Sunday, April 04, 2010

The Feast of Feasts

How lovely the sun was shining when I made my way to church for the early Eucharist of Easter Day. It was quiet, with just four of us there, and just as well. I'd not been unable to do more than think through the bare bones of a sermon during a night of coughing and turning, let alone commit to this paper as I usually do. I just had to improvise my way through, and for me that always means being longer than if I'd really disciplined my thoughts into text. Ah well, at least it meant that I was sure I had something coherent to say at the Sung Eucharist.

There were over eighty in church for the Sung Eucharist and 69 communicants, with many foreign visitors. We started with the Paschal Candle and Easter garden blessings and a rehearsal of the Easter shout; Christ is risen/He is risen indeed for use throughout. The sermon and even my sung parts of the service went OK. A lady from Connecticut expressed her appreciation for what I said, declaring it was "Sincere, from the heart." Yes, and that's about all - no record of this one anywhere, except that I recall starting from "It is finished", and attempting to read it as Jesus having accomplished fully his Father's will, and now finished with just being in one time and place. From the cross he moves on. From the empty tomb outwards to the world in every age - finished with the particular situation, moving towards universal relevance in every age, to becoming 'all in all'. Well, that's what I think I was on about.

The whole was more endurance than enjoyment, as I am still feeling groggy. It's not at all how I might have hoped to spend my last Easter in the Parish. I'm still far from over this vile bug that's plagued me now for a whole week. After refreshments, I gave Iris a lift home and gave her sister Hilda Easter communion. She's also poorly and in bed at the moment. It wouldn't really be Easter without home communions. There'll be a couple more during the week.

It's great that the family (apart from the Canadian residents) have been with us this weekend, even if a shame that I've been tired and lacking in energy to join in. I slept intermittently after lunch and before Evensong. At least that made it possible for me to go and lead the service. There were two dozen of us there - a dozen in the choir, the rest sat scattered about the nave, and watching, as passing visitors often do. I wonder what they make of what we do and say on an occasion like this. But we don't do surveys, we just try and welcome everyone with a smile and in the name of the risen Lord.

We finished the evening chez nous, watching 'South Pacific' on TV then re-running 'Mamma Mia' on video. We were all in bed before midnight, tired out.

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