The Cathedral of St. Philip - Atlanta, GA

Your Generosity is the Fire of New Life!

An article for The Cathedral Times
by the Very Rev. Sam Candler, Dean of the Cathedral
April 7, 2024

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I took a photograph (shown above) early on Easter morning, at around 5:20 a.m. We had not lit the great bonfire, the Great Vigil Fire, in front of the cathedral yet. It was completely dark outside. But, inside, were the final tenders of preparation. In the morning darkness, that light glowed through the windows to the outside!

Those inside lights of the cathedral would be turned off precisely at 5:30 a.m., so that we could experience the glory of the new Easter fire at 6:00 a.m. And it was glorious! However, this photograph shows the true fire of Easter! The true fire is inside the walls of the Cathedral of St. Philip. It is you!

You are the true fire of Easter! It is you who spent so many hours of generosity and energy preparing for Easter. Thank you! You were arranging flowers, arranging altars, arranging vergers, arranging intercessions and prayers, arranging those about to be baptized, arranging glorious music, arranging the outside fire itself, arranging clergy!  You were arranging word and sacrament, space and time, for another tremendous celebration of resurrection! And, yes, you were giving: giving time and giving resources.

Thank you! It is your generosity that makes Easter happen here. You showed up! You gave!

Even if you were just a visitor on Easter Sunday, even if you have not been to the cathedral in some time, your presence made Easter happen. We could not have celebrated Easter, fully, without you!

To all of you who have ever contributed one hour, or one dollar: you have participated!  Your generosity is what builds this parish. Your generosity is what builds this cathedral! We are a healthy community because you have given something here. You have shown up! You have responded to requests! You have pledged money and energy! Thank you!

We are a destination. People come here to the cathedral to celebrate! People come here to have their photographs taken! They come here to sense something above themselves. But the transcendence that we feel here, does not happen by itself. It happens because of people in the flesh. We call that incarnation. It happens because people have tended the fire. Thank you, so much, for Easter, 2024. Thank you for tending the fire! Your generosity is the fire of new life!

The Very Reverend Samuel G. Candler
Dean of the Cathedral of St. Philip