It is a tradition in many Christian churches to create an Easter Garden which tells the story of both the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus in a visual way. I have always found the day before Easter Sunday an odd one, the space between death and life. The week before, Holy Week normally consists of a service every evening and plenty of ritual. The climax of all of this is on Good Friday when there is a service which ends at 3pm, to mark Jesus dying on the cross. This year was different, there were virtual services but that odd Saturday feeling came much earlier for me. The day of waiting, of wondering if Easter Sunday will be as significant this year, what service do we virtually attend, how can I connect with the Risen Christ without the ritual I am used to.
That’s when I had the idea of creating the Easter Garden in our space. Phillip, my husband created the tomb (he’s the creative one!) and I did the crosses on the ‘hill’. On the Saturday it felt like an achievement to have made it but we left the scene bare. On the Sunday before the dawn service I went down into the garden and rolled the stone away and joined in ‘Alleluia He is Risen’ with the priest leading the service. Throughout the day I covered the tomb and the crosses with flowers and it came alive!
Since then we haven’t taken the tomb down, it has remained. The flowers around the crosses didn’t last and weeds have grown over and broken the elastic bands holding them together. But the empty tomb remains, He is Risen indeed Alleluia.