Dear Parishioners and all those who logged into our Parish, may the joy and peace of the Risen Christ be in you and upon you.
A What’s App has recommended lighting a candle at 7.30pm and saying a prayer – something we can all do, and at the same time.
The Parish Bulletin is available via the Parish website.
The celebration of the Easter Vigil took place at 7pm on Saturday 11th April – Parishioners and others joined via the webcam.
Once again, I would like to share some thoughts with you.
Reading: from the prophet Exodus 14:15-15:1.
The Israelites went on dry ground right through the sea. This is the most important reading of the night. The crossing of the sea is a type of Christ’s death and Resurrection, and of the Christian’s journey in Baptism through dying and rising with Christ.
Responsorial Psalm: from Exodus 15
I will sing to the Lord, glorious his triumph!
Gloria via YouTube Children’s choir at Christ, Prince of Peace Parish, Manchester, Missouri
Reading: from St Paul’s letter to the Romans 6:3-11.
This reading prepares us for the celebration and renewal of Baptismal vows. In union with Christ we imitate his death and rising. We go from death to life, from darkness to light, from captivity to freedom, from the old way of life to the new.
Gospel: according to Matthew 28:1-10
He has risen from the dead and now he is going before you into Galilee.
My few words:
At the beginning of Mass:
We gather again – at a distance – to celebrate the Easter Vigil. Like everything else in life, it is celebrated somewhat differently this year. There is no Easter Fire. We will light the Paschal Candle during the Gloria – so have an unlit candle ready in your home for that. We will bless water – again, have water ready at home – and as usual at Easter we will renew our Baptismal Promises. And with that thought in mind let us remember in prayer babies and parents and families awaiting Baptism. So, let us begin……
After the Gospel:
The plan this year was to celebrate he Easter Vigil at the Altar Glen at Altamuskin. But I was thinking, that when all the restrictions are lifted, and we can gather again we might on that first weekend gather on the Sunday at the Altar Glen for a whole Parish celebration of Mass in thanksgiving. We will light our Easter Fire then to mark a new life for us all. Something to look forward to!
The feelings and emotions of the disciples that we have heard about from the scriptures over the Sacred Triduum – fear, uncertainty, loneliness, wonder – are ours also during these coronavirus days. Some of us are frightened and scared, uncertain as to what tomorrow will bring, and many people, because of self-isolation and the stay at home restrictions are lonely. A phone call or a text message is great but physical contact and talking face to face is hard to beat.
Mary of Magdala and the other Mary were the first disciples to witness the Resurrection and although this Gospel passage does not record it, Jesus’ first words after his Resurrection usually include peace. A peace that would take away the fear and uncertainty and doubt that the events of Holy Week had instilled in them.
We want that same peace now. Our peace comes from three things: faith, waiting, hope.
Faith in God – like the disciples after the Resurrection we know God is with us – the Israelites who crossed the Red Sea knew God was with them too – not always physically visible, but still beside us and with us nonetheless.
Waiting – Jesus, during his life had talked to his disciples about rising from the dead. From his burial on Good Friday through Holy Saturday to Easter Sunday morning can be described as a long wait for them to fully understand and realise that his words would come true in the end. Faith includes waiting and patience.
Hope – Christian hope focuses on Resurrection and everlasting life. That is our hope after this life. That hope raises us beyond the pain and suffering and death of Good Friday to the eternal life that Christ gives us in his Resurrection. The light of the Easter Candle shatters the darkness of the night. And of course, that Christian hope must be reflected in our hope that one day soon the coronavirus days will be behind us. Hope has also been my prayer for you along with that sense of humour I spoke about before – amongst other things.
So, this Easter I pray on you and me – faith, waiting, hope and I leave the final word from Jesus in the Gospel who is Risen from the dead – “Do not be afraid.”
At the end of Mass:
Just two wee stories – a kind of Easter present to all of you in place of handshakes and hugs this year:
We are told to wear masks to help prevent the spread of the virus – some suggest that wearing one at home might be useful too – to stop us eating too much!!!
Time for laughter….
A priest friend of mind said to me that he was taking Easter Monday off – I asked him where he was thinking of going? To the front room he said!! He normally stays in his kitchen/sitting room.
More time for laughter…
Tomorrow morning RTE are broadcasting a European Mass at 10am – a chance to pray together with all our fellow Europeans.
And following that at 11am Pope Francis will give his Urbi et Orbi Easter message – a chance to be part of the worldwide community.
I wish you all the peace and joy of Easter
Continue to do what we are doing for the good of us all – stay at home!
Keep safe and well and keep your distance!
Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah via You Tube Mormon Tabernacle