Pastoral Letter for April 2017

Dear Friends,

This issue of the magazine sees us enter the most important part of the Christian year – Holy Week and Easter.  In common with much of the Christian Church throughout the world, Episcopalians mark this time of great solemnity with liturgies and practices, some of which can be traced back to the very earliest days of the Church.

One of these is the Chrism Mass.  It is a service, as you will read in this magazine, in which the Clergy are reminded of, and invited to,  renew their ordination vows.  It is usually celebrated on Maundy Thursday – the day in which Christ presided over his last supper and at which he displayed the way in which we are called to be servants of one another.  The Chrism Mass is set at this time of year (in our case the day before Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week) because it is a time for getting back to basics.  It is a time for revisiting who we are in the context of Christ’s death and resurrection; one at which the holy oils of ministry are blessed for use throughout the year.

This is not just for the clergy!  Holy Week and Easter, and the liturgies provided at this fundamental time of year, are there for all of us.  Even though we usually may only worship in church on a Sunday, we must take seriously the opportunity to journey with our Lord through Holy Week in order to renew our baptismal promises on the day of recreation and resurrection.

This cannot adequately be done if we simply skip from Palm Sunday to Easter Day.

May you know the joy of following Christ, together with his Church throughout the world, through his passion, that you might also rejoice in the new life to which he calls us all by his mighty resurrection from the dead.

yours in the faith,

Gordon

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