20 April 2014

Early on the first day of the
week, while it was still dark

Waiting for the sunrise on Easter morning on the beach at La Carihuela (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2014)

Patrick Comerford

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. (John 20: 1)

Early this morning [20 April 2014], while it was still dark, I left my room in Roc Lago Rojo Hotel at about 6.40 a.m. and walked through the narrow, silent, deserted streets of La Carihuela to wait on the beach for the sunrise on Easter Day.

Where better to expect to see the sunrise but a Mediterranean beach facing east on the “Coast of the Sun”?

The quiet, deserted streets of La Carihuela before dawn on Easter morning (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2014)

A few early risers were already jogging along the promenade, and one or two lone shore anglers were walking up and down the shoreline, perhaps hoping to catch some fish for breakfast.

To the south west, the moon was still high. But over to the east there were dark clouds covering the mountains and the sea. The morning calls told me the birds knew it was sunrise, and there were streaks of orange and hints of red breaking through the clouds.

I waited and I waited. For three quarters of an hour I waited. I took my sandals off and walked briefly in the Mediterranean for the first time this year.

And I waited.

Eventually, it was obvious the sun had risen behind the clouds as I lingered on the beach, and I never caught a proper glimpse of that red balloon that I associate with sunrises and sunsets in the Mediterranean.

Later, after Sunday Mass in the local parish church, there was a hint of rain as I sipped coffee in a local café looking out onto the seafront and catching up on the news from Ireland in a Sunday newspaper.

By the time I got back to the hotel, those dark clouds had enveloped La Carihuela, and the rain was as heavy as any winter storm back in Ireland.

Lighting the Paschal flames at the church in La Carihuela as the Easter celebrations begin (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2014)

Last night, after dark, two of us began our Easter celebrations as the Paschal Candle was lit from a fire below the steps into the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

We lit our small candles and processed inside for the first Mass of Easter, which included the blessing of the Baptismal waters and the renewal of our Baptismal vows.

We left in the dark, filled with the joys of the Risen Christ.

Whether it rains our not during this week on the Costa del Sol, the real water that matters is the Water of Baptism.

Whether or not I see the sunrise any morning this week, what matters is Christ the Son of God is Risen.

Christ is Risen! Χριστός ἀνέστη!

He is Risen Indeed. Ἀληθῶς ἀνέστη!

Have a blessed and a happy and a peaceful Easter.