Join Rev Glenn Sweigart of Liberty United Methodist Church on a 9 day European Adventure to see the Oberammergau Passion Play.
Since 1634, the most famous Passion Play in the world has taken place in Oberammergau. The tradition, maintained and experienced almost without interruption for over 380 years, of putting on the play about the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ every ten years, will be continued for the 42nd time in 2020. It is regarded as the most important Passion Play in the world.
In 1633, the residents of Oberammergau, Bavaria, Germany, vowed that if God spared them from the “bubonic plague” ravaging the region, they would produce a play thereafter for all time depicting the life and death of Jesus. The death rate among adults rose from one person per 1000 per year in October 1632 to twenty in the month of March 1633. The adult death rate slowly subsided to one in the month of July 1633. The villagers believed they had been spared and they kept their part of the vow when the play was first performed in 1634. The play is now performed repeatedly over the course of five months during every year ending in zero.
A special law is in effect to insure that all actors of the world's largest amateur dramatic performance come from the village. All participants, from actors playing the big speaking parts such as Jesus, Mary or Judas, through members of the choir, orchestra members, firemen and ushers, must have been born in Oberammergau or lived there for at least 20 years. Over 2,000 Oberammergau villagers will participate in the 2020 Passion Play.