WCR PHOTO | CHRIS MILLER
Fadel Gideon played the role of Jesus in the passion play at Our Lady of Good Help Parish.
Children from Our Lady of Good Help Parish re-enacted the Passion of Christ according to St. John.
The Maronite Catholic parish has a Christian Youth Club for young people ages 12 to 22, but this was the first time it had tried a major production with an even younger group. The children ranged in age from four to 12 years old, and are mostly of Lebanese, Chaldean or Syrian descent. Masses are held in both English and Arabic.
The children rehearsed regularly for about two months leading up to the production, held on the evening of Good Friday, March 29. By doing so, the children gleaned some new insights into the story of Jesus' death and resurrection.
"I learned a lot about the story of Jesus. When Jesus came to Pontius Pilate, he was nice to him when they talked together," said Fadel Gideon, who played the role of Jesus.
Gideon learned that in all four Gospels, Pilate avoided responsibility for the death of Jesus, and he appears to have been reluctant to allow the crucifixion, having found no fault with Jesus.
Directing the play was Marvic Vinluan, the parish secretary.
Vinluan said the children can see and learn the life and passion of Christ through interesting ways, including drama and live theatre. This might help with youth evangelization, she said, and could perhaps inspire more children to attend church. Her hope is that this play becomes a yearly event.
"We are hoping next time there will be participation from more children, and next year we will invite other parishes as well, so we will grow into an even bigger production," said Vinluan.
Elias Alwan played the role of Pontius Pilate. "It was fun. We worked really hard on this. I'm happy with the overall production," said Alwan.
He learned a great deal about Joseph Caiaphas, the Roman-appointed Jewish high priest who is said to have organized the plot to kill Jesus.
Joseph Hannouche was a soldier. He said that he did a lot of his own rehearsing at home, and it was a lot of work for a one-time production that was over in half an hour.
Overall, the hard work was worth his effort, although he was concerned because his microphone kept falling off.
"Maybe next time I'd pick an easier character because I played a soldier. I was a little bit nervous because I had to say some lines, and sometimes I forgot them," said Hannouche.
"We decided close to the end, right before we were to do the play, rather than the other soldier saying those lines that I would say them instead."