On Centre | Around Philipsburg: Church offers theatrical journey from “The Cradle to the Cross”

For some, Easter is chocolate bunnies and marshmallow chicks, a nice glazed ham and mom’s deviled eggs. No, really, my mom’s deviled eggs rock.

But for many, the religious significance of the holiday still remains paramount.

One of those places is Gethsemane United Methodist Church in Allport.

Every year, the members of the church open their doors to a spectacle, a story-telling journey through their faith.

That trip starts this weekend.

“The Cradle to the Cross” follows the life of Jesus. It traces a bath from Bethlehem and back to Nazareth and on to Jerusalem. It starts with an infant Christ and works through the Biblical accounts of his ministry and the events that led to the crucifixion at Calvary.

At 7 p.m. Friday, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, the show is staged with costuming and theatricality, with church members of all ages playing everything from Jerusalem children waving palm fronds as Jesus enters the city to Pontius Pilate washing his hands of the fateful decision, the apostles sharing the Last Supper and the stone being rolled away from the crypt.

The production has become an annual event, drawing many from the Moshannon Valley to start Holy Week with the dramatic 2,000-year-old story.

You don’t have to pay for a ticket. The show is free, although an offering is taken. No matter how much you put in the basket, most people seem to feel like they’ve gotten more out of it than they’ve given, no matter what their denomination.

Whether you appreciate it for the drama or find it for the faith, the show is a holiday tradition that keeps thriving.