Wednesday, March 02, 2016
I have never served a congregation which holds an Easter sunrise service and now I never will, since this will be my past pastorate. To say that my heart soars might surprise you, knowing that I love the outdoors, and regularly walk and cycle to my church job in ridiculous weather. Today was an example.
I'm just not partial to standing in some exposed spot pretending that the biting wind blowing my notes down the shore is actually pleasant and that people are really enjoying an experience akin to Napoleon's March to Moscow. I get the power of the dawning of a new day, but there should be a ban on these services north of the 42nd parallel (Windsor Ontario.)
Part of the challenge is the moveable mystery which is Easter. This year Easter Sunday is March 27th, which in northern climes does not bode well for an outdoor service. The earliest Easter can occur is March 22nd, although this won't happen again until the year 2285. I'd say we'll all be pushing up daisies, but even with climate change it isn't likely at that time of the year. The latest possible date is April 25th, so a range of more than a month.
We can blame this on the phases of the moon because Easter is always the first Sunday after the full moon of the Spring equinox, at least for the majority of the world's Christians. Orthodox Easter is in May this year, which is downright sensible, don't you think. There are talks underway for a set date for Easter, much like Christmas, although we have been flirting with this notion for decades.
Whenever Easter falls, there is the sense of Springtime for the soul. Christ has died, and Christ is risen. One year in Sudbury we celebrated Easter morning in a veritable blizzard, but we praised God for resurrection life in Christ as though is was May, and that's the way it should be. As long as the service is indoors!