It’s been a must-see performance for the past 15 years: the dramatic re-enactment of the Way of the Cross.
More than a thousand people filled the pews at St. Peter-in-Chains in Peterborough on Good Friday to witness the recreation of the Passion of Christ — the time leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion — in 14 stations. This year, it was done a little differently and the rain kept everyone indoors, but organizers say the dramatization was just as effective.
“We’ll see Jesus full of blood, we’ll see the soldiers kick him and whip him and well see them nail him to the cross, and raise the cross up well see the sorrowing woman of Jerusalem, we’ll see Mary, his mother, [we’ll see] Veronica, every one of the 14 stations of the cross along the way will be brought to life,” said Deacon Aidan Murphy, who is one of the directors of the production.
The organizers say the event is an opportunity for people of all ages, backgrounds and faiths to reflect on the bigger questions of life and the idea of sacrifice.
Thirty-five youth from six different schools, as well as other homeschooled youth, are involved in the roughly two-hour-long production. This year, Jesus was played by 15-year-old John Paul Corkery.
“It’s a great honour to play this role so I’m just hoping I’ll live up to it. It’s a really great production, it just shows the passion really well and it’s a great visual,” said Corkery.
“It helps you better understand the passion of Jesus and what he went through for us,” said one of the soldiers, Caleb Duketow.
This year, more than 1,000 people came out to witness the production.
“There’s gotta be a couple of hundred who have come even from Toronto to see this. It’s grown every year so we’re very pleased everyone managed to fit in the space and I think everyone had a good time,” said Father Craig Cruikshank, who is one of the organizers of this year’s production.
Since this year’s production was held inside the cathedral, organizers say the reenactment was a little more constricting.
“When it’s wider, the woman of Jerusalem can travel along with it, and we have the whole width, we usually go from St. Peter’s to Immaculate Parish on the east city, so now we have to work that up and down the aisle instead,” said Murphy.
But as organizers say, with faith, anything is possible.