listening to the word of God is to give hope, that all of history is in God's hands, that the universe ultimately works toward good, not evil.
THE LITURGY OF BAPTISM: Baptism is about death and life. Through baptism, we die to a set of attitudes and actions that go nowhere, and rise to a way of living that leads to fulfillment.
THE LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST: The celebration of the Eucharist commemorates the meal Our Lord celebrated with the disciples on the night before he died...and the meal he promised to celebrate with them and with us in the Kingdom of God.