Easter Vigil

Download the Easter Vigil Bulletin.

The Easter Story by Brian Wildsmith, for children of all ages.

Order homemade hot cross buns from Zoe Duncan.

Pascal Candle created by Bettina Daszczuk

Our 2020 Pascal Candle

As a special treat for this year Bettina Daszczuk, who decorates all our baptismal candles, created this amazing Pascal Candle which has its debut at the Easter Vigil. This candle is lit for all the fifty days of Easter, and for every Baptism, Wedding and Funeral in the coming year. Here is an explanation of the symbols on the candle.

The Cross

Just as the cross is made out of many pieces of different shapes and colors, so is our
St. John’s community. We come from all different backgrounds and have unique talents and experiences. Even though, we are all different, when we come together, we complement each other and become one church family. 

The Lamb of God

The Lamb is a symbol of Jesus Christ, who died for us, and rose from the dead. Through his death and resurrection, we are all freed from sin. When John the Baptist sees Jesus for the first time he proclaims “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). On this year’s paschal candle, the Lamb of God has no face. It is a reminder that, as Christians, we are asked to see Christ in each other. 

Alpha and Omega

In the classical Greek alphabet, Alpha is the first letter, and Omega is the last letter. In the Book of Revelation (1:8) Jesus proclaims, “I am the Alpha and Omega.” Jesus is the beginning and the end of everything. 

The Celtic Knot Band

Made from a single strand, the complete loops that have no start or finish are said to represent eternity. The braided design, with its many points of the strand crossing over itself, symbolizes how life and eternity are interconnected. The knotted band reminds us that our lives are connected with Jesus. When Jesus rose from the dead, we all gained eternal life through him. 

Angels I have known

Today we celebrate the legacy of St. Francis.  We’ve probably all heard stories about him – making you believe he was, perhaps, a little crazy – but he was a good man and loved to share the Good News of the Gospel. 

One story tells of an encounter with a flock of birds – doves, crows – all sorts of birds.  When St. Francis spotted them down the road, he ran toward them and expected them to scatter but to his surprise – and probably anyone else’s who may have witnessed this – the birds stood still and seemed to wait for him.  He was filled with awe and he asked them to stay and then proceeded to give them a little sermon, reminding them that they should always praise their Creator for he was the one who gave them feathers for clothes, wings to fly, and anything else that was needed.   “It is God who made you noble among all creatures, making your home in thin, pure air.  Without sowing or reaping, you received God’s guidance and protection.”  And so the story goes that from that day on, Francis made it his habit to invoke all animals to praise and love their Creator. 

But wait a minute, Francis.  While all of what you told those birds was certainly true –  if I may say so – you missed the bigger picture!  I believe that animals have a lot to tell us, to teach us, and to remind us of.  They are messengers and, I believe, vessels enabling 2-way communication with God.  So, Francis, perhaps spending some time listening to them would have done you some good, too. 

Click here to read the whole sermon preached by Susan Mitchell on Pet Blessing Sunday, 2019