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The American Church Dictionary and Cycopedia
Vigils are the Evens before certain Feasts. In the ancient use of the Church, Festivals were commonly ushered in by the attendance of preceding vigils, or watchings all the night as a preparation for the solemnities of the following day, and were observed with fasting and prayer.
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Miller, William James. Entry for 'Vigils'. The American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/acd/v/vigils.html. 1901.