Tuesday, 5 April 2016

From the Vicar - April 2016

Every Holy Week members of the Churches in Denbigh Deanery meet to walk the Stations of the Cross at Pantasaph.  It is very a moving event and a prayerful way to walk the Way of the Cross. Each of the 14 stations are placed at the end of a zig-zag path that leads up the hill at the back of the Priory. People travel many miles to visit but we are blessed to have it more or less on our doorstep, you can visit at any time, not just during Holy Week. I can remember visiting several years ago and being struck by the stillness of the Padre Pio Garden whilst listening to the noise of the A55 in the distance. The noise of the traffic reminded me that whilst the world rushes on the peace of Christ is there for those who pause to seek it.

After the events of Holy Week it is wonderful to celebrate the joy of the Resurrection. In the same way as spring brings new life and the promise of warmth, so in the Church Calendar the weeks following Easter Sunday are filled with hope and light. Our Easter weekend weather was far from spring-like, but as we celebrate Easter we know that by the death and resurrection of Jesus, the light of Easter Sunday will always follow the darkness of Good Friday.

Sadly in our world we know too that darkness still exists, the recent events in Brussels have brought dark days in Belgium, for all who suffered and all who lost loved ones. We live in a world where tragic events like this happen but we know that resurrection still happens in the unexpected moment, in the unexpected place; in the place where all seems lost and the future looks grim. The light of the resurrection does not make the darkness disappear; it helps us to live in the darkness with hope.
Whenever a Baptism takes place in Church the person being Baptised, (or a Godparent if it is a child) is given a lighted candle, lit from the Easter Candle which symbolises the Light of Christ. As the candle is given we say:

You have received the light of Christ; walk in this light all the days of your life.
Shine as a light in the world to the glory of God the Father.

All Baptised Christians are called to be the Light of Christ in our world, our homes and our communities.

Bishop Gregory in his Easter message said: My Easter message is simply that I hope whatever darkness threatens you, the light of Christ may be able to rise in your heart and give you new hope.

Alleluia! Christ is Risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Val Rowlands