It’s been really different and actually quite special this year having Easter as a long weekend all by itself instead of being lost in the middle of a two week holiday, it’s focussed our attentions on the point of the holiday a bit more I think – or maybe that’s just where I am this year anyway…!
On Good Friday we went as usual to the church children’s activity morning and service, there were almost 50 children there – which is twice last years attendance! The main activity in the service was thinking about things we feel guilty about/would like to change and writing them on post-its, which were all stuck onto a large cross shape –
In the afternoon I went to the Three Hours, arriving about 1pm and really only intending to stay for one or two of the half hour sessions – it was so good though that I stayed till three and wished I’d got there at 12! It was being led by our Diocesan Spirituality Advisor and based on the Passion account in Matthew’s gospel, with addresses by him silent meditation, and excerpts from Bach’s Matthew Passion which I have always loved. It was a really special afternoon.
We considered going to the Winchester Passion but didn’t in the end – Ruthy and Kate were pretty shattered and the boys certainly wouldn’t have coped, I’m kind of regretful that I didn’t go anyway, but hey…
On Saturday I was trying to find out if there was a dawn service happening anywhere near as I had a hankering to go to one on Sunday, had no luck locating one, but at 7.20 I realised that there was a Vigil and Service of Light at our church at 7.30, so I hared out the door…
It was another wonderful service – only about 12 of us, but we began in the hall, with the Vigil prayers, moving to the church door to light the Easter candle, and individual candles from it as we walked together into the dark church, and all the candles were lit and the lights on and an explosion of noise from the organ. It was an incredibly joyful moment – Easter really had begun: Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed, Alleluia.
Sunday morning was a great continuation of that. Breakfast at church and then the Easter morning service, Having had time to reflect through Holy Week and especially Good Friday, made Easter Sunday so much more significant – I often find that in all the business the impact of it all doesn’t hit me, this year it really did 🙂