Sorry, my recounting skills sort of suck.
The 2016 Sydney Easter Parade is coming up in a few weeks, so I wanted to reminisce on our participation in last year’s parade to get into the mindset!
Last year our church participated with hundreds of other people and local churches in the annual Sydney Easter Parade, held on Monday the 6th of April. It wasn’t our first time to have participated as a group (however in previous years I have participated with a different church before).
This parade is really special to us. It’s not only put on for the entertainment of others, but it’s a declaration of faith. It’s a way for Christians to unite and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus despite all our differences. It’s a chance for us to show the world what we stand for! Apart from the parade, there’s also a festival afterwards with food, entertainment and worship.
It’s also really fun.
Last year, our dance team decided that everyone was going to use cherub wings for the parade. Not only are they flamboyant (which is perfect for a parade setting) but to us they are symbolic of God’s presence, as He was believed to be enthroned between the cherubim on the Ark of the Covenant. By using cherub wings, we wanted to bring God’s presence down onto Sydney.
Prior to the actual parade, we spent a few weeks beforehand practicing holding them up. It may seem easy, but wings can be difficult to use, especially since our team doesn’t have much experience with them. Using them outdoors and having to hold them up for a long period of time also made it harder (unfortunately even after practicing, there were a lot of times where we put them down during the parade).
We had three different types of wings.
The first were borrowed from another church. These were the largest wings we had and were used by our lead cherub dancers. One set came in blue, and the other in red. They are attached via ribbons around your shoulders, which are then tied at your back so that it’s sort of like a backpack (probably not the best description). Wooden dowels are used to hold up the wings.
The second pair of wings we had were our own. Just simple white ones made out of a satin-like fabric. They function like the first pair and we only have one set of these. My friend and I were lucky enough to use these ones.
The rest of our dance team used the third type of wings that we had, which belong to our dance mentor. They come in two different colour schemes – white and rainbow. These wings are commonly know as “lamé wings” and are made of a thin, shiny, crimped fabric. Unlike the first two sets, they are attachable via a collar that goes around the neck. Wooden dowels are also used to hold them up. Unfortunately, they can be quite uncomfortable to use for long periods of time.
As the cherubim on the Ark of the Covenant are a pair, anytime we use these wings for dancing, we do so in pairs as well. For the parade we made two straight lines behind our main cherub dancers and followed their lead. Prior to the parade, we also prepared by praying and fasting.
The rest of the congregation participated in the parade by holding props and holding inflatables! Each item has it’s own meaning.
The parade route started and ended in Hyde Park and took about half an hour all up. While the paraders were returning back into Hyde Park, we formed a “gate” (think of when people form “tunnels” at weddings for the bride and groom to run through but on a wider scale) for people to walk through. Our arms were pretty tired after that, haha.
We then had some time to relax as the festival activities began. I remember dancing during worship and eating gozleme with my good friend. Since this was such a large event, there were also a lot of friendly faces I saw that day.
Of course, we weren’t the only group who took part in the parade. The other groups were really awesome and creative with what they did! It was inspiring to see everyone so fired up for God.
Being part of the parade is an amazing experience. It’s such an honour to be included in something so big and to express our faith in such a way. There were times I did feel put on the spot because of the large amount of people who watched, but it’s always calming to remind yourself that you’re not doing this for anyone but Him.
This year God has something bigger and better prepared for the parade and I can’t wait to be a part of it!
P.s. We also tried making a vlog: