In her Easter message the Queen said: “ This year, Easter will be different for many of us, but by keeping apart we keep others safe. But Easter isn’t cancelled; indeed, we need Easter as much as ever.” (You can find the full text at https://www.royal.uk/queens-easter-message )
In times like these we need Easter with its proclamation that Jesus Christ is risen, sickness, sin and death are defeated, and eternal life is ours through him.
Not only is Easter not cancelled; it isn’t over yet. Easter doesn’t end on Easter Monday; it continues for 50 days through to Pentecost. St Augustine of Hippo said “We are an Easter people, and Alleluia is our song.” Traditionally the word “Alleluia”, Hebrew for “Praise the Lord”, is left out of our worship during Lent, so it’s a joy to be able to say it, sing it, shout it, again at Easter, and all through Eastertide. “Alleluia, Christ is risen.” “He is risen indeed. Alleluia.”
On the last Sunday when we were able to worship together before the lock down, we sang Graham Kendrick’s “Holy Overshadowing”.
You can find it online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptD96tdglfs Whatever may happen, God is there, loving, protecting us with his wings of mercy. “Until these troubles pass, my heart will sing praise for the holy overshadowing.”
Revd David Newman