Read Canon Philip's reflection for Thursday, 8 April, 2021.
This Easter Day it felt as if the Cathedral and city were returning to life. Ever since my arrival two months ago we have been in lockdown, and although the opportunity to offer and attend public worship has been a blessing, the building has been sorely lacking its people.
First we celebrated the eucharist at dawn under the Welsford Porch, the light gradually creeping over the houses of Gambier Terrace, beginning to penetrate the deep shadows in the old cemetery below. Then, the steady flow of people began to arrive for the 10.30am liturgy. By the time the bells stopped ringing there were hundreds of people in place to celebrate the Risen Christ with the Bishop of Liverpool.
An army of people returned to their duties in Holy Week, from stewards, to bellringers; Vicars Choral, and flower arrangers; all to the greater glory of God, in the service of the Cathedral being a place of life changing encounter.
Through Lent, as throughout the last year, many have joined in the Cathedral’s worship from home online. Lee Ward responded with great creativity to the ever-changing guidelines, and proposed the premiere on Tuesday of Holy Week of a new work for the organ, ‘Via Crucis’, given by organ scholar Dan Greenway, who only had weeks to learn it. Honourable mention must be given to Dr Chris Newton for his work preparing pre-recorded services. At the beginning of Lent a decision was made to attempt to better capture the live liturgies, and by Holy Week, with the invaluable help of choral scholar Edmund le Brocq, Dan Bishop and Jack Watson, former choristers both, took up the reins of not only recording but also of beautifully presenting the special liturgies of the last week, through Facebook, and YouTube, meaning they are now accessible to the whole world. And on Easter morning although our choristers were not permitted to sing, because of the ongoing restrictions, several took leading parts in the liturgy. After such a disrupted year that is a powerful sign of their dedication, and the quality of the relationships and loyalties being forged, in our best traditions.
Our confidence and pride is in God, to whom we are truly thankful for our deliverance. My prayer is that our life together will continue to be a source of blessing to many, as the sound of Great George rang out across the city, and brought hope to people who had perhaps lived so long without hearing its sound that they had forgotten what they had been missing, and found themselves surprised by joy.
While you're here:
Why not prepare for next Sunday's worship? Our preparation sheet for adults and for children can be accessed by clicking on the Resources tab of this website: https://www.prayerforliverpool.org/prayer-resources.html.