In a pastoral letter, The Most Rev. Fred Hiltz, Primate of Canada, speaks about the silence and need for reconciliation in the profound brokenness we most often feel when we experience the Good Friday liturgy. In the letter he draws together the threads from his accounts of different peoples physical encounters with a wooden cross in a Good Friday liturgy, the words of the 1707 Isaac Watts hymn “When I Survey The Wondrous Cross”, and a reflection of the book “looking through THE CROSS” by Graham Tomlin.
Some reach out to touch the cross. Others lean forward to kiss it. And a few actually cling to it, yearning perhaps for personal pardon and for reconciliation with others.
In the letter and in “that silence” of prayerful reflection, The Most Rev. Fred Hiltz, challenges the church to hold up the work of reconciliation in our lives and in the world.
Overall, the letter is a fine pastoral letter. He captures the quiet and reflective tone of Holy Week well with his illustration of a Good Friday liturgy. It’s invitation to prayer for reconciliation in the church and our world also fits well with his role as the leader of the Canadian church. As reconciliation continues to be an important part of the work of the National Church with both it’s place in Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Primate’s Commission on Discovery, Reconciliation and Justice.
The full letter is found at the Anglican Church of Canada website, is titled “A Holy Week message from the Primate.”