Pascha – Bright Sunday
Dear Brothers and Sisters
What a day for an ordination. Fr Deacon George from the Romanian Parish of the Presentation of our Lord, in Glasgow, was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Ignati. Matushka and I managed to squeeze the visit in and we would not have missed this for the world. The parallel between Lazarus’ resurrection and the new life in Christ for a priest was tremendously powerful. It would have been impossible to avoid the presence of the Holy Spirit who so governed those at the Holy Table that a service of more than 3 hours simply became no longer than the word “gift”. We were all blessed on Lazarus Saturday and the recollection of the Ordination certainly helped many of us in the journey from Palm Sunday to Pascha. Physically tired but spiritually charged thanks to the apostolic words from the Bishop we were able to return home late to start Holy Week with a freshness which always comes after visiting the Romanian Church.
Eis Polla eti Despota! Bishop Ignati!
The Day of Resurrection let us shout with joy!
Christ is Risen!
It makes for an interesting travel map … the faithful from Fort William, St Andrews, Glasgow, Crieff and Ardnamurchan all heading to celebrate Easter! Hundreds of miles, 18 people, 1 purpose: to celebrate Holy Pascha together. The weather was meant to be awful according to the BBC, but we were gifted with a wonderful day. We were all scented with a gift of incense from a Monastery near Athens. Moldavian Communion Wine, tissue flowers from Finland and far too generous gifts all ensured a great feast. The table was fully laden and none went away hungry. We were blessed with many Kulichi and Pascha – not a competition – each slightly different and yet equally scrumptious. It was the largest number we had ever had in our little chapel and perhaps now we can look towards a more certain future.
On Bright Sunday we remember all of those people who have in any way touched our lives and have departed this world. We remember them because they are important to us and there is love between us. Be very assured that they will also be praying
for you. Our intercessions for the forgiveness of their sins
The Feast of Saint Thomas:
You will remember that Thomas didn’t quite believe that the other disciples had seen the Risen Saviour and he said to them that unless he saw the print of the nails in Christ’s hands and he could put his finger into the print of the nails and place his hand into Christ’s side he would not believe.( John 20: 24-26).
When Thomas (also known as Didymus) did see Christ after 8 days, Our Saviour instructed him to place his hand in His side and to put his finger into His hands. The astonished Thomas acknowledged Christ as “My Lord and my God!” Jesus then said to him one of the strongest predictions of understanding about what Christianity would be like from that time forward and for all time, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen me and yet believe” (John20: 26-29). It was also Thomas some years later arrived home from India because he had been told of the death of the Mother of God. He needed to see her body. The absence of her body was indeed proof, if we needed it, that the Mother of God does indeed have a special presence in the lives of Christians and in the protection of the Church. Thomas was not doubting on this occasion, he wanted once more to cast his eyes on the Mother of God whom all of the Apostles loved.
So a lesson which we can draw from Thomas is not about doubt but about the irrefutable existence of the Kingdom which is to come; Christians do not
need proof – we need faith.