Five catechumens and two candidates became full members of the Church as the Bishop of East Anglia celebrated the Easter Vigil at St John’s Cathedral in Norwich.
In his homily Bishop Alan Hopes reflected on our journey from chaos and darkness into the new creation and the light of Easter. “The Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead is the unique event on which the whole of our history turns,” said the bishop. “That is why we celebrate this Easter light with as much joy and thanksgiving as we can muster.”
He spoke of the powerful symbols which we use to express the mystery in which we believe.
“First, darkness. We begin our vigil in the dark. Like the chaos and darkness which existed before God created the universe. Like the darkness of the tomb in which Jesus had been buried.
“Second, light. The new fire was kindled, and from the Easter candle, the symbol of the risen Lord, all the candles were lit, and the whole cathedral is ablaze with light. It is as if God had said, all over again, as at the moment of creation, ‘Let there be light.’
“Third, water. We are made part of the new creation, undergoing a new birth through the waters of baptism. We die to our old ways of life and are born again as His children and made members of His body, the Church.”
Unlike the apostles, the bishop said, we have no need to go and look at the empty tomb.
“For as we gather around His altar, we know that He will be truly present among as again in all His risen glory. As were receive this heavenly food for our earthly pilgrimage, His risen and glorified life fills our lives and heaven is with us long before we are in heaven.”
“The Lord is risen,” Bishop Hopes concluded. “He is risen indeed.
Picture: Bishop Alan Hopes baptises on of the new members of the faithful.