Category : Easter

A Prayer for Today from the Church of England

Risen Christ,
by the lakeside you renewed your call to your disciples:
help your Church to obey your command
and draw the nations to the fire of your love,
to the glory of God the Father.
Amen.

Posted in Easter, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for Today from the Church of England

God our redeemer,
you have delivered us from the power of darkness
and brought us into the kingdom of your Son:
grant, that as by his death he has recalled us to life,
so by his continual presence in us he may raise us to eternal joy;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Amen.

Posted in Easter, Spirituality/Prayer

Frederick Buechner for Easter–‘It doesn’t have the ring of great drama. It has the ring of truth’

from there:

It is not a major production at all, and the minor attractions we have created around it—the bunnies and baskets and bonnets, the dyed eggs—have so little to do with what it’s all about that they neither add much nor subtract much. It’s not really even much of a story when you come right down to it, and that is of course the power of it. It doesn’t have the ring of great drama. It has the ring of truth. If the Gospel writers had wanted to tell it in a way to convince the world that Jesus indeed rose from the dead, they would presumably have done it with all the skill and fanfare they could muster. Here there is no skill, no fanfare. They seem to be telling it simply the way it was. The narrative is as fragmented, shadowy, incomplete as life itself. When it comes to just what happened, there can be no certainty. That something unimaginable happened, there can be no doubt.

The symbol of Easter is the empty tomb. You can’t depict or domesticate emptiness. You can’t make it into pageants and string it with lights. It doesn’t move people to give presents to each other or sing old songs. It ebbs and flows all around us, the Eastertide. Even the great choruses of Handel’s Messiah sound a little like a handful of crickets chirping under the moon.

He rose. A few saw him briefly and talked to him. If it is true, there is nothing left to say. If it is not true, there is nothing left to say. For believers and unbelievers both, life has never been the same again. For some, neither has death. What is left now is the emptiness. There are those who, like Magdalen, will never stop searching it till they find his face.

Posted in Christology, Easter, Eschatology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer for the Day from the Church of England

Almighty God,
who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ
have overcome death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life:
grant that, as by your grace going before us
you put into our minds good desires,
so by your continual help
we may bring them to good effect;
through Jesus Christ our risen Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Amen.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Easter, Spirituality/Prayer

Edith Humphrey–Multiplication, Ministry, and Maturity: Some Thoughts on Acts 6 in Easter 2020

There is also the deep honor given to the deacons in this early scene. They are not primarily called to preach the word—though, interestingly, the protomartyr Stephen has the longest speech in the entire NT! But the work of helps and serving is ministry, too, and it requires wisdom and the presence of the Holy Spirit. Our faith is not a dualistic philosophy. It does not tell us that what affects the body is on a human level, but only what affects the soul and spirit is imbued with God’s power. No, these seven—and notice the holy number here—are selected for three things: their wisdom, their being indwelt by God’s Spirit, and the “witness of others” regarding their character. Three things come together—the witness of the Spirit, the witness of their own wise beings, and the witness of other Christians. And then, to this is added the laying on of hands, that is, the witness of the apostles. All this verification is given for those who will serve others on a practical level.

And there is one final thing to notice. Our passage begins and ends by speaking about the multiplication of the believers. The problem that they experienced was catalyzed by the rapid growth of the Church—would that we had similar problems everywhere today! But then, once the dispute is adequately addressed, we hear that the Church continues to multiply. Indeed, we hear that a large number of Christ’s original enemies from the Sanhedrin, the priests, become obedient to the faith, and join the early Church. What was it that attracted them to the early believers in Jerusalem? Of course, it must have been the new quality of life that they saw among these believers, just as Nicodemus was won over by Jesus’ instruction concerning a new birth from above. But, I suspect, it was also because the early Church was practical, and had all its ducks in a row. The priestly group put a great premium upon orderly life, and the way that things were done. Here was a winsome body of believers that was both teaming with life, and could manage its affairs—it had both the prophetic AND the priestly charism. It had soul AND body. And so it reached out to many, even to those who had been suspicious of the One who had come among them as Prophet, Priest, and King. Here were His very own, witnessing about Him as they multiplied, as they learned how to engage in ministry of every kind, and as they grew into maturity. May this also be true of us.

Shine, shine, O New Jerusalem!
The glory of the Lord has shone on you!
Exult now, and be glad, O Zion!
Be radiant, O pure Theotokos, in the Resurrection of your Son!

Read it all.

Posted in Easter, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer for the Day from the Church of England

Risen Christ,
your wounds declare your love for the world
and the wonder of your risen life:
give us compassion and courage
to risk ourselves for those we serve,
to the glory of God the Father.
Amen.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Easter, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Church of South India

O Lord Jesus Christ, who hast gone to the Father to prepare a place for us: Grant us so to live in communion with thee here on earth, that hereafter we may enjoy the fullness of thy presence; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end.

Posted in Easter, Spirituality/Prayer

More Music for Easter–John Rutter, Cambridge Singers, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Lyrics:

Look to the day when the world seems new again:
Morning so fresh you could touch the sky;
The earth smells sweet and ev’ry flower looks bright,
Shining in a dewy light as you wander by.
Taking the time to enjoy each moment;
Tasting the fruits spread along your way,
Knowing there’s time to spare, Dreams you can dream and share:
Look to the day, look to the day.

Look to the day when the earth is green again:
Promise of spring after winter’s sleep.
The sounds of life returning fill the air,
Music that’s forever there for your heart to keep.
Deep in the earth lay the seed of life renewed,
Quiet and strong till the time of spring:
Life in each bud and shoot, Life in each flower and fruit,
Look to that day when earth shall sing.

Look to the light that will drive out darkness;
Look to the hope that will conquer fear.
God’s strength uphold us till the fight is won,
Till we see our task is done when the day is here.
Look for that day when there shall be no more pain;
Sorrow and sighing shall pass away.
Pray for the day to come, Trust that the day will come,
Look to that day, look to the day.

Lord, we give thanks for the gifts of life and health;
Plant a new seed in our hearts, we pray:
Help us to see, O Lord, How it could be, O Lord;
Look to the day, look to that day, look to the day, look to that day.

Posted in Easter, Liturgy, Music, Worship

A Prayer for the Day from the Church of England

Almighty God,
who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ
have overcome death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life:
grant that, as by your grace going before us
you put into our minds good desires,
so by your continual help
we may bring them to good effect;
through Jesus Christ our risen Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Amen.

Posted in Church of England, Easter, Spirituality/Prayer

More Music for Easter 2020: O Radiant Dawn – James MacMillan


Lyrics:

O Radiant Dawn, O Radiant Dawn, O Radiant Dawn
Splendour of Eternal Light
Sun of Justice, Sun of Justice, Sun of Justice
Come, come, come, come, come,
come shine on those who dwell in darkness And the shadow of death

Isaiah had prophesied,
‘The people who walked in darkness have seen a great Light.
Upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone’

O Radiant Dawn, O Radiant Dawn, O Radiant Dawn
Splendour of Eternal Light
Sun of Justice, Sun of Justice, Sun of Justice
Come, come, come, come, come,
come shine on those who dwell in darkness And the shadow of death

Amen, amen, amen, amen, amen, amen

Posted in Easter, Liturgy, Music, Worship

A Prayer to Begin the Day from New Every Morning

O God our Father, whose law is a law of liberty: Grant us wisdom to use aright the freedom which thou hast given us, by surrendering ourselves to thy service; knowing that, when we are thy willing bondsmen, then only are we truly free; for Jesus Christ’s sake.

New Every Morning (The Prayer Book Of The Daily Broadcast Service) [BBC, 1900]

Posted in Easter, Spirituality/Prayer

Another Prayer for Easter from Frederick B. Macnutt

O God, Who by Thine only-begotten Son hast destroyed the reign of death, and hast made us partakers of the kingdom of Thy love: grant, we beseech Thee, that as Thou hast begotten us again unto a living hope by His Resurrection, so also we may be kept by His power through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in Him, where He reigneth with Thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end.

Posted in Easter, Spirituality/Prayer

Another Prayer for Easter from the Prayer Manual

O Christ, the light of men, Who on the third day didst arise from the grave and shed Thy bright beams upon the darkness of the world; grant, we beseech Thee, that, enlightened by Thy presence, we may walk as children of the day, to the glory of Thy Name Who livest and reignest, world without end.

–Frederick B. Macnutt, The prayer manual for private devotions or public use on divers occasions: Compiled from all sources ancient, medieval, and modern (A.R. Mowbray, 1951)

Posted in Easter, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for Easter from the Church of England

Almighty God,
whose Son Jesus Christ is the resurrection and the life:
raise us, who trust in him,
from the death of sin to the life of righteousness,
that we may seek those things which are above,
where he reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Amen.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Easter, Spirituality/Prayer

More Music for Easter 2020–Casting Crowns – “Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me)”

Among the lyrics are:

One day the grave could conceal Him no longer
One day the stone rolled away from the door
Then He arose, over death He had conquered
Now is ascended, my Lord evermore
Death could not hold Him, the grave could not keep Him
From rising again

Listen to it all.

Posted in Easter, Liturgy, Music, Worship

Another Prayer for Easter from the Prayer Manual

We give Thee thanks, Almighty Father, Who hast delivered us from the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of Thy Son: grant, we beseech Thee, that as by His death He has restored to us hope and peace, He may raise us up with Him to life eternal; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Frederick B. Macnutt, The prayer manual for private devotions or public use on divers occasions: Compiled from all sources ancient, medieval, and modern (A.R. Mowbray, 1951)

Posted in Easter, Spirituality/Prayer

Kendall Harmon for Easter–Cry Freedom

How shall we understand freedom? Perhaps because I am in a state, South Carolina, where candidates….[not long ago] were running around saying “you are free so vote for me!” this has been much in mind.

There is a lot of sloppy thinking about freedom these days. For too many it only means the ability to choose a candidate or a product. Or it is understood to be the removal of external constraints, as in I need the government out of my—then fill in the blank: my business, my body, and on and on.

Christian thinking about freedom is a totally different animal.

For one thing, in the Scriptures, freedom has an interesting relationship to time. Freedom is something which was present in creation, and which will be fully present again at the end of history when God brings it to its conclusion. But what about the present? The people Jesus spends time with—say, for example, the woman at the well (John 4), or Zaccheus (Luke 19) are not free but constrained, imprisoned, and encased. When Jesus rescues them, freedom begins, but even then it is lived out in the tension between the already of new life in Christ and the not yet of the fullness of the eschaton.

So apart from Christ people who think they are free need to hear the bad news that their perceived freedom is an illusion. One would like to hear more from preachers these days on this score, since they are addressing parishioners who are workaholics or poweraholics or sexaholics and/or addicts to heaven knows what else. Why is it that a group like AA seems to know more about real freedom than so many churches? Because they begin with the premise which says their members are enslaved—that is the first of the twelve steps.

And there is so much more to freedom then even this. In the Bible, real freedom moves in not one or two but three directions.

Freedom from is one piece of the puzzle—freedom from sin, from the demands of the law, from the tyranny of the urgent, from whatever constricts us from being the people God intended us to be.

Equally important, however, is freedom for, freedom for Christ, for service, for God’s justice, for ministry. Paul wonderfully describes himself as a bondservant of Christ Jesus, and the Prayer Book has it right when it says God’s service is “perfect freedom.”

Freedom with should not be missed, however. For Paul in Galatians Christian freedom is not the Christian by herself changed by the gospel. This has too much in common with the individual shopper in Walmart deciding exactly what kind of popcorn or yogurt she wants. No, real freedom is to be liberated to live for Christ with the new pilgrim people of God who reflect back a little of heaven’s light on earth. A real church is one where people enjoy koinonia, fellowship, the richness of God’s life shared into them which they then share out in Christ’s name by the power of the Holy Spirit to the world.

Paul says it wonderfully in Galatians: “For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Do not settle for anything less than this real freedom, freedom from bondage, freedom with our fellow pilgrims, and freedom for the God who made the heavens and the earth.

–The Rev. Canon Dr. Kendall Harmon is the convenor of this blog

Posted in * By Kendall, Easter, Theology, Theology: Scripture

More Music for Easter–John Rutter: Most Glorious Lord of Life

Listen to it all.

Lyrics:

Most glorious Lord of life, that on this day
Didst make thy triumph over death and sin,
And having harrow’d hell, didst bring away
Captivity thence captive, us to win.
This joyous day, dear Lord, with joy begin,
And grant that we may for whom thou diddest die,
Being with thy dear blood clean wash’d from sin,
May live for ever in felicity.
And that thy love we weighing worthily,
May likewise love thee for the same again;
And for Thy sake, that all like dear didst buy,
With love may one another entertain.
So let us love, dear love, like as we ought;
Love is the lesson which the Lord us taught.
The day of resurrection! Earth, tell it out abroad;
The Passover of gladness, the Passover of God.
From death to life eternal, from earth unto the sky,
Our Christ hath brought us over, with hymns of victory. Amen.

Posted in Easter, Liturgy, Music, Worship

A Prayer for Easter from Frederick Macnutt

Almighty God, Who didst bring again from the dead our Lord Jesus, and hast brought life and immortality to light with Him through the Gospel: grant that we, who are raised together with Him and are partakers of the joy and hope of His Resurrection, may daily die unto sin and walk on earth in the power of His endless life in heaven; to Whom with Thee and the Holy Spirit be praise and thanksgiving, dominion and power, both now and for evermore.

–Frederick B. Macnutt, The prayer manual for private devotions or public use on divers occasions: Compiled from all sources ancient, medieval, and modern (A.R. Mowbray, 1951)

Posted in Easter, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for Today from the Church of England

Risen Christ,
faithful shepherd of your Father’s sheep:
teach us to hear your voice
and to follow your command,
that all your people may be gathered into one flock,
to the glory of God the Father.
Amen.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Easter, Spirituality/Prayer

Another Prayer for Easter from the Prayer Manual

We give Thee thanks, Almighty Father, Who hast delivered us from the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of Thy Son: grant, we beseech Thee, that as by His death He has restored to us hope and peace, He may raise us up with Him to life eternal; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Frederick B. Macnutt, The prayer manual for private devotions or public use on divers occasions: Compiled from all sources ancient, medieval, and modern (A.R. Mowbray, 1951)

Posted in Easter, Spirituality/Prayer

More Music for Easter–Even Unto Death – Audrey Assad

Lyrics:

Jesus the very thought of You it fills my heart with love
Jesus You burn like wildfire and I am overcome

Lover of my soul even unto death
With my every breath I will love You

Jesus You are my only hope and You my prize shall be
Jesus You are my glory now and in eternity

In my darkest hour
In humiliation
I will wait for You
I am not forsaken
Though I lose my life
Though my breath be taken
I will wait for You
I am not forsaken
One thing I desire
To see You in Your beauty
You are my delight
You are my glory
You my Sacrifice
Your love is all-consuming
You are my delight
You are my glory

Posted in Death / Burial / Funerals, Easter, Liturgy, Music, Worship

Another Prayer for Easter from the Prayer Manual

O Risen Lord, Who after Thy passion didst show Thyself alive unto Thine Apostles by many infallible proofs, and didst speak unto them the things that concern the kingdom of God: speak unto us also who wait upon Thee, and fill us with joy and peace in believing; that we may abound in hope, and knowing Thy will may faithfully perform it, even unto the end; through Thy grace, Who livest and reignest, Lord of the dead and of the living.

–Frederick B. Macnutt, The prayer manual for private devotions or public use on divers occasions: Compiled from all sources ancient, medieval, and modern (A.R. Mowbray, 1951)

Posted in Easter, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for Easter from the Prayer Manual

Almighty God, Who art worshipped by the heavenly host with hymns that are never silent and thanksgivings that never cease: fill our mouths with Thy praise that we may worthily magnify Thy holy Name for all the wonderful blessings of Thy love, and chiefly…[in this season] for the Resurrection of Thy Son. Grant us, with all those that fear Thee and keep Thy commandments, to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, to Whom with Thee and the Holy Ghost may praise from all the world be given, now and for evermore.

–Frederick B. Macnutt, The prayer manual for private devotions or public use on divers occasions: Compiled from all sources ancient, medieval, and modern (A.R. Mowbray, 1951)

Posted in Easter

An Easter Benedictus to Begin the Day

Blessed be Thou, O God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who according to Thine abundant mercy didst beget us again unto a living hope by the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead; to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for us who are kept by Thy power through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Whom having not seen, we love; to Whom with Thee, O Father, and the Holy Spirit, be all honour and glory, praise and dominion, for ever and ever.

–Frederick B. Macnutt, The prayer manual for private devotions or public use on divers occasions: Compiled from all sources ancient, medieval, and modern (A.R. Mowbray, 1951)

Posted in Easter, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for Easter from Henry Alford

O Thou merciful and loving High Priest, who hast passed within the veil and art in the presence of the Father: Help us with thy mighty intercession, that, our unworthiness being clothed upon with thy perfect righteousness, we may stand accepted in the day of thy coming; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end.

Posted in Easter, Spirituality/Prayer

More Music for Easter–This Joyful Eastertide – King’s College Cambridge

Enjoy it all.

Lyrics:

This joyful Easter-tide,
Away with care and sorrow!
My Love, the Crucified,
Hath sprung to life this morrow.

Had Christ, that once was slain,
Neer burst His three day prison,
Our faith had been in vain;
But now hath Christ arisen,
Arisen, arisen, arisen!

My flesh in hope shall rest,
And for a season slumber;
Till trump from east to west,
Shall wake the dead in number.

Had Christ, that once was slain,
Neer burst His three day prison,
Our faith had been in vain;
But now hath Christ arisen,
Arisen, arisen, arisen!

Deaths flood hath lost his chill,
Since Jesus crossed the river:
Lover of souls, from ill
My passing soul deliver.

Had Christ, that once was slain,
Neer burst His three day prison,
Our faith had been in vain;
But now hath Christ arisen,
Arisen, arisen, arisen!

Posted in Easter, Liturgy, Music, Worship

Archbishop Glenn Davies of Sydney’s 2020 Easter message

The leader of the largest Anglican diocese in the country, Sydney Archbishop Glenn Davies has spoken of the hope Jesus brings in declaring that the joy of Easter will not be extinguished by the coronavirus.

“I was asked by a television reporter recently whether COVID-19 is the virus that killed Easter,” Archbishop Davies said in his annual Easter message. “My answer was a resounding no!”

“Like you, I am astounded by what I am seeing as each day passes. We have never experienced a crisis quite like this before. We have so many fears – unemployment, loneliness, the safety of our loved ones. Of course, the greatest fear of all from this virus is the fear of death. But the message of Easter is that death has been conquered.”

Read it all.

Posted in Anglican Church of Australia, Australia / NZ, Easter

Easter Praise to Begin the Day from Frank Colquhoun

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for all who believe in Him; to whom with thee, O Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, be ascribed all honour and glory, dominion and power, now and for evermore.

Posted in Easter, Spirituality/Prayer

(ACNS) An Easter message from the Archbishop of Uganda

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

I greet you all in the name of our crucified and risen Lord Jesus Christ!

Easter 2020 is a very unique Easter. We have never had an Easter like this where we cannot gather together to celebrate Jesus’ victory over death. At the same time, we extend our sympathies to those who have lost their dear ones, both in Uganda and outside Uganda. We especially extend our condolences to the thousands of families around the world who have lost family members to COVID-19 and stand in prayer with those who are still struggling to recover.

It was only five weeks ago that I was installed as the 9th Archbishop of the Church of Uganda. I want to sincerely appreciate the Chair of the Organizing Committee, Hon. Ruth Nankabirwa, and her entire team who worked tirelessly to bring us together to seek God’s blessing for this next season in the life of our church. I also want to appreciate all the Bishops of the Church of Uganda and the Christians for their sacrificial support, as well as the many businesses who made contributions. Finally, to His Excellency, the President of Uganda, we extend heartfelt thanks for your support that has enabled the church to be a strong development partner with the government.

During this extraordinary season, we especially appreciate the President and government’s efforts to keep Ugandans safe and well. Yes, our lives have been significantly disrupted by the closures of churches, schools, and businesses, the restrictions on movement, and the nighttime curfew. Nevertheless, we encourage all Ugandans to obey the President’s directives so together we can defeat COVID-19. We also appeal to the security organs in the country to enforce the restrictions respectfully; please do not beat your fellow Ugandans as if they were animals.

In the midst of these challenges, we appreciate the government’s efforts to distribute food to those directly impacted by the lockdown. It’s a difficult exercise and the food may not reach everyone who really needs it. As this is Easter season, however, we call upon Ugandans to do what we normally do and share the little you have with others, especially the disabled and the orphans and widows in our communities.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of Uganda, Easter