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April 10th, 2009
01:38 PM ET

What would Jesus tweet?

Nicole Seiferth
Trinity Wall Street Church

'Twitter the Passion,' is probably the first Passion Play ever performed on Twitter.

A Passion Play is a re-telling of the last days and hours of Jesus' life. In the Christian tradition, its purpose is to remember Jesus' journey toward death and to identify with the "passions" of that journey - the betrayal of the community, the desertion of friends, the isolation from family and eventually a total trust in God.

So the Episcopal Trinity Wall Street Church decided to marry the tradition with the latest in social networking trends for Good Friday.

Here's how it works: followers receive tweets from the main characters as the events of Christ's passion unfold.

A total of 18 tweets will be delivered over three hours from Jesus, Mary, Mary Magdalene, Peter, Pontius Pilate, and a Serving Girl, who also serves as the voice of the crowd.

Tweets, which can be no more than 140 characters, will include messages such as: Pilate: This is falling apart. I wash my hands of this.

Trinity Wall Street Church is using social networking technology to bring together a virtual community to participate together in a Good Friday experience. But it's not the first time the church has used the technology, it tweets information about services, concerts and events.

Trinity Wall Street wanted to experiment with Twitter as a tool for storytelling. But will people follow a dramatic narrative? That's still to be determined.

More than 500 people are already following the play at twitter.com, group name: twspassionplay. Tweets can be delivered to a cell phone, blackberry, email address or added to a blog or website.

Learn more about Twitter the Passion at trinitywallstreet.org.

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Editor's Note: When asked how the church would address the potential criticism that the exercise might make light of the tradition, Trinity responded:

The Passion of Christ has been translated into great music, art and drama over the centuries. This is a new way of telling the story. We are looking to give people a meaningful experience of Good Friday.


Filed under: Religion
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Rose from Muscoy, Calif

    FAITH, HOPE, GRACE and loving each other as we are, accepting all as they are is what our God wanted. Organized religion is what Jesus didn't like. Remember Jesus always preached outside the open skies why? So, all could hear his words from his father our God.

    April 10, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  2. Rose from Muscoy, Calif

    FAITH, HOPE AND GRACE loving each other as we are and excepting all as we are. Is what our God wants.

    April 10, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  3. Nilo

    I think Jesus would tweet that he is happy that we acknowlege him in any form on his death anniversary. Kudos to those who came up with the brillient idea,

    April 10, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  4. leelasmama

    Well....I'm sort of scared to comment. There....I said it. Nothing!!

    April 10, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  5. Jacqueline, NY

    This is truly and totally blasphemous.

    April 10, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  6. Audrey

    I think Jesus would rather talk about how awesome Iowa and Vermont are for finally "loving thy neighbors as themselves" and allowing gays the same sacred rights as any one else. Which is as it should be. ALL ABOARD THE ENLIGHTENMENT EXPRESS! WHOO WHOO!

    April 10, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  7. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    Christ was a bit of a rebel and trendsetter for His day and time. I'd like to think He'd find this pretty cool, especially if the story of His Passion reaches those who might not otherwise hear it. Today I stuck with the traditional and listened to Handel's Messiah at noon. I think God is pleased if we simply worship in any way that has meaning for us and brings us closer to Him and others.

    April 10, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  8. MsPriceless

    This is an Excellent innovative way to spread the Gospel. Perfect for the sector of People who may never enter Traditional Fellowship, i.e., Church or Bible Study. It also makes it convenient and always accessible. Not to mention by giving bits & pieces of Biblical teachings. It will make it easier to remember Scripture. This is Great!

    April 10, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  9. Bella

    Anything that brings the story of Christ to people is valuable.

    April 10, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  10. Annie Kate

    I checked this out on Twitter and its really pretty good. It certainly isn't the old traditional telling of the story and the limit of 140 characters has not seemed to have cramped their style in the telling of the story. Thanks for posting this so we could follow it.

    April 10, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  11. Alyzabeth

    I dunno. Is it wrong of me to say that seems kinda weird?

    April 10, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  12. Jim

    What would He Tweet? The same thing He said when He was on Earth-
    REPENT! for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand- WOE to you who are Rich- You have Recived your Consolation! Woe Unto You Pastors & teachers Teaching for Doctrines the Commandments of Men & not God & Fleecing & scattering the Flock! Woe unto You Politicians Who Call Good Evil & Evil & Abomination Good & Acceptable! Much has been given you & much shall be required of You when You give an Account on Judgement day. As God Destroyed the World in Noahs Day with a flood becuase of its wickedness – This Time He will Destroy it by FIRE! REPENT!

    April 10, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  13. Justin Continuum Q5

    I bet he would say: I didn't leave anything but my spirit and the Holy Spirit to guide you. I think you didn't understand.
    Have hope and faith and believe in yourself and your heart.
    Both are all you need and the Holy Spirit will find you and you find it as well. Thanks for all the prayers too, give peace a chance soon.
    Q5

    April 10, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  14. Trina Nelson

    I use Twitter, but not for worship. This makes me sad for some reason, like drive-up funeral homes. The human connection is disappearing from our lives, as well as the spiritual one.
    This may be a new way of conveying the Passion story, but it also trivializes it, to me.

    April 10, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  15. Michael T Washington

    WOW. The world of cyber entertainment and stage perforing has gathered on a new plane of exsistance. Twitter!!!

    April 10, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  16. Kelly

    I think Jesus would have an issue with how people have interpreted his words, the lessons of his life and the bible. I suspect he would tweet a lot.

    April 10, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  17. Brian

    Help?

    April 10, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  18. Cindy

    OK..now I've heard it all!! I don't even know what to think or say. Tweeting a play...wow hopefully these people who are following have a really good imagination and know the Bible well enough to follow along. Otherwise how will you get it? I still think seeing it in person or on screen will make more of an impact on you. We are visual people!

    Cindy..Ga.

    April 10, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  19. kenneth higgins, Tallahassee FL

    Pavlov who snitched the last supper would have no chance if Jesus could have twittered.

    April 10, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  20. abc ~ anything but california hugh

    They must include a fictional St. Peter or Paul character who can address the crowd and say the following words. "Going to church doesn't make you a Christian, any more than going into your garage makes you a car!"

    April 10, 2009 at 1:43 pm |