By GLENN RUTHERFORD
Last week there was a short item in The Record about a Palm Sunday program at St. Paul Church called “No Stone Could Hold Him.”
That short announcement noted that the program would be held at 7 p.m. April 1 at the church, 6901 Dixie Highway, and said the presentation was a musical that celebrates the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
What it didn’t have space to say was that the production has involved the efforts of more than 100 people and that the idea sprang from the mind of St. Paul’s music minister, Anthony M. Ransom.
“The idea popped into my head in January,” he said during a telephone interview last week. “Just as soon as we completed our Christmas services, I was in Easter mode. I had this idea and put the concept to the congregation and had an enormous response.”
That response has included the formation of a team of eight or nine carpenters to build a full-sized tomb and a 10-foot cross. The production also includes a 28-member choir and a chamber orchestra.
“We’re doing the ‘No Stone Could Hold Him’ by Lloyd Larson,” Ransom explained. “I have an acting background and wrote a for the production.”
The church congregation has formed a team of seamstresses to make costumes, and an environmental team has created a garden area along with the tomb — all within the church itself.
“The majority of those acting in the production are from this parish, but we have a few from other parishes, too,” Ransom said. “We have some singers from St. Gabriel (Church) and a couple from parishes in Southern Indiana.”
It’s the first time that St. Paul Church has undertaken an artistic presentation of this size and scope, Ransom said, but he noted that parishioners “have been extremely welcoming and supportive of the idea.”
“We put out sign-up sheets with each category of work that needed to be done, and scores of people started signing up right away,” he said. “We’ve been rehearsing since January. The choir rehearses two days a week, and the actors have had rehearsals on Fridays.”
The production will feature theatrical lighting, too, he said, and Ransom also noted that the chamber orchestra will consist of members of the Louisville Orchestra.
“People are putting their love into this,” he said. “And if it is as successful as I think it’s going to be, we’ll try to make this an annual event.”
The production, at 7 p.m. April 1, is free, but a free-will offering will be accepted.