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The angel rolled the stone away...

1.The Vigil

The altar was stripped
The altar was stripped on Good Friday
Kevin lit the fire outside the porch Easter candle 2006 The opening prayers
Beginning of the Vigil - Kevin prepared the Easter fire. Prayers are said, the fire and the Paschal candle are blessed.

Alpha and Omega
A new candle each year announces Alpha & Omega - the beginning and the end.
The Paschal candle is lit from the fire and then the light is passed to everyone.
It is up to us to pass on the light we have received.

Blessing the new candle
The gathering
Peter sang the Exultet
Exultet
Silver medal for 10 years service on the altar
Presentation of silver medals for ten years' service in St Stephen's guild - Saturday night and Sunday morning..

From Sorrow

to Joy

2. Easter Sunday Morning

The name 'Easter' comes from Eostre, the goddess of Spring, worshipped in Anglo-Saxon times. Jesus is believed by Christians to have risen from the dead on the third day after the beginning of the Jewish Feast of Passover, the date of which depends on ancient calculation of lunar months. Easter falls on the first Sunday following the next full moon after the spring equinox, March 21st, hence the variation in the date from year to year. The Christian church replaced the old pagan feast, celebrating the risen Christ at Easter and using the same symbols which now had added significance.

The feast of Easter is the most important in the church's year,
celebrating the raising of Jesus after his crucifixion and death.

 

Readers Readings Resurrection
Narrator The Easter story was told by the children with a mime.

The women came early in the morning of the day after the Sabbath, to anoint the body with their precious spices.
The empty tomb
"They could see that the stone, which was very big, had been rolled back.

On entering the tomb they saw a young man in a white robe seated on the right hand side, and they were struck with amazement.

He is not here...

But he said to them, 'There is no need for alarm. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified: he has risen, he is not here. See, here is the place where they laid him. But you must go and tell his disciples and Peter: "He is going before you to Galilee; it is there you will see him just as he told you."
Mark 16.

When the women returned from the tomb they told all this to the Eleven and to all the others. The women were Mary of Magdala, Joanna and Mary the mother of James. The other women with them also told the apostles, but this story of theirs seemed pure nonsense, and they did not believe them." Luke 24.
The apostles

Peter, however, went running to the tomb. He bent down and saw the binding cloths but nothing else; then he went back home, amazed at what had happened. Luke 24

Jesus appeared to his disciples many times during the next days and weeks, instructing them and chiding them for their lack of faith.

Jesus told them, "Go then to people everywhere and make them my disciples; baptise them in the name of the Father , the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you, and I will be with you always, to the end of the age."
Bidding Prayers The Offertory
Bidding Prayers Offertory
We praise God and rejoice Jesus suffered
We identify with suffering people everywhere
   
At the end of Mass
the children brought their
decorated eggs .
to the altar
Pace eggs>
See the footnote to the Passover
Easter eggs decorated by the children

Jesus promised that he would send the Holy Spirit to empower them for this task of preaching the gospel, that is, the 'god-spell' or good news, that through baptism we may have eternal life.

There are many people still who question the reality of the Resurrection and try to explain it away. It was the same reaction immediately in Jerusalem. The chief priest and the elders bribed the soldiers, telling them, "You are to say that his disciples came during the night and stole his body while you were asleep. And if the Governor should hear of this, we will convince him that you are innocent, and you will have nothing to worry about." The account continues, "The guards took the money and did what they were told to do. And so that is the report spread round by the Jews to this very day." [ Matthew, 28]

The incredible change that took place in this tired, dispirited and frightened group over the next days and weeks certainly cannot be explained away by an empty tomb or by trickery. These frightened men, who hid away behind locked doors, became daring and courageous, prepared to go on the streets and to challenge the leaders of the Jews, spreading their wonderful news abroad.

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