Question: How do you know Christmas is over?
Answer: When you see Easter Eggs in the shops!
Well Christmas may be done and packed away for another year, but Christians have so much more to celebrate before Easter.
After the joy of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, at Christmas, we follow the life of the young Jesus. From His Baptism by John the Baptist an event seen as the start of the ministry of Jesus to the wonderful liturgy of Candlemas (the Presentation of Christ in the Temple).
At Candlemas we not only remember Christ as the Light of the World but also the first time Jesus is recognised as the Saviour of the World. As the aged Simeon, in the Temple, says in the second chapter of the Gospel of Luke verses 29-32:
“Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace according to thy word. For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; To be a light to lighten the Gentiles and to be the glory of thy people Israel.”
As I write this article we have just entered the time of Lent at Ash Wednesday – the day after what has become known as Pancake Tuesday (or more properly called Shrove Tuesday).
Lent, a time of preparation, lasts for forty days and leads up to Easter just as Advent leads up to Christmas.
From our Palm Sunday celebrations (25th March) of Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, we spend the final week of Lent in prayer and reflection.
Join us for our traditional Stations of the Cross, and our evening service on Maundy Thursday when we commemorate the Last Supper of Jesus with the Apostles.
On Good Friday we remember and reflect on the events of the Crucifixion. Please join us at our service.
On the evening of Holy Saturday, we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. The service starts outside the Church and in darkness. After the lighting of the first fire of Easter, we move into the Church lighting candles as we go; symbolically bringing the Light of Christ back to a darkened world.
On Sunday 1st of April we celebrate together Easter – Jesus Christ is risen from the dead!
(This article by Phil was originally published as part of St David’s Messenger in March 2018)