LOWER MAKEFIELD>> In an Easter tradition dating back 35 years, seventh and eighth graders from St. Ignatius School will retell the story of Holy Week and Easter on Friday, March 23 at the church.
The presentation of the Passion Play, which has become a rite of passage at the school on Reading Avenue, was written by Monsignor John Marine, now the pastor at St. Bede Church in Holland, when he was an assistant priest at St. Ignatius.
Mary Alice LaMorte, Janet Padula and Margie Badman will direct a cast of 42 students as they tell the story of the passion, death and resurrection of Christ.
This year for the first time in many years, the narrative will begin with the nativity and then fast forward to the events of Holy Week, including Jesus’s triumphant arrival in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the Last Super on Maundy Thursday, the Way of the Cross on Good Friday and the Resurrection on Easter morning.
The play is punctuated by moving and inspirational songs, including “I Surrender All” sung by Siana Falkenstein as Mary Mother of Jesus, “Lamb of God” by Kate Abdallah as Mary Magdalene, “Were You There” and “He’s Alive” by the entire cast.
The role of Jesus is played this year by Jay Moyer. Michael Carroll is Saint John and Stephen Cain is Saint Peter.
“I can think of no better preparation for Holy Week and Easter then to attend the Passion Play,” said assistant principal Ryan Merrick. “This is probably going to be the 14th time that I’ve seen this and it’s ever new,” he added. “Each time there’s always something new and it’s always just amazing to see because it really takes you in. You feel like you’re there.”
As he watched the kids rehearse for this year’s show in the church auditorium, Merrick said he “hopes the bonds they form” as part of the cast “will carry them through and they will remember this experience for many years to come.
“I also hope it provides them with confidence and also strengthens and deepens their faith as I’ve seen it do in the past,” he said.
If you go...
The Passion Play will be presented at 7 p.m. on March 23 in the auditorium of St. Ignatius Church, 999 Reading Avenue, Yardley 19067. Admission is $5 at the door.