Easter 2020: empty

On page 880 of the Book of Common Prayer there begins a series of instructions for finding Easter and other moveable feasts. If you have the Golden number and the Sunday letter, it promises, you can find Easter in any century or year …

Easter is a moveable feast. It is linked to a lunar and sacred calendar more ancient than the one that we use. Even other Christian churches use yet other calendars. For some of our siblings, today is Palm Sunday; Easter is yet to come.

I have seen churches saying that when we come back together, when e back in our buildings, when we are able to sing our alleluias together, that will be Easter. Easter is, after all, a moveable feast. And Easter is seven weeks long – fifty days. Is it unreasonable at least to hope that, by the time we are together again, it will still be Easter?

In the meantime, our aumbry, the tabernacle remains void of the reserved Sacrament. Our pews remain empty of our voices. The building remains empty of alleluias.

But I was reminded this week that on that first Easter, it was the tomb that was empty. And that reminded me that before God created the heavens and the earth, all was empty and void. And see what God created out of that emptiness. And remember the new life that Jesus brought out of the empty tomb.

And so I invite us not to shy away from the emptiness of this Easter, hard as it is, but to remember and to wonder what new thing God will create out of this new emptiness.


About Rosalind C Hughes

Rosalind C Hughes is a priest and author living near the shores of Lake Erie. After growing up in England and Wales, and living briefly in Singapore, she is now settled in Ohio. She serves an Episcopal church just outside Cleveland. Rosalind is the author of A Family Like Mine: Biblical Stories of Love, Loss, and Longing , and Whom Shall I Fear? Urgent Questions for Christians in an Age of Violence, both from Upper Room Books. She loves the lake, misses the ocean, and is finally coming to terms with snow.
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