Barbies in Holy Week

Barbies in Holy Week

At the beginning of a tour on the day of the Mary Altars, the Oratorio had just ended mass and the masses came out carrying images of Mary. Also present were a stream of Barbie-sized images of all the folks present at Jesus’ death. This was fortunate on two counts. One was I was able to describe each person’s role to my tour group. Secondly, I recognized the artist’s work as being that of the grandson of my favorite dance student, Lupita.

Later that afternoon I was at Lupita’s house where her grandson had closed off the street to traffic and was spending the day displaying his art. I realized it was a grand opportunity to identify folks you’ll see during Holy Week leading up to Easter.

The first images are of Jesus himself. One is Ecce Homo, where the crowd chooses to free Barabbas, the murderer, over Jesus. His life-sized image is the oldest statue we have in town.

Next there is a sample-sized version of the Lord of Column, the lad I help carry about on Good Friday. Though he looks thin being whipped while leaning over a column, all I can tell you is that the Last Supper must have been a buffet, as Jesus is surprisingly heavy. The life-size version of Lord of Column arrived in town last Sunday morning.

The Encounter follows, where Jesus sees Mary and bows his head in embarrassment, not wanting his mother to see him this way.

Following his death, Jesus is placed in glass coffin, which in later years Snow White would re-use.

Behind Mary you’ll find St. John, Jesus’ favorite apostle, whom he leaves his mother in the care of. John is normally easy to tell in art as he is the only apostle without a beard, and so frequently confused, in art, with Mary Magdalene.

Mary Magdalene was Jesus’ gal pal, a wealthy woman from Magdala. In a Barbie version, Mary Magdalene is easy to spot in the Crucifixion since she is so bereaved that her hair is seen as being in desperate need of a brush.

Veronica is the woman that wipes Jesus’ face with her veil leaving his image on her veil. “Veronica” means true image.

Other gals normally featured are Jesus’ aunt, Mary of Clopas and his best pals, outside the apostles, Martha and Mary, sisters of Lazarus.

The lads at the end of the procession are Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, who removed Jesus’ body from the cross for burial.

Notably absent is Jesus’ step-father, St. Joseph, Mary’s parents (St. Ana and St. Joachim) and her cousin, St. Elizabeth (mother of the also missing St. John the Baptist).  For this reason they are all believed to have pre-deceased Jesus.

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