- a devotional watching, or keeping awake, during the customary hours of sleep.
- Sometimes vigils. a nocturnal devotional exercise or service, especially on the eve before a church festival.
- the eve, or day and night, before a church festival, especially an eve that is a fast.
Origin of vigil
Examples from the Web for vigil
“If 6,000 people were at the vigil, we hope it will be big,” said university student council President Jalen Ross of the search.Person of Interest Identified in Disappearance of UVA Student Hannah Graham|Julia Horowitz|September 19, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Finally, there was a vigil of about ten people standing hand in hand across the street form the clinic praying quietly.
Instead, they had stood in the back and bore witness, not even seeking shade until the end of the vigil.
As the vigil came to a close, Jay-Z and Beyoncé departed, having been classy enough to decline to take the stage.
Two church members stood outside the Church, embracing each mourner as they walked to the vigil.
The "Demoiselle" still kept her vigil, changing her patient's pillow, holding a cup of water to his lips.War Days in Brittany|Elsie Deming Jarves
Thomasine observed the vigil, and even Boodles watched and wished the dark gone.Furze the Cruel|John Trevena
The parson is feeling sick at heart with his long night's vigil, and as though he could hardly face the dreadful end.It Never Can Happen Again|William De Morgan
An hour passed and Jack was becoming weary of his vigil, especially in view of the uncertainty of the coming of his quarry.The Boy Scouts on the Yukon|Ralph Victor
It was then about noon, and having an engagement in Court, I was compelled to relinquish my vigil.Spies of the Kaiser|William Le Queux