Easter service portrays Jesus’ resurrection at Md. cemetery’s replica tomb

Religion News Service | 4/19/2019 | Staff
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BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. (RNS) — Just before he started practicing his exit from a replica of Jesus’ tomb, Andre Roberson admitted that, at first, playing the key role in a cemetery’s dramatization of the resurrection was just “something to do.”

Now, as he prepared to don an Afro wig and play Jesus for the fourth time at King Memorial Park’s Easter Sunday Sunrise Service, the annual observance has taken on more meaning.

Expression - People - Delight - Grave - Digger

“Once you do it and you actually start to see the expression on people’s faces, see how they really get into it, it brings delight to it,” said the grave digger at the African-American-owned cemetery northeast of Baltimore.

For the fifth year, a crowd of hundreds is expected to wind through the hairpin-turn country road leading to the cemetery named for the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Each year a different predominantly black Baltimore church is invited to host the service, said Erich March, president of the cemetery that was founded in 1973. Once they arrive before dawn, worshippers are seated in folding chairs in view of the replica of Jesus’ tomb that March constructed with grave diggers on his staff in 2012.

March - Service - Replica - Jesus - Tomb

March said that the service and the replica of Jesus’ tomb fit the needs of his cemetery’s customers.

“We cater to Christians predominantly,” said March of the cemetery that primarily serves Baltimore’s African-American community. “It’s just appropriate to have icons or features within a cemetery that represent the faith of those that are interred there.”

Cemetery - Muslim - Community - Staff - Backgrounds

The cemetery also serves the local Muslim community and has a staff from diverse backgrounds.

March, a Catholic, said he researched what an ancient tomb looked like in Jesus’ day. Then he called on some of the same people who helped him create the replica — a polyurethane structure covered in concrete — to find their inner...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Religion News Service
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