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Tuesday, 30 March 2021 23:24

Celebrating At Home - Easter Sunday

When someone dies, one of the things we often feel is their absence. The rooms where they lived with us, the places where they sat are now empty and our hearts ache.

Its not hard for us to share Mary’s sense of emptiness and bewilderment when she arrives at the tomb. This is an Easter like we have never had before. Without our usual celebrations with family and friends it can feel very empty indeed.

If we were to read the next few verses from John’s Gospel, we would read a story of overwhelming joy as Mary Magdalen meets the risen Jesus. When Jesus speaks her name, Mary recognises him and sadness and emptiness give way to joyful reunion.

It’s a story of transformation - how things can change when we meet the risen Jesus.

In a way, we are all caught in tombs which hold loved ones, our experiences of hurt and harm, our fears and anxieties, especially now.

What we seem to need above all at this time is presence. Yet, this is the time when we experience absence most of all - being apart from loved ones, family and friends.

The practice of the presence of God can help us - just frequently reminding ourselves that we always in the presence of God, that we can talk to God as one friend to another, that God is in this moment with us, that God is on our side no matter what comes our way, that God is our constant companion.

Eventually, we will begin to feel more deeply God’s presence, not just beside us, but within us. Eventually, the fears and anxieties, the past hurts, and disrupted relationships begin to melt away.

Where once there was only absence, now there is calm, loving, healing Presence and we know we are not alone. Our tombs begin to empty and joy becomes possible again.

Resurrection is all about death giving way to life, the impossible becoming possible, absence becoming presence.

May all your tombs be empty!

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Celebrating at Home is a Liturgy of the Word centred around the Gospel reading for each Sunday. It includes a reflection on the Gospel and prayers.

It can be used personally or with your family. Parts for all to pray are given in bold print and all the other parts can be shared among those present.

We hope that Celebrating at Home will be a source of nourishment and strength for all who use it.

In the room you decide to use for this prayer you could have a lighted candle, a crucifix and the Bible. These symbols help keep us mindful of the sacredness of our time of prayer and can help us feel connected with our local worshipping communities.

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