Easter

Easter is the most important time of the Christian year!

The Easter Garden

Introduction

On the first day of the week, when it was still dark, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb.  In the darkness of the early morning and filled with distress and deep sadness she failed to recognise Jesus, mistaking him for the gardener, until he called her name when her tears gave way to unmistakable joy.

Many churches will have an Easter garden depicting the empty tomb but it is also a tradition that can be maintained in your own home or garden. Here is a prayer asking God to bless us as we look upon the Easter scene.

Prayer

Blessed are your, Lord, God of all Creation, in the garden of the empty Tomb your Risen Son was met by Mary Magdalene, whose distress was dissolved by the power of love and whose sadness disappeared at the joy of her Lord, alive for evermore. Bless us at this Easter garden that the darkness of our lives may be filled with light and life, and the glory and joy of Easter possess our hearts with songs of Alleluia! We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Blessing of Easter Food

The custom of blessing food for Easter is one that arose naturally from the Lenten discipline of fasting and especially the fasting associated with the Holy Triduum.  The first meal of Easter takes place after the Easter Vigil or First Eucharist of Easter Day.

Prayer

God of glory, Lord of Life, we lift our eyes to you as we celebrate Christ’s victory over sin and death. Bless us and this food of our first Easter Meal. May we who have gathered at the Lord’s table be forever filled with the joy of his resurrection and come at last to the banquet of heaven. Grant this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Regina Coeli

The Regina Coeli replaces the Angelus from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday at morning, noon and 6pm

Joy to thee, O Queen of Heaven, alleluia!
He whom thou was meet to bear,
As he promised hath arisen, alleluia!
Pour for us to God thy prayer, alleluia!

Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia!
For the Lord is risen indeed, alleluia!

Let us pray.
O God, who through the resurrection
of your Son our Lord Jesus Christ
brought joy to the whole world
grant that through the prayers
of his Mother, the Virgin Mary,
we may obtain the joys of everlasting life.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Easter Light

At the Easter Vigil, the Paschal (Easter) Candle is blessed and lit, and the light is spread throughout the church with worshippers holding individual candles as we listen to the story of our Salvation with readings from Scripture. At home, perhaps a candle can be lit in your home as a focus of prayer, and some of the words of the Easter Vigil can be used in your own time of prayer at home:

Christ yesterday and today, the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega all time belongs to him and all the ages To him be glory and power through every age and for ever.   By his holy and glorious wounds, May Christ the Lord guard and protect us.  

“We are an Easter people and Alleluia is our song.”

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