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Crucifixion relived

Carlos Atwell

Crucifixion relived

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The betrayal and crucifixion of Christ was brought to life yesterday as St Dominic’s Roman Catholic Church re-enacted the 14 Stations of the Cross in Oistins, Christ Church.
The sight of a bruised and bloodied “Jesus” struggling under the weight of his cross as Roman soldiers jeered and whipped him was almost too much for some members of the crowd to bear, as some wept openly.
Organiser Edith Moise said the idea came about after their 2009 production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.
“After that musical, everybody was asking what we were going to do next, so we went over different things and thought ‘why not put the Stations of the Cross on the road?’” she said, adding that plans began in February and the hardest thing was getting the music in place.
Roman Catholic Bishop for Bridgetown and Kingstown Jason Gordon said the production was innovative and creative.
“It’s always great to re-enact the passion and to take the church into the streets because for too long we have been content to stay inside the building. This is one of these great occasions where the church can interact with the public,” he said.
Gordon said re-enacting the stations on Good Friday was not new to the Roman Catholic Church but noted it had been an in-house activity.
“This year they are taking it to a new level which is wonderful to see because innovation and creativity are at the heart of the Gospel,” he said.
The production spared nothing visually and included various props such as the Eucharistic plate; the scourging pillar; the crown of thorns; palm trees and more. Most of the action took place on the back of a truck with the faithful and the curious following behind – not to mention more than a few photographers and videographers, both professional and amateur. This, of course, caused some traffic backup which was managed by members of the police force.
The emotional re-enactment had many tear-inducing moments, especially when “Jesus” – portrayed by entertainer Derek Fields – broke into song during one of the stations, beseeching God to allow the cup to pass from him. He also brought some smiles as he gave a Bajan welcome to his Roman captors with a “wha’ goin’ on, fellas?”
In an interview before the re-enactment started, Fields said he felt the role was something good to do in order to bring witness to the streets.
The SATURDAY SUN spoke to a few of the people watching the event to get their impressions. Jackie James said it was “very emotional and different”.
“We used to do this at the church but now it is more involving and you can really feel God’s presence. It is bringing the story to the forefront where you can see and believe in it more,” she said.
The event began in SuperCentre’s car park and ended in Bay Gardens with the crucifixion. A blood-covered Jesus was nailed to the cross and the mood was solemn as he uttered his last words as his mourning family and friends wept at his feet.
Among the crowd was Member of Parliament John Boyce, who said he was there less as a politician and more as a Christian.
“Today is Good Friday and as a good Christian I wanted to take part in this community event. It is nice to bring this aspect out of the church and into the open,” he said.
However, it does not look like Barbadians can look forward to watching the Stations of the Cross on the streets as an annual event. Moise said it was simply too much work so they would most likely be returning to the old format for the foreseeable future.