16 April 2017
The Bishop of Lincoln has baptised five people and confirmed 52 people as part of the Paschal Vigil in Lincoln Cathedral.
Beginning at the West Door of the cathedral, the Rt Revd Christopher Lowson blessed the new fire and marked the Paschal candle, which was then carried through the nave by the deacon, the Revd Lawrence Price.
During a candlelit vigil, the congregation heard readings from Genesis, the Psalms, Exodus, Isaiah and Ezekiel, before an organ fanfare and a time of great colour and noise ushered in the singing of the Gloria in Excelsis, with the building bathed in light.
As those being baptised and confirmed looked forward to such a special moment in their lives and their living relationship with God, Bishop Christopher addressed them directly, saying:
"...to those being baptised and confirmed today the message is clear: God loves you and he has invited you into a deeper relationship with him. You have responded by re-prioritizing your lives, by spring-cleaning that which distracts, discourages and inhibits a flourishing life.
The message to take away from tonight is beautifully simple: that because God affirms you with his love, he also calls you to follow him as a disciple of his Son Jesus for the rest of your life on earth and on to be with him for ever in heaven.
There is nothing more important than seeking to live out that journey as a disciple and a member of the Christian Church in the years to come - filled with the Holy Spirit who will help you to make the important connexions between your life as a Christian and your life in the world in family, work and leisure."
With these words fresh in the minds of all present, attention was focused on the font as the bishop baptised five people and then proceeded up and down the nave to confirm 52 people, anointing them with Chrism and inviting the congregation to join him in praying for them.
A time of sharing peace with one another was enveloped with a sense of joy and celebration, and the eucharist reminded all present that Jesus, our Lord, is the bread of life.
As the service drew to a close, the bishop declared: "Alleluia! Christ is risen" And his words were met with the loud response of "He is risen indeed. Alleluia!" The bishop then prayed God's blessing on those present, and the newly baptised were presented with a lit candle as a sign of the light of Christ and they were urged to go out and 'Shine as a light in the world to the glory of God the Father'.
Here follows a selection of photographs taken at the service...