When I was thinking about this year's Easter Day Eucharist, I felt that the words that the Church of England had provided for the welcoming of the Easter candle and for the blessing of the Easter garden were, well, very 'dry'. There was plenty of lofty language, but very little sense of the beauty of light, or of the freshness of the garden.
And so, I decided to write my own words. I tried to create a sense of joy, wonder and promise - three things which I find in the mystery of the Easter story. I hope I have achieved this. See for yourself:
Welcoming the Easter Candle
Praise to you, O Christ, Light of the Earth,
breaking into the darkness of our night in the rays of Spring's dawn,
bringing vision and joy, warmth and peace.
Bless us who welcome this Easter candle.
May it be to us a sign of our enlightening,
and of our re-awakening to new life on this Easter morn.
As we receive its holy flame
may we also receive Christ, the Flame of Love and Life,
into our hearts and into our lives.
The Blessing of the Easter Garden
Blessed be you, Jesus, O Holy Gardener, risen with the Sun,
as you come softly into the garden
to surprise us with the good news
that the winter of death is over
and the Spring of new life is come.
And bless, we pray, this Easter Garden,
a living picture of our thankfulness to you
and a symbol of our hopes for new growth within our lives.
As Mary came to seek you in the garden
in the promise of early morning,
may we seek your coming in the dawning of this new season.
As Mary turned to ask where her Lord had been laid,
may we eagerly seek your presence in our lives.
As Mary thrilled to hear you speak her name,
may we respond with joy when we hear your voice whispering to our spirit.
Bless us as we take a new path this day,
and lift our eyes to see you as our companion on the way.
I will find out tomorrow morning what effect these words have. In the meantime, I wish you a blessed Easter.