|Andrea di Bartolo, The Resurrection.PD.|
to those in the tombs restoring life.
-- Orthodox Chant for Easter Day, 4th century
Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once he died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where's thy victory, boasting grace? Alleluia!
-- Charles Wesley, 1739
--Wendell Berry, Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front, 1973
Easter Season starts here, with such bold, uproarious praise. We practice such bold praise this day, and, if to a slightly lesser extent, throughout the full 50 days of the Season, culminating in the Day of Pentecost.
But Easter Season is not seven weeks (8 Sundays) primarily to celebrate resurrection. It is indeed 50 days to become re-grounded, or, for the newly baptized, grounded for the first time in what the resurrection of Jesus means for our lives as disciple of the Risen One. This is the Season of Mystagogy, of being led into the mysteries of the Risen One among us in the power of the Holy Spirit. And so this is the Season par excellence for deep formation in doctrine and in ministry.
Celebrate this day! Practice the praise of God and the infinite delight the resurrection of Jesus both is and promises. Keep practicing that throughout this season. Let every day be filled with Alleluias!
And practice resurrection yourselves as you focus intently in these weeks on living in its power and wisdom, especially as you help the newest Christians among you or those preparing to take the vows of the baptismal covenant themselves for the first time live out the commitments of the baptismal covenant.
Worship is a significant part of the formation of this season, but not the only part. Come alongside all who are ready to go deeper with individuals and groups who are prepared to help them do just that. Keep talking about the themes of worship throughout the week each week. Help persons discover and claim their spiritual gifts and their callings from God for ministry in the world-- and get them ready to be commissioned to use them come the Day of Pentecost.
GBOD's planning article for worship during this season and the weekly worship planning helps (starting with Easter 2) may help you gain and keep this focus throughout Easter Season.
Practice celebrating resurrection. Rejoice in it! Delight in it! Claim with great joy all the ways your are bathed in it through baptism! And feast in it each Sunday around the Lord's table.
And, as you do, in every way you can, help your congregation practice the life that Christ's resurrection makes possible, not just during these weeks, but starting here or re-starting here for the rest of their lives.
A blessed Easter Season to one and all.