You can help keep Cross message alive at town tomb

Caroline McGuinness and Laura McGuinness. Tommy Hanlon,  Richard Marshall and James Marshall
Caroline McGuinness and Laura McGuinness. Tommy Hanlon, Richard Marshall and James Marshall

The centre of Portadown is staging a special ‘Tomb Event’ over the Easter Weekend. And ‘Roman Centurions’ are required for guard duty, to help keep the message of The Cross alive.

It will take place in the plaza in front of St Mark’s Church and is a project in tandem with the Churches-2-gether organisation, with members of the various churches asked to guard The Tomb.

Guard duty – with imaginative uniforms supplied (see picture) – will start at on Good Friday morning and will continue until Easter Sunday morning, a full 48 hours.

And as well as the Tomb in the plaza, there will be, just inside the railings of St Mark’s, a large cross. It will have a red drape on Good Friday which will be changed to a white drape on Easter Sunday morning.

A number of St Mark’s members will be on guard for part of the time, but they require members of all churches to become ‘centurions’. The man to contact is Rev Keith Marshall, curate assistant at St Mark’s, 4 Killicomaine Drive, phone 02838152313.

The ‘shifts’ are - Friday: 12noon-6pm which St Mark’s is filling as there is a three-hour service of readings and reflections in the church; 6pm -12 midnight.

Saturday: 12midnight-6am; 6am-12 noon; 12 noon-6pm; 6pm - 12 midnight.

Sunday: 12 midnight to 5am, with St Mark’s youth in combination with others doing this slot; 5am to 10am.

Because of the ‘Tomb Event’, the traditional Portadown Easter Sunday morning service has been switched from Craigavon Lakes to the centre of the town, and this will take place at the usual time of 6.30am beside The Tomb at the plaza.

Said Rev Keith Marshall, “It is essential that all churches – not just St Mark’s – are involved in guard duty. We need a good representation from all the churches, groups or assemblies. Even if people are willing to commit for 20 minutes or an hour, that will be super.

“We will have two professional guard outfits that can be put on over existing clothes and at least two more which will also be wearable. So potentially we can have four adults at a time, and we are hopeful that at least two kids’ outfits will be available. So be ‘on guard’ this Eastertide for The Cross’.”

“There will a table with chairs for the Roman Soldiers to sit. And on the table will be ‘look at The Cross’ tracts to hand out. To end Easter devotions, there will be an informal outreach service on Sunday night in St Marks, featuring a Billy Graham DVD.”