Sunday, 4 April 2021

Easter ushering in the new

As we began

During the processional hymn, the clergy filed into the church, in resplendent vestments, rich in colour, the Bishop of Manchester, The Right Reverend Dr. David Walker, with mitre and shepherd’s crook and always to my fascination, sandal-shod, bringing up the rear.

He was the president of the Easter Sunday Sung Eucharist as a surveyed the church in which I stood, barely a seat vacant, the fullest it has been since before the pandemic. The worship conventions suffused in the mystique and mystery of Latin hymns sung by the lay clerks, but for the English translations, we would be in another heaven of tongues roaring like thunder to our hearing.

Onto the new

The sermon was predicated on newness excerpted from part of the Collect, “Lord of all life and power, who through the mighty resurrection of your Son overcame the old order of sin and death to make all things new in him.” We were encouraged to begin to see the new in a new from that which we once knew. The new normal will never be back to normal, but it has to be a better normal in every aspect of life.

After the dismissal, we were in for a surprise treat, the Bishop said we could follow the clergy out in the recession where we would all congregate outside on the grounds of the church, socially distanced with essential safety measures to then sing the recessional hymn together. For the first time, we sang as a congregation in well over a year, it was uplifting and rousing. The first line introducing us to the amazing story of Easter. ‘Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son.’ [Wikipedia: Thine be the glory]

After a short chat to the Bishop, leaving church, I thought I will get a few things from the shops, it never dawned on me as I have rarely been in the UK at Easter to realise that like Christmas Day, the main shops and shopping precincts are closed for Easter Sunday. I guess you always find that you learn something new.

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