At the heart of parish life is the Eucharist. The parish is nothing if it is not a worshipping community, drawing its life and inspiration from the paschal mystery – the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is at the Eucharist that we listen to the Word of God, opening ourselves up to seeing the events of our lives and our world through the eyes of the risen Christ. It is at the Eucharist that we receive the body of Christ, taking into ourselves the very bread of life. It is at the Eucharist that we recognise the mystery of Christ present in the gathered community who gather as temples of the Holy Spirit.
So it is right and fitting that one of the first combined group meetings across our Parishes was the gathering of our Liturgy Committees. In early March members of our liturgy teams, from across Surrey Hills Wattle Park and Camberwell, Balwyn and Deepdene, gathered at Surrey Hills to pray, plan and share experiences of the Easter Ceremonies. Just over 20 people came together to begin the process of preparing for the great Easter celebrations which we will celebrate in the coming weeks.
One of the outstanding things was that apart from the three priests present the group was made up entirely of women. “It was inspiring to come together with women of such knowledge, skill and love of liturgy”, said Win Hickey of Camberwell Parish. The Easter ceremonies require a great deal of preparation: from the selection and rehearsing of music, to the preparation of readers of the passion for Palm Sunday and Good Friday to the logistics of the liturgy of light at the Easter Vigil and the accompaniment of those who will be baptised or confirmed at the Easter Sacraments. This year’s celebrations have the added challenge of taking place in the midst of COVID-19 restrictions.
We are asking all parishioners to assist us in the preparation of the Easter ceremonies by booking their places via Trybooking. This will ensure that we can accommodate as many parishioners as possible for each of the ceremonies. Good Friday and Easter Sunday are particularly well attended ceremonies so it is important that everyone makes a booking. We are also asking parishioners to turn up a little earlier on Palm Sunday, (and to bring their own palms with them), and at the Easter Vigil, so that your attendance may be recorded prior to the various processions that take place at those ceremonies.
If you would like to be involved in any of our parish liturgy teams, please contact the Parish Office or speak directly to Tricia Norman who coordinates liturgy in our parishes. Preparation for Easter is the perfect time to get involved.