Easter at Clermont/Capella

Photo is of the Rugged Cross carried in the Good Friday Pilgrimage set up outside St Mary’s Catholic Church, Clermont.

My keeping of Lent is usually a bit hit and miss, but this year I joined a Zoom session with Pastor Donna Muston and two Beths –  Beth from Finch Hatton and Beth from Blackwater.  We met at 7 am each Wednesday in Lent and each day of Holy Week ending with Holy Communion on Maundy Thursday.  It was  a time of reflection, Bible reading, discussion and prayer.  It was a wonderful experience to set aside time for worship and fellowship and be disciplined to be ready at 7 am to meet!  It was a privilege to share the Lent journey with these women. 

Good Friday in Clermont is a Combined Churches service with a Pilgrimage between the Anglican, Uniting and Catholic churches.  It begins at 3 pm at the Anglican Church for the first part of the service with a Call to Worship, prayer of Confession, reading from John’s gospel of the Arrest of Jesus in the Garden and singing two verses of “Were you there?”.  The participants then walk (or drive) following a large rugged cross to the Uniting Church about two blocks away for the next part of the service  – a Reflection, Bible reading of the trial before Pilate from John, a prayer for others and singing two more verses from “Were you there?”.  The pilgrimage then continues to the Catholic church about two more blocks away but up a hill!  The cross then enters the church to the beating of a drum and the sounds of chains clanking and whip cracking and is set up at the front of the congregation.  The final part of the service continues with the reading from John of the crucifixion and burial in the tomb, the blessing and singing of “Were you there?”.  Participants can then stay a while and meditate on the cross. Some come forward to stand or kneel in front of it and then sit down again.  Everyone leaves in their own time.  It is a solemn and moving experience. The rugged cross is set up outside the Catholic church for all to see and remains there until Pentecost.

Easter Sunday for Clermont Uniting Church members was an ecumenical experience as no service was held at the UC but members were encouraged to join with another denomination. I joined with the Anglican congregation with the visiting Minister from Moranbah for an uplifting celebration of the victory of the Resurrection.  Over the Easter break, Clermont was a very quiet and peaceful place, giving opportunity to contemplate the events of Easter and appreciate how blessed we all are.

Submitted by Heather James, Clermont.