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It is Easter Day. You knew that. We worship on Sunday because every Sunday is an echo of Easter, but the core of Easter is as much an echo of our Sunday worship. We get energetic and emotional about Easter because that's what we do, but sometimes we feel that every Sunday is Almost Easter. In the eucharistic liturgy, we say together an acclamation that might go something like this:

We remember his death, We proclaim his resurrection, We await his coming in glory.


Lord, by your cross and resurrection you have set us free. You are the Saviour of the world.


Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again.

That sort of acclamation has been in our prayer books for a bit more than a century. Previously the presider alone said something like this after consecrating the elements:

... we thy humble servants, having in remembrance the precious death and passion of thy dear Son, his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension, according to ...

There are many ways to say it, but the intended meaning is the same. It's the message of Easter†. Our worship and liturgies during this annual recurrence of Holy Week and Easter Week are more numerous, more passionate, more explicit, and more anamnestic, and the music tends to be more magnificent. It hardly works to have every week's worship be a blowout. Riding your bicycle up and down credible hills is more exuberant than riding in Wiltshire; the Easter liturgy is like riding down the longest hill in the land after Lent lugged us to its top.

Anglicans Online is produced each week by a collection of people. We live in different places and attend different churches. We visit one another often enough; most all of us have attended all of our churches. We try always to write as if we are one, but every now and then the differences show. At our weekly afternoon conference we said to one another:

'We had a baroque orchestra (including four violins and two trumpets) doing Mozart's Coronation Mass! A foretaste of heaven.'

'We did all right with Langlais for the Mass setting and Widor's Toccata for the postlude.'

'We didn't have a Mass setting, but we sang some great hymns and afterwards had a huge Easter egg hunt in the garden outside the parish hall. Our organist isn't old enough to drive; his mother watched with pride while she waited for him to finish his triumphant rendition of the Widor Toccata before driving him home to do his school homework.'

Some celebrations of Actual Easter are more liturgically astounding than others, but all of them celebrate the same death, resurrection, and ascension, and all of them reverberate with the everyday Sundays' remembrance of Easter. You can't ride your bicycle downhill all of the time and you can't use the Coronation Mass setting every week. Nor can you make a hundred children joyful by having an Easter egg hunt every week. It does all seem to work out; after all it's the parents and not the children who appreciate high-end Mass settings.

See you next week. Somewhere*.

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All of us at Anglicans Online

8 April 2012

†Well, OK, the Ascension isn't part of Easter, but Sunday worship recapitulates Ascension as well as Easter.

*A special thanks to the Revd Michael Merriman, who made one of us feel very welcome not long ago in a big church that was full of strangers and far from home.

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