Invitation to the Oberammergau Passion Play


“Pasty and I would like to invite you to come and join us, and a group of pilgrims from North Alabama for the historic Passion Play in Oberammergau, Austria,” said Bishop Willimon. The Oberammergau Passion Play is a 6-hour musical and dramatic presentation of Holy Week, a one-of-a-kind event in a theater that seats 4700 with an out of doors stage.

The group, which at present includes groups from St. Mark’s Birmingham, Vestavia, and Trinity Huntsville congregations, will be traveling with Educational Opportunities leaving on August 10, 2010. The trip is a nine day journey that includes many of the Alpine Wonders of Austria and Germany like Innsbruck and Salzburg. Educational Opportunities mission statement is to provide Christian Education through travel. From 1980 through 2000 EO has been the largest distributor of Passion Play tickets. Famous travel writer, Arthur Frommer, lists Educational Opportunities as the best Passion Play bargain. EO has now added to that bargain with a $200 discount.

The Passion Play dates back to 1633. After months of suffering from the Bubonic Plague, the people of Oberammergau promised God if he would spare their town they would perform every ten years the "Story of the Suffering, Dying and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ". From that point on they all survived and have remained true to their promise. The first performance was in 1634. In 1674 they decided to change the date, so as to fall every ten years beginning in 1680. This year the town’s people will keep that promise for the 41st time.

To be a member of the cast one has to live in Oberammergau for at least 20 years. They must also be amateurs and people of high moral and ethical principles. Villagers also make all of the outstanding costumes. Since no wigs are used, participants must grow their hair and beards. It takes over 2,000 villagers (about ½ of the town) to tell this story of Jesus. Performances begin at 2:30 pm with an intermission and dinner; it ends at 10:00 pm.

If you are interested please contact the North Alabama director Dr. Don Cross: ; (205) 668-6404; (256) 468-1711. Ask Don about being a host for this trip. You can also look at EO’s Website: and check out further details. You can register on line. Just let them know that you want to travel August 10 on Bishop Willimon’s trip.


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