This is the day of the Lord let us rejoice and be glad in it! At last we have arrived at the feast of the Resurrection, the Vigil and the Mass of Easter Day proclaim the bodily resurrection of the Lord. In the words of the Exultet.
Rejoice, heavenly powers! Sing, choirs of angels!
Exult, all creation around God's throne!
Jesus Christ, our King is risen!
Sound the trumpet of salvation!
Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor,
radiant in the brightness of your King!
Christ has conquered! Glory fills you!
Darkness vanishes forever!
Rejoice, O Mother Church! Exult in glory!
The risen Savior shines upon you!
Let this place resound with joy,
echoing the mighty song of all God's people!
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give him thanks and praise.
It is truly right
that with full hearts and minds and voices
we should praise the unseen God,
the all-powerful Father,
and his only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.For Christ has ransomed us with his blood,
and paid for us the price of Adam's sin
to our eternal Father!
This is our passover feast,
when Christ, the true Lamb, is slain,
whose blood consecrates the homes of all believers.
This is the night when first you saved our fathers:
you free the people of Israel from their slavery
and led them dry-shod through the sea.
This is the night when Christians everywhere,
washed clean of sin
and freed from all defilement,
are restored to grace and grow together in holiness.
This is the night when Jesus Christ
broke the chains of death
and rose triumphant from the grave.
What good would life have been to us,
had Christ not come as our Redeemer?
Father, how wonderful your care for us!
How boundless your merciful love!
To ransom a slave
you gave away your Son.
O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam,
which gained for us so great a Redeemer!
Most blessed of all nights, chosen by God
to see Christ rising from the dead!
Of this night scripture says:
"The night will be as clear as day;
it will become my light, my joy."
The power of this holy night
dispels all evil, washes guilt away,
restores lost innocence, brings mourners joy;
it casts out hatred, brings us peace,
and humbles earthly pride.
Night truly blessed when heaven is wedded to earth
and we are reconciled with God!
Therefore, heavenly Father, in the joy of this night,
receive our evening sacrifice of praise,
your Church's solemn offering.
Accept this Easter candle,
a flame divided but undimmed,
a pillar of fire that glows to the honor of God.
Let it mingle with the lights of heaven
and continue bravely burning
to dispel the darkness of this night!
May the morning Star which never sets
find this flame still burning:
Christ, that Morning Star, who came back from the dead,
Amid the unpleasant reporting, unhelpful comment by a Bishop in God's church who knows (as a Diocesan) we are not without blame too and the sickening cartoons in the Times, we must remember that Christ and his Church are no strangers to the onslaughts of the Evil One. The Harrowing of Hell goes on today and everyday. The Good News on all this will be revealed this very night, heralded by new fire, new light. A chance to burn those words and images in newspapers on this fire presents itself. Let's use the opportunity!
Here we are on the last part of our Lenten Journey. These are photos of today. The Altar of Repose this morning after last night's Watch and the Way of the Cross bravely attempted and achieved up the steep and slippery slope of the Wyndcliff Walk to the Eagles Nest look-out in the Wye Valley. 600ft above sea level within the parish. A walk of the faithful depleted in numbers due to the lashing storm of wind and 5C rain. But as we were reminded our Celtic Christian forbears would have been proud of us! Thanks to lamination the readings and meditations were possible and all was 'accomplished'. Save us and help us we humbly beseech Thee O Lord.