Posted on: Wednesday 3 April 2019
Posted in: Anglican Faith Connections
The greatest of Christian festivals, Easter, is a moveable feast and so its date changes year to year. It can be celebrated throughout March until almost the end of April and this year it falls in the approaching holidays. We as a school will be celebrating Easter this Wednesday with two services: one for the Middle Senior School and one for the Junior School.
Easter is the Christian festival as it celebrates the central tenet of the Christian Faith: Christ’s death and resurrection. Yet, because it is an annual occasion and the story so well known, our students benefit from hearing it presented in a fresh manner. So, this year we will tell the story of Holy Week from Palm Sunday to Easter Day in rituals, songs, hymns, Bible readings and poetry.
Two of the rituals will be the carrying of palms as the narrative of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem is read and the washing of feet. The crowds waved palms and sang psalms as Jesus entered the city riding on a donkey and so shall we. The following three days, Jesus taught in the Temple so we will hear the central message of his teaching which is to love God by loving one another as we love ourselves. On the first Maundy Thursday, Jesus shared an evening Passover meal with his disciples. In this meal, which has become known as the Last Supper, he not only used the customary bread and wine, consumed on such occasions, to refer to his coming death and resurrection, but also acted out a parable for the disciples to follow implicitly. He washed their feet! Such a role was usually given to the youngest and most inexperienced person in the household, yet Jesus the disciples’ master, did it for them. He had turned convention on its head and had showed them not only what true leadership is but commanded them to do the same. So, we will re-enact it with the youngest student in Year 7 having her feet washed by our Principal.
We will sing hymns as the disciples sang on the way to the Garden of Gethsemane after the Last Supper. We shall hear the events of Good Friday, not from the point of view of one of the Gospel writers, but rather from one of the soldiers given the task of crucifying Jesus. This is beautifully and imaginatively conveyed in the words of the poem And a Good Friday was had by all written by the Australian poet, Bruce Dawe. Then, the utter sadness and grief of Good Friday will be swept away with the reading of the Gospel narrative of the empty tomb and the tremendous news that Christ is risen. Then to reflect the joy of the disciples, the service will end with the Senior Choir singing I sing because I’m happy. It is early, but a happy and holy Easter to you all for “Christ is risen; he is risen indeed. Alleluia!”
Fr Patrick Duckworth