Kirk joins in prayer this Easter Sunday

On Easter Sunday (4 April), the day of Jesus' Resurrection, Christians across the country – and further afield – will join together in prayer and reflection at 7pm in response to the pandemic.

Easter Sunday empty tomb

As with previous weeks during lockdown, 15 Christian churches and organisations across the country, including the Church of Scotland, have co-signed the letter calling for prayer.

Scottish Christians have been continuing to answer the call to pray at the same time each week, and Rt Rev Dr Martin Fair, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, has been taking part alongside them.

"There are some things which make sense for a certain period of time but which come to a natural conclusion - such as clapping for carers during the spring lockdown. Prayer isn't one of them," Dr Fair said.

"The Apostle Paul encourages us to ‘pray without ceasing' and Jesus himself offers parables where persistence in prayer is lauded.

"It can be hard to keep going when there's no end in sight; much easier when the finishing line comes into view. In the case of the pandemic, it still feels as if there's no light at the end of the tunnel.

"All the more reason then for God's people to continue faithfully in prayer. And even better when we can pray across the whole of the Church, unrestricted by denominational divides.

"If Sunday at 7pm is in your diary, keep it there. Thank you. If it hadn't been, it would be great to have you involved. It matters that we pray."

This week's letter accompanying the prayer, which is also available in Gaelic states:

"The day of Resurrection begins ‘while it was still dark' and takes us to the place where the Lord has been buried and sealed away.

"The journey through the week past began with ‘Hosanna!' and ended in ‘Crucify!' In the darkness of that morning, it is Mary Magdalene who first senses that the journey, seemingly ended on the Cross, has yet further to unfold. Mary remains at the tomb, consumed by sorrow and tears, until she finds herself in the company of a person whom she does not recognise. Into the depth of her sorrow, a voice speaks and calls her by her name: ‘Mary!' It is as if the voice speaks into the very depths of her heart and her eyes are opened. In that moment there is the recognition that she stands in the presence of the risen Lord and in time Mary will bear witness: ‘I have seen the Lord'. (John 20: 1-18)

"On this day of resurrection, the risen Lord speaks to all who have journeyed in dark places and who have known sorrow and tears. He speaks into the depths of our heart and calls us by our name.

"In response, we join with the people of God and proclaim: ‘Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluia!'"

We pray:

God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
In Your great mercy
You give us new birth into a living hope
Through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
On this day, receive our praise and our thanks forever!
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
In Your great mercy
You have journeyed with us through the darkness
And You bring us now to the day of light.
Lead us through the darkness and into the abiding light of Your presence.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
In Your great mercy
You journey with those who have known sorrow and tears.
In Your compassion, journey with them still
And bring to them healing and the hope of the life everlasting.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
In Your great mercy
You speak into the depths of our hearts
And You call us by our name.
Call us by our name that we might proclaim: Christ is risen. Alleluia!
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
In Your great mercy
You give us new birth into a living hope
Through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
On this day, receive our praise and our thanks forever!
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Signed by:

  • Rt. Rev. Dr Martin Fair, Moderator of the General Assembly, Church of Scotland
  • Most Rev. Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Roman Catholic Church
  • Most Rev. Mark Strange, Primus, on behalf of the College of Bishops, Scottish Episcopal Church
  • Rev. John Fulton, Moderator, United Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Donnie G. MacDonald, Moderator, Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Paul Whittle, Moderator, United Reformed Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Martin Hodson, General Director, Baptist Union of Scotland
  • Rev. Mark Slaney, District Chair, Methodist Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. May-Kane Logan, Chair, Congregational Federation in Scotland
  • Lt. Col. Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland, Salvation Army
  • Adwoa Bittle, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • Rev. Claire Fender, District Superintendent, British Isles North District, Church of the Nazarene
  • Pastor Chris Gbenle, Provincial Pastor, Province of Scotland, Redeemed Christian Church of God
  • Bishop Francis Alao, Church of God (Scotland)/Minority Ethnic Churches Together in Scotland (MECTIS)
  • Rev Fred Drummond, Director, Evangelical Alliance (Scotland)