St Michael’s Update – Holy Saturday

So the end of Holy Week where I’ve spent my time talking to a camera ! I thinking all of us in one way or another have walked the Via Dolorosa this week & we now arrive at Easter. HOPE is one of the most powerful messages the Church offers the world & although there is no escaping the most tragic figures for those already promoted to glory with Covid, there are the most outstanding stories of human compassion & kindness. Hope that we can live a different way & the upsurge of community spirit for me shouts something of that Easter joy. 

I’ve just spoken to Ron Wilson on the phone. Sounding pretty upbeat – may be because Kevin & Joy have just delivered some groceries to him ! Hopefully Ron is now out of the woods & has carers to assist him on a daily basis.

First & foremost we’re a praying community & we’ve swiftly adjusted to doing this without physically being together. Our Lent group has gone well on Zoom – we’ll have one more session next week & then we’ll conclude with what I think has been an excellent Lent retreat ( thank you Helen & thank you Zoom ! ). Thanks also to the Jesuits for producing, Journey Into Freedom.

We’re part of a WCCM group ( meditation ) which continues to function well using the various different tools now available to us. The Wilsons are part of that group & Michael continues to remain OK. There has been some excitement in their household this week as one of their sons ( AW ) was on the Beeb, as they develop a breathing apparatus, using a skill set they have from diving. 

RIP list for your prayers : Ian Craston ( former Lay Reader @ StM ); Geoff Scobie ( priest ); Rita Jamieson; Cathy Ellis. This week I did my first funeral with social distancing measures. I used the same liturgy as I always use & yet for me a unique experience in 30 yrs of ministry. 7 people attended & I’d never met the family before ( arrangements done by phone & email ). May be this is the most poignant moment when you can’t touch people because that is absolutely the instinctive thing to do.

A huge array of services to watch online this weekend. From here we’ve recorded my Good Friday reflection with a distinct Easter message at the end – He is risen !  I’ve sung my way though parts of the Easter Vigil which is recorded. Tomorrow we’ll record a short Easter message in StM & we’ll swiftly send that to Aliet. What I’ll then be doing is recording a weekly message for as long as our churches are closed.

For those of us who like to watch old fashioned TV ( ! ) – I think Alexander Armstrong ( once at St Mary’s Music School, Edinburgh ) did a great job with the first part of Heavenly Gardens & the concluding part is on Easter Day at 1.50pm ( BBC 1 ). The Papal address, Urbi et Orbi is live on Easter Day at 11.00am ( BBC 1 ). Sunday Worship at 11.25am ( BBC 1 ) will be rather more Anglican; from Bangor Cathedral …….

As you know, Anna & I normally go away for Easter Week but it won’t surprise you to know that we’re staying at home !!

I’ll leave you with this verse from John 20 : Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord !” And she told them what He had said to her.

Easter blessings to you & your families

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