Hamilton Churches have united once more to bring the Easter story to life – and this year it’s happening in the heart of the town!
Building on the success of 2017’s “Walk With Christ” where the churches took to the streets on Palm Sunday and then dramatised the Easter events throughout the week, this year sees the bold move of a full Passion Play, performed at Hamilton’s bottom cross on Easter Saturday at 2pm.
A Passion Play is a community event that tells the story of the final week of Jesus’ life through drama.
Starting in Jericho it takes in healing, miracles and teaching, entry into Jerusalem, confrontations with priests and Pilate until the eventual betrayal, arrest at Gethsemane and crucifixion.
The cast comprises around 50 people drawn from the local community, led by professional actor Nicky Elliot from Bellshill in the role of Jesus.
The Rev Ross Blackman, minister of Hamilton Old Parish Church, said: “Experiencing the gospel in this way is a stage beyond scripture reading.
“Well known characters and stories from the bible are brought to life, when you go to a Passion Play who aren’t a spectator you are part of the story.”
Joint church services will take place each evening, culminating in the play, as the Rev John Carswell, of Cadzow Parish Church, explained.
He said: “Cadzow Parish Church is delighted to host Holy Week Services this year.
“Until Friday we will join together with other churches, ministers and choirs for nightly worship services leading up to Easter.
“A special joy this year is the preparation for the Passion Play.
“Each night of the week a short monologue from one of the cast will start our worship. Do join us and see characters from the bible come alive!”
This year’s production of the full play means there is opportunity to see more of the events leading to the crucifixion and to meet new characters, as well as the familiar ones.
Caroline Goodship played Mary Mother last year and now has the opportunity to reprise her role.
This year it includes a new and very moving scene following the crucifixion when she resolves to visit the tomb.
Caroline said: “Last year’s Passion Play performance was our first and we wanted to give a taster of the Easter Story.
“We had no idea that it would provoke such a positive reaction.
“This year’s performance is richer in content and delves more deeply into the characters involved in the life of Christ, his betrayal and final resurrection.
“I am looking forward to reviving the role of Mary, mother of Jesus, once again.”
Services take place in Cadzow Parish Church until Friday at 7.30pm and then The Passion Play will take place at the Bottom Cross, near Asda, on Saturday at 2pm.
Entry is free and the event will last around 90 minutes, all are welcome to attend.
To keep up to date visit www.facebook.com/PassionPlayLanarkshire