Presiding Bishop’s Easter message 2015

'The only place we will not find him is in the tomb'

Posted Mar 23, 2015

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affair press release] “We will find him already there before us, bringing new and verdant life,” Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori states in her Easter Message 2015. “The only place we will not find him is in the tomb.”

In 2015, Easter is celebrated on April 5.

The following is the Presiding Bishop’s Easter message 2015 in English, Spanish and French.


Easter Message 2015

It’s still dark when Mary ventures out to find the tomb. The graveyards around Jerusalem don’t have much greenery today. The earth is mostly rock and stone, and it is far from easy to make a place to secure a body. Jesus’ body was put in a cave-like space, with a stone rolled across the opening to close it up. Mary has made the journey from wherever she’s sheltered over the last day, through darkened streets, perhaps hearing cocks begin to crow and townspeople start to stir.

She nears the place, but somehow it seems different than they left it – this can’t be it, can it? Who moved the stone? A trip begun in tears and grief now has added burden– confusion, anger, shock, chaos, abandonment. His very body has been stolen.

She runs to tell the others. The three tear back to the tomb – no, the body is not there, though some of the burial cloths remain. Who has torn away the shroud and stolen him away? Why must the cruel torture continue, sacrilege and insult even after death? Who has done this awful thing? The men run away again, leaving her to weep at even greater loss.

She peers in once more – who are these, so bold appearing? “Fear not, woman… why do you weep?” She turns away and meets another, who says the same – why do you weep, who are you looking for? This gardener has himself been planted and now springs up green and vibrant, still rising into greater life. He challenges her to go and share that rising, great news of green and life, with those who have fled.

Still rising, still seeking union with Creator, making tender offering to beloved friends – briefly I am with you, I am on my way. Go and you will find me if you look.

The risen one still offers life to those who will look for evidence of his gardening – hope, friendship, healing, reunion, restoration – to all who have been uprooted, cut off, to those who are parched and withered, to those who lie wasting in the desert. Why do we weep or run away when that promise abides?

We can find that green one, still rising, if we will go stand with the grieving Marys of this world, if we will draw out the terrified who have retreated to their holes, if we will walk the Emmaus road with the lost and confused, if we will search out the hungry in the neighborhood called Galilee. We will find him already there before us, bringing new and verdant life. The only place we will not find him is in the tomb.

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church


Mensaje de Pascua 2015

Todavía es de noche cuando María se aventura a encontrar la tumba. Los cementerios alrededor de Jerusalén hoy no tienen mucha vegetación. La tierra es principalmente rocosa y de piedra, y no es fácil lograr un lugar para proteger a un cuerpo. El cuerpo de Jesús fue puesto en un espacio como una cueva, con una piedra rodada sobre la apertura para cubrirla. María ha hecho el viaje, desde el lugar donde estuvo refugiada el último día, a través de calles oscuras, quizás oyendo a los gallos que empezaban a cantar y a la gente del pueblo que comenzaba a despertarse.

Se acerca al lugar, pero de alguna manera parece diferente a como lo dejaron, ¿éste no puede ser, verdad? ¿Quién movió la piedra? A un viaje, iniciado en lágrimas y dolor, ahora se añaden: confusión, rabia, shock, caos y abandono. El propio cuerpo de Jesús ha sido robado.

Corre a contárselo a los demás. Los tres regresan a la tumba; no, el cuerpo no está allí, aunque algunas sábanas estaban en el suelo. ¿Quién ha desgarrado el sudario y lo ha robado? ¿Por qué ha de continuar la cruel tortura, el sacrilegio y el insulto, incluso después de la muerte? ¿Quién ha hecho cosa tan horrible? Los hombres huyen de nuevo, dejándola llorar aún más amargamente.

Se asoma una vez más, ¿quiénes son estos, que aparecen tan audaces? “No temas, mujer… ¿por qué lloras?” Se aleja y se encuentra con otro, que dice lo mismo, ¿por qué lloras, qué es lo que buscas? Este jardinero ha sido él mismo plantado y ahora brota verde y vibrante, surgiendo a una vida más plena. Él la desafía a que vaya y comparta esa creciente, gran noticia de primavera y de vida, con los que han huido.

Todavía surgiendo, todavía buscando la unión con el Creador, haciendo un tierna ofrenda a sus queridos amigos, estaré brevemente con vosotros, voy de camino. Id y me encontraréis si buscáis.

El Resucitado todavía ofrece vida a los que buscan evidencia en su jardín – esperanza, amistad, curación, reunión, restauración – a todos los que han sido desarraigados, desconectados, a los que están secos y marchitos, a los que yacen consumiéndose en el desierto. ¿Por qué lloramos o huimos cuando esa promesa permanece?

Podemos encontrar al verde, que todavía surge, si vamos y acompañamos a las Marías en el duelo de este mundo, si vamos a sacar a los aterrorizados que se han retirado a sus agujeros, si vamos a caminar el camino de Emaús con los perdidos y confundidos, si vamos a buscar a los hambrientos en el barrio llamado Galilea. Le encontraremos ya allí antes que nosotros, aportando vida nueva y verde. El único lugar donde no le encontraremos es en la tumba.

La Rvdma. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Obispa Presidente y Primada
Iglesia Episcopal


Message de Pâques 2015

Il fait encore nuit lorsque Marie se risque à sortir pour trouver le tombeau. Aujourd’hui les cimetières autour de Jérusalem n’ont pas beaucoup de verdure. Le sol est la plupart du temps de la roche et des cailloux et il est bien difficile de trouver un endroit où y protéger un corps. Le corps de Jésus a été placé dans une sorte de grotte, avec une pierre roulée devant pour en fermer l’ouverture. Marie a fait le chemin par les rues sombres depuis le lieu où elle avait trouvé abri le dernier jour, peut-être entendait-elle les coqs qui commençaient à chanter et les gens du village qui commençaient à s’éveiller.

Elle s’approche de l’endroit mais pour une raison quelconque, ne semble pas être comme ils l’avaient laissé, cela n’est pas possible, n’est-ce pas ? Qui a déplacé la pierre ? À un voyage commencé dans les larmes et la peine s’y ajoutent maintenant la confusion, la colère, le choc, le chaos, l’abandon. Son corps lui-même a été volé.

Elle court le dire aux autres. Ils reviennent tous trois jusqu’au tombeau ; non, le corps n’est pas là mais une partie du linceul y est encore. Qui a déchiré le linceul et a volé le corps ? Pourquoi cette torture cruelle doit-elle continuer, ce sacrilège et cette insulte même après sa mort ? Qui a fait cette chose horrible ? Les hommes s’enfuient à nouveau, la laissant en pleurs face à cette douleur plus grande encore.

Elle regarde une fois de plus à l’intérieur – mais qui sont-ils pour apparaître avec tant d’audace ? « N’aie pas peur, femme… pourquoi pleures-tu ? ». Elle se retourne et en voit un autre, qui dit la même chose : pourquoi pleures-tu, qui cherches-tu ? Ce jardinier a été lui-même planté et renait maintenant vert et lumineux, ressuscitant en une vie plus pleine. Il la met au défi d’aller faire part de cette résurrection, cette grande nouvelle de printemps et de vie, à ceux qui ont fui.

S’élevant encore, cherchant encore l’union avec le Créateur, faisant cette offrande à ses amis bien aimés – je suis brièvement avec vous, je suis sur le départ. Allez et vous me trouverez si vous regardez bien.

Le ressuscité offre encore la vie à ceux qui cherchent les preuves de son jardinage, à savoir l’espoir, l’amitié, la guérison, la réunion, la restauration – à tous ceux qui ont été déracinés, coupés, à ceux qui sont desséchés et défraîchis, aux gisants rabougris dans le désert. Pourquoi pleurons-nous ou fuyons-nous alors que cette promesse demeure?

Nous pouvons trouver ce vert, qui renait encore, si nous nous rendons aux côtés des Marie en deuil de ce monde, si nous extirpons les terrorisés qui se sont retirés dans leurs trous, si nous parcourons à pied le chemin d’Emmaüs avec ceux qui sont perdus et confus, si nous allons chercher les affamés dans le quartier appelé Galilée. « Nous le trouverons déjà là avant nous, porteur de la nouvelle vie verdoyante. « Le seul endroit où nous ne le trouverons pas, c’est dans le tombeau ».

La Très Rév. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Évêque président et Primat
de l’Église épiscopale


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Comments (10)

  1. Kathleen Whiting says:

    I would like to take this opportunity simply to say, “Merci, muchas gracias, thank you. I will share copies of this Easter message with many friends, and will be happy to know they will be able to read it in their first language. God Bless our beloved Church and all her people.

  2. CAROLINE ROPER-DEYO says:

    Why isn’t the message in Welsh/Cymraeg?
    Rowan Williams used to post in seven languages including Welsh/Cymraeg.

  3. Katherine, thank you for your Easter sermon, drawing all of us out of despair.

    Your presence in Portland for Marcus’ memorial was very gracious. Welcome home to Oregon.

  4. tony houghton says:

    Very thin and weak theology. He did not come as gardener but Mary assumed he was the gardener. There is nothing about us come as dead people and given life through His death and bodily resurrection. There is nothing about what John said “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” But it was a good secular message. So I ended on a good note.

  5. The Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori
    Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church
    March 27, 2015

    Your Grace,

    First I want to say thank-you for your years of service as chief pastor, spiritual and temporal leader of our piece of the Kingdom of G-d dba, The Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, or The Episcopal Church, In Spanish, La Iglesia Episcopal Protestante de los Estados Unidos de América or La Iglesia Episcopal, and in French L’Église protestante épiscopale dans les États Unis d’Amérique or L’Église épiscopale. And for Caroline Deyo, (Welsh) Eglwys Esgobol Protestannaidd yn yr UnolDaleithiau, say that three times Caroline! And for my Great Grandmother who is dead, may her memory be for a blessing, (Yiddish) protestant episkopal khilh in di fareynikte shtatn fun amerike , ” oder ” di episcopal !!!

    What a job! Whew. I bet you will get a good nights sleep when all is said and done.

    From your election at the 75th General Convention on June 18, 2006, to the present time, as the first woman primate in the worldwide Anglican Communion and the 26th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church to the present day you have guided our way through some very tough times.

    The response to the natural disasters which occurred during your administration and your response as leader of our Church, not only shows compassion but also common sense in the efforts for relief.

    Haiti Earthquake (2010)- A magnitude 7.0 earthquake that has a depth of 8.1 miles rocked Haiti on January 12, 2010. Its epicenter was located just south west of Port-Au-Prince with 59 aftershocks ranging from 4.2 to 5.9 magnitudes in strength. The strongest earthquake to hit the country since 1770, it had led to over 200,000 deaths, 2 million homeless, and 3 million people in need of emergency aid. At least US $195 million have been given with another US $120 million pledges from different countries, along with a large number of aid workers to help with rescue operations.*

    Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster: Following an earthquake, tsunami, and failure of cooling systems at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant and issues concerning other nuclear facilities in Japan on March 11, 2011, a nuclear emergency was declared. This was the first time a nuclear emergency had been declared in Japan, and 140,000 residents within 20 km of the plant were evacuated. *

    May 31, 2013- El Reno Tornado, the widest tornado in recorded history occurred over rural areas of Central Oklahoma.*

    *Encyclopedia Britanica: Disasters Internet.

    The Episcopal Church was effected in everyone of those disasters and many more. . Our churches, schools and homes were devastated. The Episcopal Relief & Development, uses our financial gifts in the most effective ways possible to serve and support people suffering worldwide. Their website being for those hanging on every word I am using, : https://www.episcopalrelief.org/
    It is amazing the work we do as a church.

    What you walked into and what you are leaving is an amazing transition- still a work in progress, but oh so much closer to the Holy Spirit who guides all. The wisdom you have shown (far beyond your years) as well as an excellent business mind, thank you, for not allowing groups of people to fleece our Church. I believe that all the legal distractions of the job will all be a past to learn from because of the ground work you have laid from the beginning. I said it before and I will say it again, ” What a job!!!!”

    The ever never ending debate on sexuality, homosexuality and sexual orientation and sacramental equality with the heterosexuals and the Episcopal Church, rages on and on and on. Hopefully there will be relief for our LGBT and add a Q+ after that for those seeking their sexual identities, my we seem to be everyone and everywhere. As I said, What A Job!!!

    So as a gay man of G-d, who thinks we should sever ties with the Anglican Community, wishing all well but adios amigos’. You have that headache as well. We live in love with our differences as you have shown by example. You walk the talk, and I thank G-d we have crossed paths. I wish you and your family all the best there is to offer.

    In Truth,

    John-Albert Dickert
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    tshurtshAmerica , “neu” Yr Eglwys Esgobol. פּראָטעסטאַנט עפּיסקאָפּאַל קהילה אין די פאַרייניקטע שטאַטן פון אַמעריקע , ” אָדער ” די עפּיסקאָפּאַל טשורטש

    protestant episkopal khilh in di fareynikte shtatn fun amerike , ” oder ” di episkopal tshurtsh

    I imagine you will be able to get a good nights sleep when all is said and done. Whew, what a job!!!

  6. Father Mike Waverly-Shank says:

    Is it only my imagination or in this message is Bishop Katherine referring to the words of Jesus on the way to the Cross found in Luke 23 – If they do this when the wood is green, what will they do when it is dry? This qoute haunts me each year at Holy Week.

  7. Diana Woodcock says:

    Bishop Katharine,
    Thank you for your message. As usual your comments are thought provoking. I feel sad for those who are so negative about your words. We are called to love, be non-judgmental and follow in Christ’s footsteps. I would like to add here that having seen you in Dallas a few years ago, I was excited to see you were to be at Salisbury Cathedral for Holy Week this year. I retired back to England and live only a hundred miles from Salisbury. I was able to go to Salisbury with friends for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday and heard your messages. I wished we could have spoken with you, but as both services ended with leaving in silence,it didn’t seem appropriate. You gave me food for thought and words to think on, so thank you. May God bless you richly and be a source of strength, wisdom and comfort as you continue in His work.

  8. Stewart David Wigdor says:

    Healed all who came to Him
    al disease all sufferring
    wiped tears of all who mourn
    made pure all hearts to behold
    the Lord laying down His Life a sacrifice
    lifted before all nailed to a wooden cross
    then He will rise
    God now forgives our sins
    Love forever God is
    to each soul on earth
    Jesus rose from death
    letting us know He is Joy
    and Heaven is real
    our Beloved Lord lives
    our Beloved Lord lives
    our Beloved Lord lives

  9. Richard McClellan says:

    Beautiful sermon by the presiding Bishop. The rector at Christ Church Episcopal this morning in Greenville, SC gave an extraordinary Easter sermon as well. May the risen Christ call all unto Him.

  10. Eddie Hall says:

    Wonderful Easter message! Thank you!

Comments are closed.