These vigils are further distinguished as privileged and unprivileged.
Granted two fairs to his tenants and residents in the borough, to be held on the vigils, feasts and morrows of St Matthew and of SS.
The oldest of the vigils is that of Easter Eve, those of Pentecost and Christmas being instituted somewhat later.
The abuses connected with nocturnal vigils 1 led to their being attacked, especially by Vigilentius of Barcelona (c. 400), against whom Jerome fulminated in this as in other matters.
The custom, however, increased, vigils being instituted for the other festivals, including those of saints.
The other vigils are recognized in the calendar (including those of the saints) and the rubric directs that "the collect appointed for any Holy-day that hath a Vigil or Eve, shall be said at the Evening Service next before."
It is worn, too, on the vigils of fasts, Ember Days and days of intercession, on the Feast of Holy Innocents (if on a week-day), at litanies, penitential processions, and at other than solemn benedictions and consecrations.
Advent; the days between Septuagesima and Maundy Thursday; vigils that fall on fast days, and Ember days, except the vigil before Whitsunday (red) and the Ember days in Whitsun week (red).
By this time the truce extended from the Wednesday evening to the Monday morning in every week and also, in most places, lasted during the seasons of Lent and Advent, the three great vigils and feasts of the Blessed Virgin, and those of the twelve apostles and a few other saints.
About 403, some years after his return from the East, Vigilantius wrote his celebrated work against superstitious practices, in which he argued against relic worship, as also against the vigils in the basilicas of the martyrs, then so common, the sending of alms to Jerusalem, the rejection of earthly goods and the attribution of special virtue to the unmarried state, especially in the case of the clergy.
Under this head fall the following: - Fasting, or abstention from certain meats and drinks; denial of sexual instinct; subjection of the body to physical discomforts, such as nakedness, vigils, sleeping on the bare ground, tattooing, deformation of skull, teeth, feet, &c., vows of silence to be observed throughout life or during pilgrimages, avoidance of baths, of hair-cutting and of clean raiment, living in a cave; actual self-infliction of pain, by scourging, branding, cutting with knives, wearing of hair shirts, fire-walking, burial alive, hanging up of oneself by hooks plunged into the skin, suspension of weights by such hooks to the tenderer parts of the body, self-mutilation and numerous other, often ingenious, modes of torture.
His spiritual nature was high-strung and delicate; and this condition was aggravated by his constant study, his long fasts and his frequent vigils - in one year, according to his diary, he kept sixty fasts and twenty vigils.
On the night of the 8th9th of February 356, however, when the bishop was holding the Vigils, soldiers and police broke into the church of Theonas.
(The candidate for baptism, we further learn from his tract On Baptism, prepared himself by prayer, fasting and keeping of vigils.) Before stepping into the font, which both sexes did quite naked, the neophytes had to renounce the devil, his pomps and angels.
In the practice of modern Roman Catholicism the following are recognized as fasting days, that is to say, days on which one meal only, and that not of flesh, may be taken in the course of twenty-four hours: - The forty days of Lent (Sundays excepted), all the Ember days, the Wednesdays and Fridays in Advent, and the vigils of certain feasts, namely, those of Whitsuntide, of St Peter and St Paul, of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, of All Saints and of Christmas day.
The evens or vigils before Christmas, the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Easter day, Ascension day, Pentecost, St Matthias, the Nativity of St John Baptist, St Peter, St James, St Bartholomew, St Matthew, St Simon and St Jude, St Andrew, St Thomas, and All Saints are also recognized as " fast days."
"By protracted vigils," says Beza, "he secured indeed a solid erudition and an excellent memory; but it is probable he at the same time sowed the seeds of that disease (dyspepsia) which occasioned him various illnesses in after life, and at last brought upon him premature death."