The church was arranged in “café style” for our Agape meal of roast lamb with unleavened bread followed by baklava and fresh fruit.
The food was then cleared away in preparation for the more solemn meal of the Eucharist.
After the meal there was a watch of prayer until midnight
In the morning there was a Children’s Workshop, following the story of Holy Week…
In the afternoon, members of our Lent Group shared reflections from the book “The Nail” by Bishop Stephen Cottrell. These were followed by the Liturgy of the Day.
Time for the flower arrangers to “spring” into action!
We listened to the final chapters from “The Nail” before saying Compline together.
We gathered outside the church before dawn. A fire was lit and blessed. The Paschal Candle was blessed and the “cruel nails” inserted. It was lit from the fire and carried into the church in a cloud of incense- “The Light of Christ”. The congregation followed, each carrying a votive candle. Canon Veronica sang the “Exsultet”, and then we listened to the biblical stories from creation through to the events of Holy Week, all read by candle light. Then following the Gospel reading, “Christ is Risen – He is risen indeed!”. The lights were switched on and everyone made “a joyful noise” on various instruments.
Following the First Eucharist of Easter, we enjoyed a shower of mini Easter Eggs and a glass of “Buck’s Fizz.”
At the 10.30am Family Communion Service we welcomed Megan and Maisie for their Christening and shared a special cake afterwards to celebrate the Vicar’s 25th Anniversary of Ordination to the Priesthood.
Summoned by the bells of Sutton Saint James to the Macclesfield Deanery Choral Evensong on Saturday afternoon… Evensong was led by Veronica (as Rural Dean) and a combined choir (from various churches in the Deanery, led by Sandra Moss) performed the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in C by Charles Villiers Stanford and the anthem “O Thou the Central Orb” by Charles Wood (words H R Bramley).
Before dawn, a small group gathered at the entrance to the Church.
The new fire of Easter was kindled in a brazier. The Light of Christ was proclaimed as the lit Paschal Candle was brought into the dark Church.
The Exsultet was sung; a call to celebrate the transforming Easter event of 2000 years ago:
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 splendour,
radiant in the brightness of your King!
Christ has conquered! Glory ﬁll you! Darkness vanishes for ever!
Rejoice, O Mother Church! Exult in glory!
The risen Saviour shines upon you!
Let this place resound with joy.
By candlelight, we listened to familiar bible stories of Creation, of Noah, of Moses leading the Israelites across the Red Sea…
Finally in the light of dawn, the Gospel of St John was proclaimed.
Everyone was given a bell or other musical instrument to make a joyful noise accompanied by an organ fanfare echoing the mighty song of all God’s people:
Christ is risen – he is risen indeed! Alleluia
[After the Eucharist we enjoyed showers of chocolate eggs and a glass of Buck’s Fizz in a haze of incense!]