Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy has said that the promise of Easter can be a signal of hope in the dark days we occupy today as a nation.
While Churches are closed, ‘the Church’ is very much open, Bishop Leahy said, and will mark death moving into life, darkness into light, despair into hope, woundedness into healing and division into reconciliation.
“What we have is the Easter people bringing hope, light, peace, reconciliation, healing wherever they are. This is what Christianity wants to proclaim and live,” he said.
Bishop Leahy said that to mark this very special and solemn time, all churches throughout the diocese will turn on lights on Holy Saturday evening at around the same time, with the Paschal Candle lit in the Cathedral (around 8.30-9.00). Churches will remain with lights on throughout Holy Saturday night.
Along with this, bells in churches throughout the diocese will ring out at 10 pm on Saturday evening.
“The Easter ‘Alleluia’ can be announced even when we are shrouded in darkness and difficulties because of the Covid-19 crisis,” said Bishop Leahy.
This initiative, he said, will be an ecumenical one, with Church of Ireland lights lit and bells also ringing, Bishop Leahy added.
Bishop Kearon, the Church of Ireland bishop of Limerick and Killaloe said that Church of Ireland churches in the diocese would be invited to join in the lighting of churches on Holy Saturday night as a sign of our common Chrsitian witness. “The light of the good news of the Resurrection is a message to the whole world. The difficult situation we’re experiencing at this time will pass, but the Good News is for all times and for all places”, he added.
The public will also be able to access a range of services both online and on community radio. All links to these can be found on the diocesan website www.limerickdiocese.org or (direct link) https://www.limerickdiocese.org/news/masses-available-online-and-on-the-radio-in-the-diocese-of-limerick/ . Online services from the Church of Ireland are listed on www.limerick.anglican.org.
Said Bishop Leahy: “It’s a difficult time for us all who cherish Easter for the great celebration of hope that it is. But the light and promise of Easter is exactly what we need now. We must look beyond what’s shaping these difficult days and know that a much better one lies ahead. The Resurrection is our hope and light.
“One thing we can say for sure is that while we have never been as distanced physically, we have the ability to closer than ever spiritually. More than ever we can join in prayer, celebrating the Risen Lord and the hope that this brings for us all.”