buen_pastor_17See here for a commentary on the collect/opening prayer for this Sunday.

The forty days of Lent are to prepare for the fifty days of Easter. Is that continuing to be your experience?

I participated in worship with a different community for Easter 3 than for Easter 2. I was again delighted that the Easter Greeting was used (Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!), Alleluias added to the dismissal, and good strong Easter singing, again filled with Alleluias. The Easter candle continues to be lit. And this community has a large Easter icon surrounded by candles, as well as a children’s display of the empty tomb. Was your experience last Sunday like that? Will this be (able to be) maintained for the fifty days of the Easter Season?

This Sunday is also ANZAC Day here (good ANZAC hymn here). The NZ Anglican lectionary provides ANZAC Day readings alternative to Easter 4 readings. I disagree with this (unless, perhaps, you are running a solely-ANZAC-focused dawn service). Let us stay with the readings we have internationally and ecumenically agreed to. It is easy enough to incorporate ANZAC Day into an Easter 4 service – if you cannot do that you have no right to be leading worship.

Also, New Zealand Anglicanism (General Synod) decided, relatively recently, that for April 25 ANZAC Day took precedence over St Mark. Hence, rather than leaving the incorporation or transference of Mark to the competency of the local community and its particular context, General Synod decided to move St Mark to April 26. I, however, will be very very surprised to find a church named St Mark in New Zealand which is not disregarding the formulary and celebrating St Mark this Sunday, April 25, probably along with reference to ANZAC Day and Christ’s resurrection. Another signal to General Synod meeting soon: please stop messing around with liturgy.

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