Cardinal: Make “Sacrifice” and “Service” your Easter Keywords

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Cardinal Vincent Nichols has sent us an Easter message for you – our visitors – describing his joy at being able to celebrate and commemorate the key moments of Holy Week and Easter with the faithful in our churches.


I’m very glad to have this opportunity of wishing you all a very, very happy Easter.

What a joy it is to be celebrating Easter and the days of Holy Week with congregations in our churches, not like last year, which was such a strange, strange experience. And now we’re on the move forward, and thank God for the effectiveness of vaccines, which we must all take up. It enables us to get, again, a little bit nearer to the rhythm of our life and of the living and expression of our faith.

So a very happy Easter!

For me two key words this Easter that go so closely together, are sacrifice and service Easter marks this enormous sacrifice of Christ, of His body and blood, His whole being handed over and coming out of the death that was inflicted upon Him. But that sacrifice of the Cross frees us from our sins. And prior to it, we saw Him washing His disciples’ feet, this symbol of service. We see in the person of Jesus, sacrifice and service held inextricably together.

We think of Him in the Eucharist. A Eucharist that doesn’t give fruit in service is a bit inadequate. And a service that doesn’t somehow signal back to its true origins, its true roots, which is this inestimable love of God, is a service that hasn’t got all its dimensions together.

In our lives, service is sacrifice in the small print of everyday living. The things we do for each other in service involve a little sacrifice, but it all comes together in the person of Jesus, in the Risen Lord who restores our poise and strengthens our confidence and gives us again a true hope that He is indeed our way, our truth and our life beyond death for eternity.

So may God bless you this Easter and may it be a time of peace, joy and true thanksgiving.