Thousands gather downtown for Passion Play

Annual event stirs emotion from faithful on Good Friday


Thousands gathered downtown on Good Friday to witness the annual Passion Play, where hundreds of actors reenact the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

The play began at Milam Park with the condemnation of Christ.

Realistic beatings and whippings took place in front of thousands.

Then the cross was carried by Jesus, played by actor John Austin, down Commerce Street to Main Plaza.

"From the moment the drums and the trumpets were playing, it just gives you this feeling inside. It brings tears to your eyes," said Lidia Campbell, an onlooker.

It was emotional for onlookers as well as actors.

"It takes a lot, mentally and spiritually, and (we) just leave it in His hands," said Austin.

The reenactment continued in front of San Fernando Cathedral, where those hands were nailed to the cross and then the cross lifted.

Seeing Jesus hanging from the cross brought the crucifixion into perspective, onlookers said.

"It touches you on a lot of different levels, but most of all, it just makes you feel closer to Christ," said Caprice Cannon, an onlooker.

San Antonio Archbishop Gustavo-Garcia Siller was moved by the crowd and their reasons for being in attendance.

"They believe the that the Lord loves them and that the Lord Jesus Christ gave his life for them," he said.

A slideshow is embedded here.

For a list of recent stories David Sears has done, click here.

About the Author: