This joyful Eastertide,
Away with sin and sorrow.
My Love, the Crucified,
Hath sprung to life this morrow:
Had Christ that once was slain
Ne'er burst his three-day prison,
Our faith had been in vain:
But now hath Christ arisen.
My flesh in hope shall rest,
And for a season slumber:
Till trump from east to west
Shall wake the dead in number:
Death's flood hath lost his chill,
SInce Jesus crossed the river:
Lover of souls, from will
My passion soul deliver
Alleluia! Christ is risen
He is risen indeed. Alleluia.
Eternal God, who didst make the first Easter morning to shine with the brightness of the one true light, set us aflame with the first of thy love, and bring us to the radiance of thy heavenly glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
As the Paschal Candle is lit, and the procession moves into the chapel, the air begins to fill with incense and each sense is stimulated, from the light shining through the stain glass windows filled with detail depicting Christ's death on the cross to the processional hymn resonating off the stones placed one by one by the hands of meagre men.
Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluya!
Our triumphant holy day, Alleluya!
Who did once, upon that Cross, Alleluya!
Suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluya!
Then in unison, albeit perhaps in word only, the hundreds that gather confess their sins and ask God's eternal pardon and forgiveness and the choir sings the Kyrie Eleison and Gloria.
The service continues with a spirit of rejoicing while maintaining a spirit of ceremony and tradition. There is a strange tension as so many come for only the latter but for me it is deep and rich and meaningful as I take the bread and wine and contemplate, yet never fully understanding Christ's sacrifice. I am reminded of the God centred life that I am called to: not my will be yours be done.
Easter is different this year....and so am I.
The God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that Great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be amongst you and remain with you always.
|The East Window of King's College.|