Easter Message from the Rector

Dear Friends:

17th Century Bulgarian icon
17th Century Bulgarian Icon

One of the great symbols of Easter is the large Paschal candle, which is solemnly blessed and lit after the kindling of new fire during the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday night. As the candle, which represents the Risen Christ, is brought into the darkened church, the Deacon intones, “The Light of Christ,” and the people genuflecting respond, “Thanks be to God.” The procession moves forward, and the people light their individual candles from acolytes whose candles were lit from the Paschal candle. Gradually the church fills with light shining from the dozens of candles: light shining out into darkness, illuminating the faces of the people and pushing back the gloom of the dark church.

What a powerful image of the Resurrection! Light overcoming darkness, light enabling us to move from the shadows to see ourselves and one another clearly. Is not this a tangible expression of what Easter is about?

In our world darkness and shadow seem at times to be all we know: strife in Palestine/Israel, refugees living in terrible conditions, war in Ukraine and in so many other parts of the world.... Darkness also comes from the poverty of the human heart and imagination that, seeing individuals and community in crisis, finds it much easier either to ignore it or to give in to cynicism and despair rather than to seek a remedy. The Easter Gospel, which is the very heart of our life together as a parish, is God’s answer to this kind of darkness. The light of God’s love as found in the Cross and the empty tomb is the remedy for our impoverished hearts and broken world.

This Easter I invite you to come and share in the solemnities of Holy Week and the joy of the 50 days of Easter, to allow the light and hope of the Resurrection to touch your heart and imagination and enable you to find light in the midst of our dark and troubled world. Come and, with your sisters and brothers, become part of the remedy that our world needs. 

Yours in Christ,

The Rev. Canon Stewart W. Murray
Church of St Barnabas, A&M, Ottawa