Passion play evokes faith among youth

By Myrna Bermudo


Mark Lorenz Besin, played Jesus in the passion play organized in his parish.He said that he reflected on the suffering of the Lord so that he can internalize the role he portrayed.


“With the youth joining the passion play in our parish, faith is evoked. We are able reflect in our relationship with the Lord as we portray the various roles assigned to us. This is meaningful especially during Holy Week,” Besin said.


Besin is a member of the Parish Youth Ministry (PYM) in St. Joseph Parish, Tambang, Tinambac.


Members of the PYM and the acolytes actively participated in the yearly parish Lenten recollection held Saturday evening of April 9 at the parish church. The recollection provided opportune time to reflect on the gospel narratives of the suffering, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. It was also an occasion to avail of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Parishioners came from nearby barangays to join.


For Mar Joy Cepe, the parish youth coordinator, her service to the parish is a way of giving back to the blessings she has received: “I am happy and fulfilled. The live presentations of the passion play evoked faith among those who watched. It was a humbling experience.”

Group photo of the members of the parish youth ministry (PYM) and acolytes of St. Joseph Parish, Tambang, Tinambac. They comprised the cast and production staff of the “Senakulo” passion play which was revived by the parish under the leadership of Fr. Ruben Temporal. The play aims to help parishioners enter the mystery of the suffering and death of Jesus Christ, a sacrificial offering for our salvation. (Photo credit: Mar Joy Cepe)


The president of PYM is happy that the tradition of “senakulo” is being revived. He said that the members of the production staff and the cast of characters were challenged to reflect deeply on their faith as they prepare, rehearse and present the passion play to the people.


“I am happy that this tradition (passion play) is being revived. We were challenged to reflect our Christian faith as we practice and present the trial, suffering and death of Jesus. As a camera man who is tasked in documenting the events, I was touched. This is the best thing that happened to me and to the youth ministry in our parish. I would like to encourage my peer group to keep the faith, pray always and volunteer in parish activities. It is a privilege to share my talent in photography and video editing in the parish for the glory of God,“ said John Paul Belgica, president of the parish youth ministry.


Thirty five members of the Parish Youth Ministry together with the acolytes comprised the cast of the passion play or “senakulo” which was revived in the Parish of St. Joseph in Tambang, Tinambac.


Rain or shine, they travelled by land and sea to present the “senakulo” in barangays Bocogan, Mabini, Del Carmen. In Tambang, it was presented before the procession on Holy Wednesday and on Good Friday.


Costume and production design was made by Joey Briguera who was also the script writer.


Many of those who watched in the seaside barangays were touched. Men and women, children and elderly came to watch. The school grounds, basketball court and a barangay covered court served as the venue for the play. For some of the parishioners, it is the first time witnessing a passion play or “senakulo”.


Upon the request of a parent who is an OFW, the passion play at barangay Tambang was live streamed. She will be able to watch his son to perform who is an acolyte and part of the cast.


“Passion play or “senakulo” is a powerful tool to help parishioners reflect on the sacrifice Jesus has made to save mankind. It is a dramatic presentation of the trial, suffering and death of Jesus. This Holy Week tradition is slowly dying and is being forgotten. The revival of the passion play ignited faith among the youth, who were part of the cast and among parishioners, who watched. Hopefully this will encourage the preservation of a religious and cultural Holy Week tradition,” says Fr. Ruben Temporal, parish priest of St. Joseph Parish in Tambang, Tinambac, Camarines Sur.