'The Joy of Easter'
A company of nearly 350 people will present "The Joy of Easter," a musical drama about the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, at 7:30 p.m. April 16-18 at St. Matthew United Methodist Church in Belleville.
The 25th annual production was created by Hank Oplinger, minister of music and worship, who will also direct the music. Lindsay Vollmar is the drama director.
The troupe includes choir, orchesta, actors and set, light, makeup, costume and sound crews.
Jamie Palmer has the role of Jesus. Many live animals will be used in the production.
St. Matthew is at 1200 Moreland Drive. Doors open at 6 p.m. A nursery, available for infants through 3 years old, will open at 6:45 p.m.
Admission is free; a love offering will be received.
Grace Church Ministries will hold its annual Easter musical at 7 p.m. April 16-19 at 2100 State Street in Chester.
The program features a cast of more than 100 men, women and children and will include 17 scnes depicting the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, according to the Gospel of St. Matthew. The church will be transformed into biblical times with costumed street vendors, a temple and a large mountain tomb. A variety of contemporary worship songs will be performed.
Admission is free. Doors open at 6:15. Reservations for groups of 10 orm more may be made by calling 618-826-4734.
Way of the Cross
You will have two chances to experience the Way of the Cross next week at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville.
"We Were There," a prayerful and inspiring scriptural presentation, will be held at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Then you can walk with Pilate, Veronica, Herod and other biblical figures through the outdoors stations of the cross at "Journey of Decision," 1 p.m. Good Friday, April 18.
The presentations depict first-hand accounds of Christ's Passion and death. You will learn how the characters were personally affected by Jesus' crucifixion.