The Somerset Guardian, 12th April 2023
Although the latest census shows a decline in religious belief, it was encouraging to see both Downside Abbey and St. Joseph and Teresa in Wells well attended for the Easter services. As the Coronation will remind us, all our Nation’s history and constitution are steeped in Christianity and Easter is the foundational festival.
Maundy Thursday is the day on which two sacraments were instituted by Christ. The Priesthood as he commissions his apostles and the Eucharist when we were given the Bread of Life. Good Friday is the day when Christ was obedient even unto death whereby he defeated the power of death and expiated our sins but even more importantly the resurrection comes on Easter Sunday.
This is the day that all our faith is founded upon for as St. Paul wrote: ‘if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God’.
It is in this faith that Charles III will be anointed as a Christian King. Unlike Roman or Egyptian rulers, he will make no claim to be divine himself but to reign under Christ. This is symbolically important in the Coronation and a reminder of the Christian basis of the Nation’s laws.
The civilisation that we enjoy, the respect for the human person that we understand, comes from our God being made flesh, dying and rising from the dead. It is not just as a matter of faith but a whole way of life that is founded on the transcendent miracle of Easter. It makes the unfathomable mystery of God part of our everyday life.
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