Easter Sunday 8th April 2012.
Greetings and every blessing to you on this Easter Sunday as we commemorate the resurrection of the Lord.
At Mass today, instead of reciting the Creed, we renew our baptismal promises: for most of us the promises that were made on our behalf by our parents and godparents. After the renewal of the promises, you will be sprinkled with water from the font that was blessed during the Easter Vigil Service.
Also at Mass today, before the gospel, we read the Sequence, a special Easter Hymn. Please stand and recite this together.
The Paschal Candle now stands beside the altar. It signifies the Risen Christ remaining with the Church and will remain in place until Ascension Day. It then moves to a place beside the Font and is always lit when a Baptism is celebrated. It is marked with the year and also there are five brass studs which contain grains of incense. These represent the five wounds of Christ.
I do not need to tell the children that there will be a special celebration in the garden after the 9.30 Mass.
A word of thanks to everybody who helped to make our Holy Week and Easter services in the Church so special and so reverent: those who helped with the readings, the music, the serving and preparing the Church, the Eucharistic Ministers, the flowers, and in many other ways.
This coming week I am off to the College in Spain for a few days, leaving on Monday and coming back on Friday. I usually try to go earlier in the year to attend to the administration but the last few weeks have been very full and this was the first chance that I had to be away. There will be a Mass at the Convent each day – at 9am on Monday and at 8am on the other days and if the Bishop is not here, the Eucharistic Ministers will be able to distribute Holy Communion at 10am. In days gone by, we used to walk from the College in Town to the Country House on Easter Monday.
For the first year, it was the first visit to the place where we would spend our summers. After leaving the town, a rough cross country walk, including the crossing of a freezing river. I will have to tell you more about this some time.
You have probably worked out that I will be missing a day of duty on the steam railway on the Bank holiday. It is a Thomas day so it is very busy and not for the faint hearted – I will have to make up with a duty day in May.
No saints this week as we are keeping the Octave of Easter.
George Herbert has a poem for Easter:
I got me flowers to straw thy way;
I got me boughs off many a tree:
But thou wast up by break of day,
And brought’st thy sweets along with thee.
The Sunne arising in the East,
Though he give light, and th’ East perfume
If they should offer to contest
With thy arising, they presume.
And here is an Easter cake from Spain. Put together I litre of milk, ¼ quarter kg of sugar, the grated rind of one orange and two lemons and I teaspoon of cinnamon. Bring to the boil and allow to cool. Fold in four beaten eggs and about 150 g of crushed digestive biscuits. Pour into a well buttered dish and bake in a hot oven for about an hour – till slightly risen and golden brown.
Some advice from St. Francis de Sales on evening prayer:
As in the case of your morning prayer this must not be forgotten, remembering that as by your morning prayer you open the windows of your soul to the sun of justice, so by your evening prayer you close them against the shades of the night.
And time to say a word of appreciation for
All the work that has been taking place in the garden. Thanks to Bill for organising it and to all who have come along to help. The front of the Church has been transformed with the clearing of the old bushes and the new planting and with the new bed, the garden is looking very different. I hope that you will be able to enjoy it as the summer days begin.
Best wishes to you all
Monsignor Nicholas Rothon.