Ilkeston - Easter - From Friday To Sunday
w/e 23 March 2008
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Silent Witness

Eleven days previously the Mercian Regiment had marched up Bath Street but on Good Friday IACT, the Ilkeston Area Churches Together (formerly IACC - Ilkeston Area Council of Churches) organised what has become the traditional annual Procession of Silent Witness over a very similar route to the Market Place - but at a much slower pace.
God Is Love

Along the way they stopped at several pre-arranged points to re-enact the Easter Story and sing hymns with this year's theme being "Peace I Leave With You". The procession was headed by a simple wooden cross and a banner proclaiming "God Is Love" and is seen here as it passed through the Lower Market Place from the churchyard at St Mary's Church.
Penultimate Stop

DrumThe penultimate stop on the procession was by the old fountain on the Market Place overlooked by St Mary's Church. The fountain of course, is missing at present as it has been taken away to undergo restoration work. From here the route was across the Market Place to the Garden of Remembrance at the side of the church and the event ended in the nearby United Reformed Church with closing prayers and refreshments. Although the outdoor procession was one of silent witness, it was accompanied by the beat of a solitary drum (left) but on Sunday the focus switched to the inside of the churches - apart from a dawn service at Dale Abbey - to celebrate the Risen Lord.
The Empty Tomb

In St Mary's a table top model and flower arrangement depicted the empty tomb.
Easter Lilies

Easter BonnetThe widow ledges were decorated with Easter Bonnets (right), Easter Chicks and Easter Eggs but prominent amongst them all were Easter Lilies. Tradition has it that the trumpet-shaped white flowers are the spiritual essence of Easter symbolising purity, virtue, innocence, hope and life. Tradition also asserts that lilies sprung up where drops of Christ's sweat fell to the ground in his final hours. They are now used in churches to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and hope of life everlasting and they serve as a beautiful reminder that Easter is a time for rejoicing and celebrating.
At The Foot Of The Cross

Central to all those celebrations is the empty cross of the resurrected Christ and it is at the foot of the cross that all those who believe can leave their cares and woes. As Robert Harkness wrote in his 1922 hymn,
"I met Jesus at the foot of the cross when I was bound by sin;
Jesus met me, cleansed my heart of its dross, He gave sweet peace within."

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