Sunday, 12 April 2009


A very happy Easter to all who visit the Canon's Stall! Holy Week has been a tiring but extremely rewarding experience this year. As I have come to know the people of each parish community that I have served, the liturgy usually gets better. This is because worship is an expression of that community at that point in its story - or it should be! The word "Liturgy" comes from the Greek meaning "action of the people" the laos. Therefore the more that priest and people come to know each other, the more precise can be that expression.

Receiving Simon and Jo into the Church last night at the Vigil at St Brigid's was moving for us all, as they stood there before the altar of the Lord. Their search has brought them this far, and there they were, hand in hand, as they joined us. I'm sure they will make a great contribution to the parishes.

This morning 10.30 Mass at Christ the King was brilliant. I know that 10.30 is not everybody's "cup of liturgical tea" but you couldn't help catch the enthusiasm of our young people - and 434 folks can't all be wrong! From the entrance procession with their dozen or so coloured flags flying everywhere, to the scrum as they came forward to receive their Easter eggs at the end, the Mass just oozed with Easter joy. We are so blessed to have people like Marie and Pete O'Brien and Kate and Tim Congdon and all the others who work with our younger parishioners.

I was also impressed with the quality of the music in our 3 Churches this Holy Week - not achieved without hours of preparation. And the servers.... and the flowers... and the cleaners... and... and...

This picture is one of my favourite representations of the Resurrection. It's a medieval fresco in the Church of St Saviour in Chora in Istanbul, and is therefore in the Byzantine tradition.. I love it because it depicts Christ as dynamic and vibrant, descending into hell to grab Adam and Eve and all the righteous of the Old Testament. See Satan there trampled under the gates of hell. It's a very different image from our western, sometimes rather limp version of this central event in Christianity. However, because I love lots of paintings in the west, here also is one of the greatest, Piero della Francesca's fresco in San Sepolcro in Umbria, Italy. In the dawn light Jesus, serene and triumphant, steps from the sepulchre above the sleeping guards. Can you spot something rather odd about one of the soldiers? Hint - count the number of legs you can see...
God bless you all - and a very big thank you!

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