© St Ninians Episcopal Church, Glasgow which is a charity registered under no.SC010966
Rector writes Lift high the Cross; the love of Christ proclaim; till all the world adore his sacred name.” So runs the chorus of a marvellous Victorian hymn of the same name written in 1887 by George Kitchin to the tune “Crucifer”. The hymn was sung with great gusto by all those who attended the Chrism Mass, at the Cathedral on the day before Palm Sunday. At the Chrism Mass the clergy renew their ordination vows and the oils used for baptisms, the sick and so forth are blessed by the Bishop. The clergy and choir were preceded by the crucifer bearing the magnificent cross used at the Cathedral. The combination of seeing the Cross and singing about lifting high the cross brought home to me how important the use of all our senses is in appreciating the liturgy and all that it has to offer. We are, after all, the people who claim to be the spiritual products of what the original cross offered the world. Of that very cross St Paul, in the first letter to the Corinthians, declares: “the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing but to us who are being saved it is the power of God”. Accordingly, both the cross itself and the symbology of carrying the cross at the head of all our liturgical processions make a powerful statement. It seems to me that now is the appropriate time to ask that a member or members of our congregation come forward and offer themselves for this task. We are way beyond the stage of assuming this task can only be undertaken by a male. Indeed, we have two crosses at St Ninian’s, with one being lightweight, which could be carried by a man or woman with no discomfort. It would be a great gift to all of us if we could commence the Easter season with a new crucifer to lead our processions. I await hearing from you… As you read this letter it will be Easter Sunday. The great acclamation of Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia, alleluia! will ring out and re-echo round our church. Exclamation marks are used to inject a sense of joy and excitement into the response by the congregation. This is where you make your mark. I can bellow the liturgy as much as I like, but I cannot create a sense of joy and excitement within your beings. This is what you bring to our Easter celebration. As members of Christ’s risen body we can choose to come with a disposition which seeks a spiritual refreshment and a desire to meet the risen Lord or not… Each Easter offers us the possibility to meditate upon the lifting high of the cross and what it led to on that first day of resurrection. We are a People who preach BOTH a Christ crucified AND a Christ resurrected. A blessed and a joyous Easter to you all. The Rector
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