On a liturgical note: Easter 2018

By Canon Philip Gillespie

‘Truth on my tongue, his way to guide my walking – and I shall live, not I but Christ in me.’

Those of us of a certain age may recognise these words as being part of the hymn specially composed for the National Pastoral Congress hosted by the Archdiocese in 1980, and they sum up well the attitude of an Easter People whose song today and in this great 50-day season of Eastertide is ‘Alleluia’.

The reason the Church’s liturgy ‘fasts’ from the use of this familiar word during the Lenten days is precisely so that when it does make its return at the proclamation of the Resurrection in the great Vigil and First Mass of Easter Day it has all the more impact.

The singing of the great triple Alleluia of Easter Day allows the church to burst into song almost as Christs bursts  into the upper room with the words ‘ Peace be with you’ –  the Alleluia (the ‘praise God’) of the Church on Easter Day is as if we are saying to the world ‘you can be assured, be at peace, be confident that even that which is most feared,  that which is most perturbing, that which is seemingly the final end to all your hopes and expectations is itself conquered by the One who has died and is now Risen – Jesus.’

The Paschal Candle which now stands in your church next to the Lectern, the place of the Proclamation of the Word of God in the liturgy, enlightens not only our hearing and understanding of the Scriptures but also the reality of our own stories – our own every-day experiences and lives. It is literally ‘in the light of Christ’ that we are brought to understand and appreciate the working of God’s Holy Spirit in our world, in our parish, in our family and community.

May the Light of Christ, rising in glory, dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds.