"The Oberammergau Passion Play" - by Rev. Weldon Bares


I recently returned home from a group trip to see the Passion Play in the German town of Oberammergau. It was an amazing experience.

With only a few exceptions, the play has been performed every ten years since 1680 by the inhabitants of the town of Oberammergau. Over two thousand people are involved in the production. The Passion Play focuses on the last week in the life of Jesus, beginning with his triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.

It was quite a lengthy production. The play started at 2:30 in the afternoon. The first half lasted for 2 and ½ hours. There was then a 3-hour break for dinner. The second half was also 2 and ½ hours. The theater seats 4,700. It has an open-air stage, with the Bavarian Mountains in the background.

There was an orchestra and a large choir. The production had hundreds of participants including men, women, children, sheep, goats and camels. It was amazing.

The play is presented entirely in German. Since I don’t speak the language, it was somewhat challenging to follow the dialogue, but knowing the Gospel story certainly helped.

I have to say it again, it was an amazing experience. Throughout the afternoon and evening, I could sense the dedication and devotion of the hundreds and hundreds of townspeople to this grand production, going back to the 1600's.

The whole experience blew me away . . . and brought me closer to the One it was all about, Jesus Christ. I am so thankful.