|James and Peter waiting for the play to begin|
It is worth the drive (about 1 hour from the outskirts of Sydney or 90 minutes from Canberra) to take part in the recreation of the Passion of Christ, from the events of Holy Thursday night through to Jesus' death and burial.
|Rose, Clare and a friend ready to play the wailing women.|
The best part about the Passion Play is it works on all five senses. You see the actors playing all the roles, you hear not only the words, but also the murmurs of the crowd and props such as weapons and armour. You smell the dust and people around you and feel the sun above and ground beneath as you follow the scenes and also feel the bumps and crush of the crowd at pivotal points. And lastly you can taste the air and remember the hunger on this day of fasting.
Combined with the prayer and reflection, you get a more immersive exposure to the story of Christ's passion.
|That's a lot of people|
Another memorable part is the worldwide collection of languages and nationalities making up the crowd. We become pretty used to the worldwide or universal nature of the Church, but a visitor attending his first play mentioned to me how the diversity really hit home the worldwide nature of Catholicism.
The actors are sourced from local homeschooling families and youth groups from the various parishes run by the Pauline Fathers in Sydney. The costumes and sets improve each year, building on what came before. The passion play that was part of World Youth Day provided a gift of the costumes they used to the organisers of the Pauline Fathers' play.
|Jesus during the Last Supper|
|At the start of the long road to the crucifixion|
|Along the road with one of the thieves following|