An article for the Cathedral Times by Dean Sam Candler
Your prayer and presence and praise brought Easter glory to the Cathedral of St. Philip last Sunday. Thank you! Maybe it was your sheer wondrous energy that kept most of the rain away all morning. Thank you!
Thank you for whatever way you participated in Easter Day at the Cathedral – and there were thousands of ways. Maybe you were rehearsing music all week and all day Saturday. Maybe you were organizing and arranging flowers all week and all day Saturday. Maybe you were writing and delivering sermons all week and all morning Sunday! Maybe you were organizing Boy Scouts or lectors or priests or vergers or acolytes or sound systems or cameras or buildings or climate control systems or fires or dogwood blossoms and baptismal water! Maybe you simply took the time to show up on Sunday. Maybe you don’t usually come to church at all, but you came this year on Easter Sunday. Thank you. Thanks to all of you!
It takes a church.
It takes a church, an entire church, to celebrate Easter. It’s not just one person, or one hymn. It’s not just one sermon or one phrase. It’s not just one child, or one Easter egg. It takes a community of faith. It takes a church.
As you know, here at the Cathedral of St. Philip, we call that community of faith a special word. The word is “koinonia,” which means something like “spiritual community.” I am thrilled to be part of the Cathedral’s “koinonia,” our “spiritual community.” God has blessed us with something amazing at the Cathedral Parish of St. Philip: the ability to celebrate joyously the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord. We have been blessed with the capacity to bring Easter into the world!
You know what? Easter is still going on! The official season of Easter lasts 50 days, not just one. I look forward to continuing to celebrate resurrection with you!
(“There is always a way out. The tomb is not the end! The tomb is a tunnel! There is always a way out, a way through the darkness and rock.” Those words are from my Easter Day sermon, titled “The Tomb Is A Tunnel.” You can find it online, and in printed form in the various kiosks around the Cathedral.)
(Further, I urge you to review the Cathedral Easter letter of last week, in which I hoped that our wider church does not fix the date of Easter on the same day each year! “…The tradition of a moveable date for Easter is important to our spiritual lives. The fact that Easter arrives on a different Sunday every year reminds us that God lives beyond our earthly calendars, beyond our earthly ways of telling time. If we are going to celebrate Easter, we are going to have to intentionally work on it. It is not going to simply occur, like any other calendar day.” You can find that letter online, too, and in the various Cathedral building kiosks.)
In short, Easter can happen any time! I pray that Easter occurred for you last Sunday, and I pray it blossoms again and again for you throughout this year!
The Very Rev. Samuel G. Candler
Dean of the Cathedral of St. Philip