Originally created 04/07/01

Drama, music to usher in Christianity's holiest days



While living tableaus depicting Mother Mary cradling the infant Jesus are common at Christmas, the crucifixion of Christ is usually represented by a cross or trio of crosses, not live displays.

But some 40 members of a Martinez congregation will stage a Passion scene on Good Friday, one of several Augusta-area events employing drama and music to tell the story of Christ's death and resurrection.

The idea of the Passion scene isn't to get people to gawk, but "to send a powerful message about what Friday is really about," said Monica Shiver of Marvin United Methodist Church, 4400 Wheeler Road in Martinez, where members will portray the Crucifixion from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday.

The scene, with its 8- to 9-foot crosses, also will be visible to motorists as they approach the church, which is at the intersection of South Belair and Wheeler roads.

The church displayed three crosses standing bare and alone against the sky for years, but its live Nativity proved so popular that members decided a similar event would be effective for Easter, Mrs. Shiver said. "We will pray for good weather - maybe God will bless us."

Music minister Mark Powers has created a Tenebrae service, titled To the Cross - A Service of Shadows, for First Baptist Church, 602 Georgia Ave. in North Augusta. It will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The two-part drama interspersed with sacred and contemporary hymns will feature choir, handbells and orchestra.

Costumed characters will present the musical drama Who Will Call Him King of Kings? at Curtis Baptist Church, 1326 Broad St., at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 14, and 6 p.m. Sunday, April 15.

The story centers on Peter and Silas who, though imprisoned, tell the story of Jesus to fellow prisoners.

A 20-piece orchestra will play for the service.

Curtis will provide a nursery for ages 3 and younger.

Reach Virginia Norton at (706) 823-3336 or vanorton@augustachronicle.com.