St. Francis de Sales fifth-grader Henry Langbo looked up toward the heavens and said the last words that Jesus uttered on the cross: "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit."
Langbo, portraying Jesus, then was removed from the cross and laid on the floor, his head cradled in the lap of his mother Mary, portrayed by Anna Maria Schelonka. Soon, a chorus of fifth-graders sang "Were you there when they laid him in the tomb" as a white sheet was placed over Langbo's body, representing Jesus' burial in the tomb.
St. Francis de Sales fifth-graders will present a live Stations of the Cross during Holy Week.
"It's customary for Catholics to pray this during the Lenten season," said teacher Michelle Bodo. Students have been practicing since Ash Wednesday, which was March 22.
"It's an important aspect of our faith," said Bodo. "It explains what Christ went through for his people — us."
Presenting the Stations of the Cross for their parish is a fifth-grade tradition, Bodo said.
"They've been watching it since kindergarten, knowing they're going to do it in fifth grade," she said. "It takes a lot of practice. When they get it, they get it."
The community is welcome to watch the live Stations of the Cross at 7 p.m. April 3 in the church. The class will present the Stations of the Cross for all St. Francis students at 8:30 a.m. April 5.
"We are absolutely thrilled," said Bodo. "We're proud for the kids."