History

Rhoscolyn has a fascinating history, with its patron saint, Gwenfaen, first making her home and church here in 630 AD. Some say that the druids’ last stand against the Romans, who invaded Mona (Anglesey) in 60 or 61 AD, was at Cymyran, the inland sea between Mona and Holy Island and the open sea, south of Four Mile Bridge.  Anglesey itself also has a very interesting history.

We havent had any history contributions this month, so no local history, although we are promised some to come – and if you have any (your house, your family ….?) do let us know.

In the meantime, here are some Easter traditions and celebrations from around the World, with thanks to The Holy Island Pastoral Care Circle:

Easter Day is the most important event in the Christian calendar, as it joyfully commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ three days after His death by crucifixion on Good Friday.

In Switzerland, the springtime cuckoo brings the Easter eggs. A Biblical passion play is staged on Maundy Thursday. The next day on Good Friday, a procession takes place, where people carry two sculptures – one of the dead Christ and one of his mother Mary, through the streets.

Another tradition that is specific to western Switzerland is called ‘weeping women’. In this, women carry crimson cushions, bearing the symbols of Christ’s passion, through the streets. The cushion contains nails used in the crucifixion, the crown of thorns that was placed on His head and the handkerchief that St. Veronica used to wipe Christ’s brow as He carried the cross (which was also incredibly imprinted with the image of his face).

In Israel, the ancient church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s walled Old
City is decorated and prepared for Easter celebrations. The priests and monks wear white robes and chant the liturgy, while the fragrant incense rises above the tomb where Christians believe Jesus was buried and rose from the dead. People gather in groups and travel to Golgotha to mark the route of Jesus Christ’s journey. This route is known as the Stations’ of the Cross. The processions finally gather at the tomb of Jesus. On Easter Sunday, at one o’clock, the priest enters Jesus Christ’s tomb and doors are shut after him. The entire town’s lights are switched off and later, when the church bells ring, the priest comes out with a blazing torch. People in the procession light their candles from this holy fire.

In France, one of the important aspects of the Easter celebrations is that the church bells remain silent from Good Friday until Easter Sunday, as a token of mourning for the crucified Christ. During this time, all over France, mothers narrate tales to their children, explaining the phrase – ‘the bells have flown away to the Vatican in Rome’, carrying away the desolation and distress of people who lament Christ’s crucifixion, along with
them. On Easter Sunday, the bells return, commemorating the resurrection of Jesus. The bells also bring lots of chocolates and eggs back with them!