Then, at 5.00am the preparations began with the lighting of the brazier outside the west end of Church, whilst our beloved Curate made preparations for a simple breakfast in the parish hall. In the stillness of the morning an incense procession comprising the Churchwarden Louise Cope, the Curate and the Vicar made its way around the outside of the building from east to west whilst singing acapella the chorus, “Sing Alleluia to the Lord.”
Prayers were said over the fire and the Paschal candle, lit and dedicated.
The Gospel reading preceded a stream of 24 people (the youngest Livia Luxton) making their way into Church, each person passing on a flame to light a tall, thin candle and then taking their place in what was by then an incense filled Church.
The scene was positively Byzantine and beautifully simple in its solemnity. Remember, the first disciples still had a lot of learning to do on that first Easter morning and the wonderment and praise at Jesus’ rising from death was still to be realised.
The Vicar then censed the altar, the pulpit, the congregation and those in procession and we left to the chant of Jesus is Risen from the dead in Aramaic!
What an amazing way to begin our Easter celebrations! He is Risen indeed.