Good Friday: What to Learn from ”Parade”, a Faith-Based Narrative Musical Piece

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Credit: Joan Marcus

The Catholic Church could learn a lot about Good Friday from the Broadway revival of the 1998 musical “Parade”. The production, which tells the story of a Jewish accountant in Georgia who was wrongly accused of rape and murder, has been receiving  lots of attention for its powerful portrayal of justice and redemption

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As Christians around the world mark Good Friday, the parallels between the story of “Parade” and the Passion of Christ are striking. Both stories center on an innocent man who is falsely accused and condemned to death, and both offer a powerful message of hope and redemption.

In “Parade”, Leo Frank is a Jewish accountant living in Atlanta in 1913. When a young girl is found murdered in the factory where he works, he becomes the prime suspect. Despite a lack of evidence, he is convicted and sentenced to death. The trial is tainted by anti-Semitic sentiment and political pressure, and Leo is ultimately lynched by a mob.

The musical, which premiered on Broadway in 1998 and has been revived several times since, is a powerful exploration of justice, prejudice, and redemption. It features a score by Jason Robert Brown and a book by Alfred Uhry, both of whom won Tony Awards for their work on the production.

Critics have praised the current revival of “Parade” for its timely and relevant message. In an era of heightened racial tensions and political division, the story of Leo Frank resonates deeply with audiences. The show’s themes of injustice and redemption are particularly relevant on Good Friday, when Christians around the world reflect on the suffering and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

The Catholic Church could learn a great deal from “Parade” about the importance of standing up for justice and defending the innocent. Like Leo Frank, Jesus was a victim of a corrupt justice system and suffered a brutal death at the hands of those who sought to silence him. But his sacrifice ultimately led to the redemption of humanity, and his message of love and forgiveness continues to inspire and transform lives today.

As Christians celebrate Good Friday and reflect on the events of the Passion, the story of “Parade” offers a powerful reminder of the ongoing struggle for justice and the hope of redemption. 

Pope Francis, in a Twitter post talked about hoe Jesus Christ Refuse to yield to Despair, and how he trusted in God.

It’s a message that resonates with people of all faiths and backgrounds, and one that can inspire us to work for a better world where all people are treated with dignity and respect.

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