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Pahrump community event coincides with Holy Week

In observance of Holy Week, Pahrump’s Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church will perform the Living Stations of the Cross on Good Friday, April 14.

The Stations of the Cross, also known as the Via Dolorosa, according to church Director of Religious Education Maria Gonzales, is a narration of the final hours in the life of Jesus Christ on earth.

“The Stations of the Cross serve as a stark reminder of the humble manner in which Jesus was willing to set aside any privilege of deity in order to provide a path to salvation through his sacrifice.”

Gonzales also said there are several widely-accepted versions describing the final hours, one being biblical and the others being more traditional accounts of events in Jesus’ final hours.

LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCE

Church member Mike Haynes will portray Jesus Christ during the ceremony.

Upward of 30 actors are participating.

After taking on the role last year, Haynes said the experience was life-changing.

“It’s the last 12 hours of Jesus’ life,” Haynes said. “We will be reading from the Bible and we act out scenes the best way we can. When I portrayed Jesus Christ last year, it changed my life. I’ve only been associated with the church for just a few years. I watched the movie “Passion of the Christ” with Mel Gibson and it really affected me.”

Haynes also said he put much thought into how he was going to portray Jesus for the first time.

“I really delved into it and thought about how I was going to do the scenes,” he said. “It basically starts when Jesus gets condemned and Judas betrays him. At the back of the church, I will get crucified on a 15-foot cross. When they lift me up for that instantaneous second, I get a very numbing feeling. The way people die when they’re crucified, is that they suffocate from all of their body weight.”

Gonzales spoke about additional observances throughout Holy Week.

“We Begin Holy Thursday with the Last Supper of the Lord before he is crucified,” she said.

“There will be a special moment when Jesus Christ washes the feet of his disciples. The candidates will be the students of confirmation. Our Father Henry will wash their feet and it’s a really humble and powerful experience. With the Veneration of the Holy Cross, we respect the Holy Cross of Jesus. People line up and do respect and reverence of the Holy Cross of Jesus.”

EASTER CELEBRATION

Following the Living Stations of the Cross, which will be performed outside of the church, Gonzales said Friday’s ceremony will continue indoors.

“We will come inside the church and have a Liturgy, which is the word of God,” she said. “We will also perform the ceremonial lighting of the Paschal Candle, which is one of the most solemn moments of the service. It is a beautiful experience because we know that we have people who don’t come to church. And we have people from other religions that are not Catholic, but all are welcome to witness this powerful event.”

Additionally, the church will host an Easter egg hunt for children who attend.

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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