Soulforce Perspective on on Vigils – National Call for Prayer and Vigils at local Catholic Chanceries, November 9, 2004

What is a Vigil?

A vigil is a "devotional watching" or "maintaining a state of spiritual wakefulness" in anticipation of positive change or things to come. Vigils have historically been associated with people of faith and religion. Originally and to this day they occur on the eve of a church feast and often involve fasting. Over time, however, vigils have also come to be viewed and used as outward symbols and demonstrations of people’s faith and hope surrounding various situations.

Why do we Vigil?

We vigil primarily for our own spiritual renewal and for the hopeful transformation of society. We vigil in faithful anticipation that hearts and minds, especially those of our adversary, will be changed by our personal truth and witness. We participate in this humble process of voluntary redemptive suffering as yet another way of demonstrating the power and presence of God in our lives and to renew our resolve in following God’s call for love, justice and mercy.

When do we vigil?

We vigil individually and/or collectively when the power of our inner "soulforce" spirit calls us. It is always prudent, however, to initiate a vigil only after careful mental, physical and spiritual consideration and preparation.

Types of Vigils

There are many types of vigils. Soulforce primarily uses two types: silent vigils and teaching vigils. A "Silent vigil" is prayerful, without engaging in conversation with each other, passersby or the media. In a "teaching vigil," vigilers are interactive and communicate with the public and media, distributing leaflets or other educational matters.

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