Sunday, 8 April 2007


Easter is such a wonderful festival; I thought I'd share with you just a little of what I've done throughout it. In order of the days of the Triduum, of course.

Maundy Thursday

I was playing at my church for the evening service - footwashing and Communion et al. It was a very moving service indeed, but not much of interest occurred.

Good Friday

This was a much more interesting day. After my own church's happy-clappy service in the morning, Gavin and I trotted off to Ss. Peter and Paul, Hockley, an Anglo-Papalist church, for the Veneration of the Cross.

This was a very good service. You can read all about it on Gavin's blog, here. I;d like to highlight a few little bits, though. Firstly, it filled me with a great sense of guilt - as good Friday should - of one's own part in the Crucifixion of Jesus. This was particularly well emphasised by the Passion reading, in which the people took the parts of the jews and the crowd, shouting Crucify. Most moving indeed.

The prayers were exceedingly meaningful. We prayed for 'Our Pope' - which I liked - the Queen, the Universal Church, the children, the parishoners, almost everybody. The length of prayer really allowed one to become fully involved in it. It was good.

The Veneration itself was, perhaps, the most striking aspect. The solemn tragedy - yet tragic in sure and certain hope of the Resurrection - was immensely moving. Especially given the fact that we'd just be shown our own guilt. It really brought home the truth of Christ as your sacrifice; your atonement; your Lamb. I leave you with the Reproaches:

O my people, what have I done to you?
How have I hurt you? Answer me.
O my people, what have I done to you?
How have I hurt you? Answer me.
I led you out of Egypt,
From slavery I set you free.
I brought you into a land of promise:
You have prepared a cross for me.

I led you as a shepherd,
I brought you dryshod through the sea;
I fed you manna in the desert
You have prepared a cross for me.

I fought for you in battles,
I won you strength and victory;
Gave you a royal crown and sceptre:
You have prepared a cross for me.

I planted you, my vineyard,
And cared for you most tenderly;
Looked for abundant fruit and found none:
Only the cross you made for me.

Then listen to my pleading
And do not turn away from me.
You are my people: will you reject me?
For you I suffer bitterly.
Easter Day
This is perhaps the best day in the whole of the Christian calendar. I don't wish to go into the detail of the Resurrection now, of course. You all know enough of that, and there are better people to lead us all deeper into it.

A few minor points I'd like to highlight though. The first is that I heard twice today - with great amusement, Chaper 20 of the Gospel according to St. John, in which he tells of the Ressurection. He describes that both he and Simon Peter ran to the tomb, but thrice he describes how 'the disciple who jesus loved' had 'got there first'. thrice written in Holy scripture for all eternity: 'haha, Peter: I beat you in the race'. A nice human touch. It's the human touches which make the Gospels so convincing.

Reading Urbi et Orbi - the Holy Father's Easter message to the world - is always a highspot. This year HH did himself proud. As they always do. I strongly advise you read it here: if only for its political importance.

I think that later in the week - Tuesday, God willing - I shall write again. Tomorrow I'm off to Cambridge. I know full well what I wish to write about: look forward to it.

Christós anésti! Christ is Risen! Alleluia!


Francis said...

It is indeed a wonderful time of year, and an important time for reflection. I'm glad you found some fulfilling experiences.

How is it that you're lowering yourself to a visit to the land of the Fenland Poly?

Phil' said...

We were off to visit some old friends who live there: my sister's godfather et famille.

Incidentally, he's an Hon. Prof. of Mathematics (I think) at Thames Valley Poly and works as a developer for Microsoft. And a highly skilled violin player etc. One of those chaps.


Francis said...


Phil' said...

Unfortunately, he's also a really lovely person. Brilliant company, really hospitable and generous. really humble - in the Pitcher sense - and generally superb :)

Had a good day.

Gavin said...

Also, a priori means without prior knowledge (i.e. analytically true by definition, e.g. a=b and b=c therefore a=c. A priori knowledge does not add anything to your existing knowledge, it is arrived at via deduction rather than induction). When you talk about the need for something that exists simply because it does you mean a necessary (or unconditioned / unconditional) reality as opposed to a contingent one. For more details read up on the Cosmological Argument (Aquinas, drawing on Aristotle).

Phil' said...

I'm sure Gavin put that in the wrong place......

Gavin said...

Well either that was a mistake or you've gained insight into the interior of my mind via an involuntary blurting about a priori and existential contingency.