Coming soon after two years of unpredictability, and extended periods of isolation and restrictions our Church is hoping people will find Easter the perfect time to get back into the habit of worshipping as a community. Many parishioners have returned to attending Mass in person, and the Diocese of Parramatta is keen to encourage those still to take the leap back into parish life.
A new video released by the Diocese gives the reasons why parish communities are so central and valuable to our faith, and to each and every Catholic. Its message is simple for those who still may be hesitating: “Come back to church for Easter.”
Sr Mary Louise Walsh, Liturgy Educator with the Office for Worship, says the video was born out of that desire to bring people back together. “We undertook this project with the hope that we may come together as Church to celebrate the Easter mysteries, and that we may appreciate the presence of one another in our gathering together”, she says.
The video features four individuals from around the Diocese, each sharing words of encouragement and hope. Anne reflects on the changes we have seen in our Sunday “binding together” at church, especially through social distancing and the wearing of masks. The pandemic has caused challenges and suffering for many, and Blake and Monica acknowledge that while it has sometimes been difficult to find hope, in Easter we have the lasting hope of the Resurrection of Jesus, who knows what it is to suffer and who wants to be close to us. Deacon Matthew reminds us that this message of hope and of God’s love at Easter never changes, even if many things around us seem to be different.
While our COVID-19 restrictions have thankfully had “time limits”, the message of Easter is timeless. This Easter season, with our churches open once more, you are invited to return to your parish and celebrate the great love that the Risen Jesus has for you.