SAN ANTONIO -- It is Good Friday, a day of solemn remembrance for Christians everywhere.
In San Antonio, thousands gathered to watch a dramatic reenactment of the crucifixion in front of San Fernando Cathedral.
The Passion Play is one of the most elaborate in the world and draws as many as 25,000 people downtown. The Passion Play begins at Milan Park with parishioners taking on the roles of Pontius Pilate, Roman soldiers and Jesus Christ himself.
Performed in Spanish, Christ is brought before Pontius Pilate in chains.
After the trial, he is lead through the streets in a procession that includes 130 people, dressed in clothing of Biblical epics.
Children, too, play a role - taunting Jesus Christ as realistic looking blood flows from his crown of thorns, and lashings on his back. Some are moved to tears.
"I can't believe Jesus went through this. I just can't believe it," says Sherry Boston.
Many brought their families.
"They both need to understand what Easter means to everybody, and it's a good start for their religion. You know, to physically actually see it," observed Ken Sharp.
"Easter isn't just about the Easter egg hunt and confetti eggs," says Julie Ortiz. "
Christ drags his enormous cross down the streets, arriving at Main Plaza in front of San Fernando Cathedral.
Art Campos followed along the route, a painful trip on crutches.
"This is nothing like he went through. I mean, he died on the cross for us," says Campos.
In front of the cathedral, the nails appeared to be hammered into his hands and feet.
The cross is lifted.
Digital and cell phone cameras capture the scene.
Christ's side is pierced and then at noon, his death is marked by the ringing of bells.
As his body is lowered, those in the crowd seize the moment for teaching their faith.
"What's going to happen after three days? Karen Hudson asks her granddaughter.
"You get to see how it happened. It's much more...You understand better," said Paula Domit.
This is the twenty-fifth year of San Fernando's Passion Play and procession.