Sunday, March 31, 2002


(for my American friends especially)

The British Broadcasting Authority broadcasted live in Radio 4 and the World Service the 9.00.a.m. Easter Morning Service from Canterbury Cathedral at which the Archbishop was the preacher.

The Service ( and this will surprise my American friends in the ECUSA) was taken from the classic Book of Common Prayer (yes it really was) and was Mattins (not Eucharist, which dominates church life in the ECUSA).

There was the singing by all of some of the great Easter hymns; and there were special anthems and alleluias by the choir.

The Archbishop's address was in three parts, each one focusing on an important part of the Cathedral to convey the Easter message. In between each part the choir sang short anthems.

Dr Carey spoke first of the high altar, pointing to the once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our sins; secondly of the seat of St Augustine, the cathedra, whereon sit the archbishops on important occasions, pointing to service (the greatest among you shall be the servant of all); and thirdly of the tomb of Thomas a Becket, the martyred archbishop, pointing to the call to take up the cross and follow Jesus.

The service though joyful was tinged with sadness as the death of the Queen Mother had occurred on Easter Eve and she was beloved by many.

A final comment.

It was great to have "the people's service", Morning Prayer, as that which is broadcasted to the nation and world. The Holy Eucharist is not the people 's service but the unique service of the people of the new covenant and from the inner core of this service (according to the ancient church) the world is excluded.


The Revd Dr Peter Toon Easter Day 2002

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