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Looking back on Easter Sunday and the week that led up to it, my abiding memory is of many services and a lot of food. Thanks to a well-known supermarket, we were able to enjoy hot cross buns after our mid-week service in Holy Week, and a local supermarket provided plenty of small chocolate eggs that I could hand out to the Easter morning congregation.
Our daybreak Easter service (shared with the German evangelical congregation) was a great occasion. We began outside in the dark with the Easter fire. Tradition demands that the Easter candle should be lit from fresh fire, which we duly did, and then carried it into the church. That candle remains lit throughout the 40 days of the Easter season, and after that is lit only for baptisms. As the sun came up we had a short service indoors, followed by an excellent breakfast. This included painted eggs and I was glad to learn the correct way to open them: you simply crack your egg against your neighbour’s egg, rather like a game of conkers, until it’s the turn of the last person in the circle, who has to crack his egg against his own head.
After a quiet service at 9.30 am and a very joyful one at 11.00 am, which attracted a larger congregation than we have had in the last two years, the Anglicans settled down to a traditional Sunday lunch. Meanwhile I was on my way to La Palma and a final service at 4.00 pm, after which we had a splendid picnic outside the Catholic church of San Martin del Porres, kindly lent to us for the occasion.
For those of us who gave up certain food or drink for Lent, Easter also came as a welcome relief. I was pleased that I managed to last six weeks without coffee. If I liked tea better it would have been easier, although by the end I was beginning to develop a bit of a taste for black tea (with sugar). I began Easter Sunday at 6.00 am with a cup of milky tea, but was soon happily back in the coffee habit, managing no fewer than five cups before bedtime. It was, after all, a long day.
So we now return to our normal pattern of services, with the exception of Ascension Day (Thursday 30 May) when Bishop David Hamid, the Suffragan Bishop in Europe, will be with us and will lead a service at 10.00 am. We will try to find him a few biscuits.
Our services: Holy Communion on Sundays at 9.30 am and 11.00 am (German service at 5.00 pm) and on Wednesdays at 10.00 am.
Chaplain: The Revd Dr Paula Clifford
Tel: 922 38 40 38; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org