Good Friday 29 th March 2013
Epsom Good Friday Walk of Witness
including Churches Together in Ewell
The Good Friday Procession this year was dramatized by Rev Sue Curtis with impressively costumed actors representing the main participants in the drama. The two trials of Jesus before the Sanhedrin and Pilate, the Crucifixion and scenes relating to the Resurrection were vividly portrayed. Following the excellent publicity in the Epsom Guardian and despite the continuing cold weather, the event was attended by record numbers.
There was bright sunshine for the 10 am start in the Clinic Car Park. Martin Jewson issued the challenge “Could this man, Jesus, really forgive sins, heal the sick, restore sight to the blind and raise people from the dead? … Each of us must judge for yourself” We followed the Way of the Cross as the arrested Jesus flanked by two Roman soldiers was brought before the High Priest and then Pilate. Pilate’s words “Listen to all their accusations” rang in our ears as Jesus remained silent. Pilate’s strategy of releasing Jesus in the traditional act of clemency to mark the Jewish Passover was frustrated by the crowd. Stirred up by the Pharisees’ accusations of blasphemy, the crowd instead called for the release of the insurrectionist Barabbas.
Pilate, who claimed to have found Jesus guilty of no crime and washed his hands of the matter, nevertheless gave instructions for Jesus to be crucified. The Procession to the Marketplace represented the road Jesus took carrying his cross to Golgotha, the place of execution. Sayings of Jesus articulated during the procession were each greeted by the crowd’s shouts for Jesus to be crucified.
The Marketplace represented the scene of the Crucifixion as the congregation sang “O sacred head, surrounded” setting the sombre mood as the nails were hammered into the crosspiece. Jesus’ last words on the cross were interspersed with the moving solo spiritual “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” beautifully sung. With the words “It is finished”, Jesus died. The mood of helplessness and hopelessness was well captured. It appeared that evil had triumphed as the Messiah who had come to deliver his people had not been himself saved from a cruel and humiliating death deserted by most of his closest followers.
Monologues from Mary, Jesus’ mother, Mary Magdalene and Judas summed up the mood. The congregation sang the great hymn of Isaac Watts, “When I survey the wondrous cross” which spoke of man’s richest gain – the salvation of sinful man – at a cost of a sacrifice only the amazing love of God was able to make. Children lamented the taking away of a life colourful and rich and Paula Smith in prayer related this to God’s unchanging love able to support us in times of difficulty and fear. Children of the Song Squad from Christ Church sang the song specially written by Andrew Davies “Jesus lives with us.”
The three women at the tomb brought considerable energy to express their amazement that the large stone placed to secure the tomb had been rolled away, the grave clothes had been folded up, the tomb was empty and an angelic visitation instructed them to tell the others “He is risen.”
The service concluded with the congregation singing “Thine be the glory” whose triumphant theme of Christ’s victory over death developed from the scene at the tomb. Rev Nick Oborski gave the blessing and invited the gathering to join the churches in celebrating Easter and to Epsom Methodist Church for refreshments.
An Information tent was available in the marketplace until 3 o’clock in the afternoon.
Photographs below with thanks to Yan Tan
Epsom Methodist Church for refreshing us afterwards.
Our grateful thanks to:
· Epsom and Ewell Borough Council for allowing us to use the marketplace,
· The Police for accompanying us,
· Andrew Davies and Andrew Smith for playing for us,
· Richard Martin, Roger Wedlake and Brian Angus for amplifying us,
· and Epsom Methodist Church for refreshing us afterwards.
Photographs of the Rehearsals are ....................Here