The Oberammergau Pocket Piece (“Passion of Christ, Strengthen Me”) is a pewter medallion (1.2 inches in diameter) which commemorates the 2020 production of The Passion Play in Oberammergau, Germany — the world’s most famous depiction of The Passion of Jesus Christ. In 1633, the residents of Oberammergau in Bavaria, Germany vowed that if God spared them from the bubonic plaque ravaging their region, they would produce a play for all time every 10 years depicting the suffering and death – the Passion – of Jesus. When the villagers believed they had finally been spared, they kept their part of the vow by producing and performing The Passion Play for the first time in 1634. The Passion Play is now performed repeatedly from mid-May until early October in every year ending in zero. 102 performances took place in 2010. The Passion Play is now scheduled again for 2020. The production involves over 2,000 performers, musicians and stage technicians, all residents of the village. The play comprises spoken dramatic text, musical and choral accompaniment, and tableaux vivants, scenes from the Hebrew Scriptures depicted for the audience by motionless actors with verbal accompaniment.
The Passion of the Christ
“Passion” (from the Latin passio which means “suffering, enduring”) refers to the brief but intensely dramatic last week of life of Jesus through the following events:
Palm Sunday: The triumphal entrance of Jesus on a donkey into Jerusalem.
- The Last Supper after which Jesus washed the feet of his disciples.
- His betrayal by Judas.
- His “Agony” in the Garden of Gethsemani.
- His arrest by the Sanhedrin priests.
- The “show trial” of Jesus before Pontius Pilate.
- His flagellation.
- His crowning with thorns, with a purple cloak as his royal garment and a reed as sceptre (Ecce homo!).
- His carrying of his cross (14 Stations of the Cross).
- His crucifixion.
- His excruciating death.
Easter Sunday: The Resurrection
“Passion of Christ, Strengthen Me”
This medallion in commemoration of The Passion Play at Oberammergau, Germany in 2020 has a prayer on the back: Passion of Christ, Strengthen Me.
This prayer is part of a popular medieval prayer known as the Anima Christi (Soul of Christ) dating from the 14th century which is highlighted at the beginning of the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).
Anima Christi, sanctifica me. Corpus Christi, salva me. Sanguis Christi, inebria me. Aqua lateris Christi, lava me. Passio Christi, conforta me. O bone Jesu, exaudi me. Intra tua vulnera absconde me. Ne permittas me separari a te. Ab hoste maligno defende me. In hora mortis meae voca me. Et iube me venire ad te, Ut cum Sanctis tuis laudem te, In saecula saeculorum. Amen
|Poetic English Translation
Soul of Christ, sanctify me. Body of Christ, save me. Blood of Christ, inebriate me. Water from the side of Christ, wash me. Passion of Christ, strengthen me. O good Jesus, hear me. Within Thy wounds hide me. Separated from Thee let me never be. From the malicious enemy defend me. In the hour of my death call me. And bid me come unto Thee, That I may praise Thee with Thy saints, Forever and ever. Amen
|Translation by Cardinal John Henry Newman
Soul of Christ, be my sanctification; Body of Christ, be my salvation; Blood of Christ, fill all my veins; Water of Christ’s side, wash out my stains; Passion of Christ, my comfort be; O good Jesus, listen to me; In Thy wounds I fain would hide; Ne’er to be parted from Thy side; Guard me, should the foe assail me; Call me when my life shall fail me; Bid me come to Thee above, With Thy saints to sing Thy love, World without end. Amen.