Easter Sunday - Tá Mac na hÓighe Slán

The charming Christmas ad for a certain brand of tea starts with the line ‘There is something about Christmas’. Indeed, there is, but might I add as well, ‘There is something about Easter’. Senior members of the parish may remember being told as kids, that the sun dances in the sky on Easter morn, and can I say at the time, it felt as if it did. As we emerged from rigors of Lent and Holy week, a certain lightness permeated the air on that Easter Morn. Perhaps it was fuelled by the Easter Vigil liturgy the night before, with the lighting of fire and candles, the incense, the singing of the Exultet, Litany of the Saints and the Alleluia. Of course, the prospect of getting an Easter egg lent a certain glow to the morning as well.  

The Holy Week ceremonies and the signs of emerging new life created a special feeling. There is something wholesome and lifegiving to witness the planting season alongside nature pulsing with shrubs and trees decked in vivid colours. To paraphrase a line from Paul: the whole of Creations is gently groaning in an act of giving birth. Rom 8:22.

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In Renewing our Baptismal Promises during the Vigil Mass, we individually light a candle from the Paschal Candle, publicly renew our commitment to Walk as a People of the Light. We are then blessed with Easter water, as we face into the mystery and challenge of another 12 months.

Lighting the Paschal Candle, representing the Risen Christ, is a ray of hope during the Vigil ceremony. It represents an invitation for all present to be an ‘Easter People’, to carry the spark of hope in our hearts but specially during times of greatest difficulty and to share our light and our gift with others.

If you closely examine the Easter candle you will note that the five studs representing the 5 wounds of the Lord are in gold, representing the fusion of Good Friday and Easter Sunday

Morning together. When goodness seemed to have died on the cross on the Friday, mysteriously a vibrant energy was unleashed on the Sunday morning, which dissolved the stranglehold of fear, darkness and death through the power of that same goodness and love.
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In Renewing our Baptismal Promises during the Vigil Mass, we individually light a candle from the Paschal Candle, publicly renew our commitment to Walk as a People of the Light. We are then blessed with Easter water, as we face into the mystery and challenge of another 12 months.

Lighting the Paschal Candle, representing the Risen Christ, is a ray of hope during the Vigil ceremony. It represents an invitation for all present to be an ‘Easter People’, to carry the spark of hope in our hearts but specially during times of greatest difficulty and to share our light and our gift with others.

If you closely examine the Easter candle you will note that the five studs representing the 5 wounds of the Lord are in gold, representing the fusion of Good Friday and Easter Sunday

Morning together. When goodness seemed to have died on the cross on the Friday, mysteriously a vibrant energy was unleashed on the Sunday morning, which dissolved the stranglehold of fear, darkness and death through the power of that same goodness and love.
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Hope is not just something you receive from without, rather it’s a quality that must root itself within the soul. In the case of Christ, his mission seemed to end in failure. Evil intent seemed to banished his effort. But right through life he was larger than life; he wanted to reach out, to heal, reform, change the face of the earth. It is not so much what he did, but what he was that broke the chains of death. He possessed within a divine spark incapable of being quenched.

On his way up to Jerusalem he knew of the dangers in advance yet he didn’t resist the forces of evil but rather focuses on the mission entrusted to him. Even though his earthly life was cruelly ended, his spirit could not be contained.

Remember, hope is not some vague belief that “all will work out well,” but biblical hope is the certainty that things finally have a victorious meaning no matter how they turn out.      Rohr

So, what does all this mean us? Is it is about immersing ourselves into this complex world of ours and in spite of the obstacles and setbacks, somehow believing in the power of goodness and love? Is it about somehow trusting the spirit within and believing in the redeeming power and durability of that spirit? There is no doubt that signs of this spirit were evident in abundance during the past months through the goodness, kindness and consideration of people.

Refreshment, renewal and refocus is certainly needed at this stage as we wearily continue on a road less travelled. We need an infusion of hope to lift up our hearts.

 

And so once again, this Easter, we Light a Candle, bless ourselves with Water and Renew our Baptismal Promises.

‘Dear Brothers and sisters, through the Paschal Mystery, we have been buried with Christ in Baptism, that we may walk with him in newness of life. So now that our Lenten observance is concluded let us renew the promises of Holy Baptism by which we renounced Satan and his works and promise to serve God in the holy Catholic Church’. (Introduction to the Rite of Renewal)

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May the power of the Risen Lord, touch your hearts and all those dearest to you,

as we celebrate all that is good and precious in our lives this Easter.

Tá Mac na hÓighe Slán

I want to thank the many people who have given of their time, energy and support as we struggled to provide services during the past 12 months. Please God the day will come when we can return to a degree of normality once more.

We remember especially loves ones who died during the past year,

May those of you who grieve their loss, continue to sense their loving presence in your hearts

Fr. Michael

 

Bottles of Easter water blessed during the Vigil Mass,

are available in both churches from Sunday after Mass