People driving on FM 1283 from Tx. 16 to Four Corners in Lakehills at Christmas time are familiar with the Western Heritage Cowboy Church Nativity scenes that include the birth of Jesus in a manger and feature actors portraying Mary, Joseph, shepherds and often farm animals.
The church used that idea and model for a moving and spiritual event called Living Cross on Friday and Saturday, April 2-3.
Living Cross displays are condensed versions of the larger Passion plays and have been reenacted all over the world.
The church’s Living Cross scene was essentially an Easter season version of the popular Christmas display, church officials said.
It displayed the crucifixion of Christ before His Resurrection on Easter Sunday and featured actors portraying Jesus, the two criminals, mourners and Roman soldiers.
The scene included a roped off area with three full size crosses modified for actors to safely stand on, torches to help light the area and some period items to help set the atmosphere.
The Roman soldier’s clothing and equipment are historically accurate reproductions of a first century centurion and is portrayed by a living historian and member of the church.
There were two teams of actors for the crosses who take up their positions on the cross in half hour shifts to lessen the physical strain during the evening’s display.
The actors could move slightly but do not “act” or have speaking parts.
“The intent is to simply present a moment in time for everyone to come quietly reflect upon the crucifixion of Jesus in a more personal and live way,” said Western Heritage Cowboy Church Pastor Cliff Hargrove.
Church member Bruce Sikes played a Roman soldier guarding the three “criminals” and said he has done a similar event and it was always welled received.
The Western Heritage Cowboy Church is at 7146 FM 1283 Pipe Creek and can be reached at 830-535-6575.