Trisha Yearwood’s Saving Grace in The Passion

She’ll Be Taking Trisha Yearwood Out of It

This is how Trisha Yearwood told me she is preparing to play Mary, the mother of Jesus: She’s going to take the Trisha Yearwood part out.

“It’s about trying to take myself out of it,” Yearwood told me about her role in The Passion, a musical event airing Sunday night (March 20) on Fox. “My only saving grace will be if in that the moment, I’m not thinking, ‘I’m Trisha Yearwood and I’m a really good singer and I need to hit this note.’ I just need to get the message across, because I agreed to play the most sacred woman in universe.”

But she also explained that she isn’t acting out the role of the Virgin Mary in a traditional sense. It’s more than she will be telling the story through song.

“Even though I don’t have spoken lines, I sing ‘Broken’ at foot of cross. So I still have the be in character. I’m confident as a singer, but it is daunting. I have to be able to immerse myself in it emotionally. And I don’t mind getting emotional, but there’s an ugly Yearwood cry that can happen, and if it does, I would not be able to sing.”

The story of the last hours of Jesus Christ’s life on earth isn’t new to Yearwood because she was always a church-goer growing up in Georgia, and told me she still belongs to the Monticello First United Methodist Church in her hometown.

But then, there was Nashville and Oklahoma and Nashville again.

“When I first lived in Nashville, I would go when I could. But then I moved to Oklahoma and lived there for 14 years, and found a church I loved. It was called Rejoice. I loved the preacher, and he married Garth (Brooks) and I, and we went to church every Sunday,” she said.

Right around the time Yearwood and Brooks kicked off their three-year world tour a year and a half ago, though, the couple moved back to Nashville. So now they’re in need of a new church.

“I miss that in my life, because it’s part of who I am as a person and how I grew up. I’m not a scripture-quoting Christian,” Yearwood admitted, “but I just need that in my life.”

The Passion will air live from New Orleans on Fox at 8 p.m. ET on Palm Sunday.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.