From the Rectory April 2021
We’ve been observing assorted lockdown anniversaries these last few weeks. We noted it’s been a year since first cases reported in the UK, then in our region, then the ending of public worship and other suggested guidelines which then culminated in a general UK lockdown from 23rd March 2020. Some of you may recall those early times of lockdown and the incredible feelings of uncertainty which we all felt. We wondered how it would be. Would loved ones get this mysterious new virus? Would we linger in a lockdown? Would it all just blow over? Will I be able to buy flour or bread in the supermarket when I next go there?
For many people it was an incredibly painful experience to find ourselves shut out from our churches. When public worship ceased we were not allowed in church at all and it was such a weird Easter which felt like an overdose of Lent. services were posted online as clergy climbed a remarkably steep learning curve. A year ago, I’d never posted anything on YouTube! We all felt the pain of closed church doors and I remember thinking how much I missed having a really good blast of a hymn at Easter. For many of us in church, it’s a key ingredient as the tones of Lent grow increasingly subdued by the themes of Holy Week until we leave the church in silence on Good Friday. Then, doors are opened, and resurrection praise breaks forth!
We can do more in church this year but it’s likely to involve only a few singing rather than a whole congregation or choir. When we are deprived of something we treasure it is uncomfortable. It can be helpful too. Although we can’t have a blast of an Easter hymn it does not change anything of what God has done for us in Christ Jesus. The fact of Jesus resurrection still stands, regardless of what we can or cannot do
We have to dig a little deeper and search a bit harder inside ourselves. We have to ask questions about what it is which really lifts our hearts and find other ways to express our joy and thanks to God. We don’t always like “different” but different can help us sometimes too
With prayers for a blessed Holy Week and joyful Easter
Rev Canon Simon Ward
Team Rector, Great Yarmouth Parish
this article also appeared in Parish Life
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