FOR NEARLY 60 YEARS NOW, a small country church in southern Minnesota has started Holy Week with a drama centered on Jesus’ disciples and their relationship with him. It is a powerful presentation that never fails to move me, although I’ve seen The Last Supper Drama multiple times.
The original script and music remain unchanged through the decades. Only the actors change, often alternating performance years.
In the darkness of St. John’s United Church of Christ, Wheeling Township, rural Faribault, the 12 disciples seat themselves at a long table fronting the altar. The scene replicates Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper painting, minus Jesus. An empty chair draped in white cloth represents Jesus in the St. John’s version.
The annual Palm Sunday evening event begins Holy Week in a reverent, reflective and worshipful way.
I am grateful to this rural congregation for this faith gift. This drama focuses my thoughts on Christ as I remember his betrayal, suffering, death, burial and resurrection. Through the voices of those role-playing disciples, I connect on a personal level to these followers of Christ. That makes this drama especially powerful and effective.
© Copyright 2019 Audrey Kletscher Helbling
Promo from St. John’s Facebook page
Such a wonderful tradition to keep going all these years.
That length truly is amazing.
Tradition and respect for all faiths is what moves me at this time of year. Holy Week and Passover align.
So important, Keith. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
This sounds like a wonderful tradition. I’d like to see it some time.
You should attend sometime. The church is near Nerstrand Big Woods.
I just love that they have kept this important and meaningful tradition alive for so many years.