Saint Andrew Catholic School's student body sat reverently in absolute silence as the words "crucify me" echoed through the dimly lit chapel at Saint Andrew Catholic Church.
These words were spoken by a Saint Andrew 8th-grader, Chandler Williamson, as a part of his performance as Jesus Christ in the school's Passion Play.
Thursday marked the third and final performance of Saint Andrew's annual Passion Play. The Passion Play is a Saint Andrew tradition dating back more than 20 years in which the school's 8th- graders perform a re-enactment of the passion of Jesus Christ in honor of Holy Week.
Preparation for the play began over two months ago and was facilitated by Saint Andrew School’s three 8th grade teachers, Bryan Kincannon, Galine Baker, and Susan LoCoco.
“The performance consumes us from January through Easter but is well worth it,” said Kincannon.
In response to what especially stood out to them about this years performance Baker, Kincannon, and LoCoco all agreed that Williamson’s portrayal of Jesus was one that they will not forget.
"He just has it, and that was something that all of the other kids really feed off of,” said LoCoco.
The first two performances of the play were held on Sunday during mass at Saint Andrew Catholic Church one of which, according to Kincannon, drew a crowd of over 1,100 people.
Thursday's audience filled the chapel pews to capacity leaving less than two visibly available seats. The performance was held during the school day primary for Saint Andrew School’s students but also drew small crowd of parents and other guests.
“The performance is a right of passage because its one of those things that our 8th- graders do every year. Also, its a chance for them to evangelize the faith and preach the gospel in a way that everybody can understand in a way that is fun for them, ” said Charles Llewellyn, principal of Saint Andrew.