Is the theme of Easter Day – as we proclaim Jesus Christ is risen from the dead. This great festival of the climax of the Christian year takes on added importance for us as a family this year. The past four months since our son Andrew’s death have been challenging – as we walk the path of bereavement that so many of you have done and in which you have often allowed us to share in as we sought to care for you through the dark night of sorrow as you have bade farewell to loved ones.
In this past year, isolated by Covid 19, we have been conscious of how many people have not been able to take a proper farewell to those who have died – not to have that final touch, or kiss and not to receive the strength and comfort of an embrace or hug from a friend. As a family we were privileged to be with Andrew and his family in his last days.
Susan and I, along with Fiona – Anne and the grandchildren Clara, Eliza and Alicia, are most grateful for the many kind words, cards and acts of love you have shown to us in our journey. We felt it important to be here, for this Festival, where we have ministered for the past 32 years – where Andrew primarily grew up to be a young man making his way in the world and building his own family; to be here to celebrate the Easter Song Alleluia! Alleluia! for in the words of Saint Augustine; “We are an Easter people and Alleluia is our song” and to witness to the faith that sustains us – that is not to say there are answers we crave for but our faith gives us the tools with which to interpret the loss of one who inspired so many through his work and his smile.
But this Easter is not just a personal one – last year we were not able to celebrate Easter as a gathered church. But this year with signs of hope that the pandemic is waning and the return to a normality of life is on the horizon; with the hope that all Covid restrictions can be lifted from 21 June provided we adhere to the social distancing and cleaning restrictions; until then we shall gather with hope and joy in our hearts on Easter Day. Alleluia, Christ is Risen!
Fr. Stuart Nairn.