Welcome to S. Michael’s on this joyful morning as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. During our pilgrimage of Lent and Holy Week we have examined ourselves and walked the way of the cross with our Lord. Now as we come to Easter we celebrate the heart of our faith, that through the power of love God raised Jesus from the dead. Easter Day begins a fifty-day season during which we meditate joyfully on the mysteries of the resurrection. This season culminates in the feasts of Ascension and Pentecost.
During these days the Paschal Candle stands centrally in the church. This candle has been beautifully prepared, and last night in the Easter Vigil we inserted five nails to form the shape of a cross. The five nails represent each of the wounds of Jesus. The letters above and below are the Greek letters Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, signifying that Christ is really the beginning and the end of all.
Today we hear the resurrection Gospel and reflect on the experiences of those first disciples who encountered Jesus after he was raised from the dead. Our response is to renew our promises of baptism, which is our personal identification with the death and resurrection of our Lord.
We then share the Peace which is the expression of the risen Christ among us, and proceed to celebrate the Eucharist, in which Christ comes to us in bread and wine.
Finally we are sent out into the world with the good news of the risen Christ. We are sent out into a world in which signs of resurrection can be hard to spot. Yet our meditation on the mystery of the resurrection in the next fifty days will help to open our eyes of faith to the life-giving work of God in the world. This is the work in which we, as the Church, are called to join.
Thank you to all who have contributed to the Holy Week and Easter Liturgies in any way. The church looks resplendent with flowers and gleaming brass; countless hours have been spent preparing liturgies and music. All these things together provide a wonderful witness to the resurrection.
May you have a very happy and blessed Easter.
Fr Andrew Starky
• S. Michael’s School is now on holiday until 28 April.
• Vege Co-op: orders and deliveries on Wednesdays. Details Kathryn Starky.
• AGM: 3 May—Annual Reports to Louise, preferably by email, by 14 April.
• The Needlework Group meets on Tuesday, 7:15 pm in the lounge.
• The Rolleston Home Group meets on Wednesday, 11:00 am–2:00 pm at 107 Tennyson St, Rolleston. Details Jenny Daniels (347 7620).
• The Parish Trust meets on Thursday, 5:15 pm in the School.
• The Canterbury Shakespeare Society meets on Thursday, 7:30 pm in the lounge.
• RSCM: awards presentation and workshop with Andrew Reid (Director), followed by refreshments, 15 April, 8:00 pm at S. Michael’s. Recital 16 April 5:30 pm, $20.
• The Meditation and Bible Study Groups resume on 20 April.
• Inasmuch basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts.