Passion Play returns to downtown San Antonio on Good Friday after 2-year hiatus

The play is very graphic due to the nature of the story

It's been two years since "The Passion" play took place in San Antonio. Thousands of spectators lined the streets of downtown for the Good Friday tradition that recreates the trial and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Reporter Jonathan Cotto was there for the whole experience.

SAN ANTONIOUpdate 11:20 a.m. - April 15: Due to technical issues, the livestream is no longer available through Catholic Television of San Antonio. We apologize for the inconvenience.


After a two-year hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Passion Play returns to downtown San Antonio on Friday.

Thousands of spectators are expected to line the streets of downtown San Antonio for the Good Friday tradition that recreates the trial and crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

The San Antonio Passion Play dates back to 1983, when the wooden cross carried by the actor playing Jesus weighed 150 pounds, compared to the 50-pound cross used today.

A warning to younger or more sensitive audiences, the play is very graphic due to the nature of the story.

Jesus is condemned to death and forced to carry his cross. He falls several times and is stripped of his garments, after which he is nailed to the cross and then his body is taken down after he dies.

The play depicts Pontius Pilate washing his hands and Mary, Jesus’s mother, holding her son’s body after he was removed from the cross.

This year’s play is directed by San Fernando Cathedral parishioner Edgar Holguin. Parishioners John Austin and Loreily Ortiz will portray Jesus and Mary.

The route will start at Milam Park then go to Santa Rosa Street, down Travis Street, down Flores, to Dolorosa, and then to Main Plaza where the crucifixion will be depicted in front of San Fernando Cathedral.

Here’s a complete list of Easter services offered by San Fernando Cathedral this week:

April 14 - Holy Thursday

• 5:00 p.m. Reconciliation (confessions) in Main Plaza

• 7:00 p.m. Mass of the Last Supper and Washing of the Feet (Bilingual); Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, celebrant. After Mass, re-enactment of the arrest of Jesus in Main Plaza.

• 8:30 p.m. Arrest of Jesus in Main Plaza

• 9:00 p.m. to midnight the Blessed Sacrament will be at the Altar of Repose in the Plaza de la Cruz.

April 15 - Good Friday

• 9:30 a.m. Ecumenical Prayer Service at Milam Park (Bilingual)

• 10:00 a.m. Re-enactment of Passion of the Christ (Spanish) begins at Milam Park

• 10:30 a.m. Procession begins in Milam Park and culminates in Main Plaza

• 12:00 Noon Crucifixion of Jesus in front of San Fernando Cathedral

• 12:15 p.m. Stations of the Cross inside Cathedral

• 1:00 p.m. Las Siete Palabras (Seven Last Words) (mostly in Spanish) led by Father Carlos Velázquez, rector

• 2:30 p.m. Celebration of the Lord’s Passion (Bilingual) with Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller

• 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Reconciliation (confessions) in Main Plaza

• 6:30 p.m. Pésame Service (Prayer Service with the Sorrowful Mother) – (Spanish)

April 16 - Holy Saturday

• 8:30 p.m. Easter Vigil (Bilingual); Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, celebrant

April 17 - Easter Sunday Masses

• 8:00 a.m. Mass (Bilingual, televised) Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, celebrant

• 10:00 a.m. Mass (English) Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, celebrant

• Noon Mass (Spanish)

• 2:00 p.m. Mass (English)

• 5:00 p.m. Mass (Bilingual)

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About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.