Sunday 8 April 2012


Uploaded by nat_mach on September 19, 2011
Taken in Hadlow, England
© All rights reserved
When I was growing up I sang in a church choir. Easter was one of the busiest times of the year for us (apart from, of course, Christmas).

Holy Week began the week before with the joyous and triumphal Palm Sunday. Following the service a long suffering donkey (he served as Santa's reindeer at Christmas!) was pressed into service to head the procession from the church to the village hall; palms (which I suspect may actually have been pampas grass) and song.

There was a great deal of preparation during the week that followed, including the Easter Garden. A tray of turf with the tomb constructed from large pebbles and other bits of flora and fauna; to make the garden from the Gospels.

On Maundy Thursday the solemn part of Easter began with a serene and quiet vigil.

Good Friday (being a Bank Holiday) meant that the service could be observed at the traditional noon time. Another solemn service; the church stripped of all finery and decoration. Unfortunately the crucifix scene behind the alter always looked faintly ridiculous held up, as it was, by red steel legs.In the afternoon I'd usually listen to either Handel's Messiah or Jesus Christ Superstar.

Although the choir got the day off on Saturday others were busy transforming the church. On Easter Sunday morning the austerity of Good Friday was banished. The church would be a joyous riot of flowers and colour with joyous music to celebrate the risen Lord.

The church as I remember it is gone, several changes in clergy and staff, and most people I remember moved away - but I still hold a faint longing for those wonderful Easters past.