Easter Family Service
St. Augustine's

2008 March 23

Key :

instructions for congregation
movements during service
prayers and readings
sections of the service

Other information :

There are some notes on our production of the service.

A rough plan of the church is available.

A note on copyright.


Mary remembers the first Easter

ReaderWe welcome you here in the name of Jesus ! May His risen presence surround us with His peace and love.
NarratorNo collection will be taken during this service. There is a donation box at the back of the church for anyone who would like to give a donation.

If anyone would like the music for our hymns today, please put your hand up and we will bring it to you.

Toilets are between the church and the hall.

Please don't feel embarrassed if the children are a bit noisy; we welcome everyone here.

Perhaps you've noticed that there are more things around in the Church than usual. That's because last week there was an exhibition of art work relating to part of the story of the Cross. Most of that work is still here to help set the scene.
In this service we emphasise similar sections of the Easter Story.

ReaderOur theme for today is

"Mary remembers the first Easter."

Our sentence for today is from Luke Chapter 22 verse 42 :

"Jesus said, 'Father, if You will, take this cup of suffering away from Me. Not My will, however, but Your will be done.'"

NarratorPlease stand to sing the hymn :

"Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim".

During this hymn : Judas ready at Hospital aisle front to read the poem, priest on balcony with bag of coins.

Chorus :
  Lift high the Cross, the love of Christ proclaim,
  Till all the world adore His sacred name.

1.   Come, Christians, follow where our Captain trod,
  The King victorious, Christ the Son of God :


2.   Saved by the cross on which their Lord was slain,
  See Adam's children their lost home regain.


3.   Let every race and every language tell
  Of Him Who saves our souls from death and hell !


4.   O Lord, once lifted on the tree of pain,
  Draw all the world to seek You once again.


5.   Set up Your throne, that earth's despair may cease
  beneath the shadow of its healing peace


NarratorPlease sit.

In the service today we will be looking at the Easter Story with Mary the mother of Jesus. As she looks back on the events of the first Easter, we will be imagining how she may have felt. This is pure speculation. However, most of the acted sections are taken from the Bible.

As He was dying, Jesus told His disciple John to look after Mary in the future, so that's where our story begins.

Mary MOJ comes from her seat in the front pew to the centre.
Mary MOJIt was so good being looked after by John, for he was able to share with me everything that was going on. We spent hours talking about Jesus - His birth, life and death; and, as the days passed, we began to realise what an awe-inspiring event we had personally been involved in. Gradually the grief healed as we watched and marvelled at the way people were responding to the risen Jesus and experiencing the wonders of living God's way through the power of the Holy Spirit.

But it all started with Judas. Poor Judas ! He was never one of the great ones, like Peter, James, or John, but he did his bit like all the others. We don't know what went wrong. Most people think it was just greed and ambition, but some wonder whether he might just have been trying to push Jesus into moving on a bit faster ...

Mary MOJ moves to organ side;
Judas paces up and down on the altar side of the altar rail as he speaks the poem below as a soliloquy.

What should I do? Such a turmoil I'm in.
It's obvious He's the anointed One;
He's told us Himself in so many ways.
Yet He wanders around from place to place,
Teaching and healing the crowds,
As though these are endless days.

Why doesn't He take charge and set us free?
This Messiah so sure and bold
Should be rising in rebellion against the foe.
Though I confess His followers are hardly warriors -
Fishermen, tax collectors - except, of course, me -
And they're in no hurry to go.

I'm sick of it all, this slow way of life.
A fight to the win is for me.
Maybe I should go to the priests alone.
They'd pay me well and I could enlist their aid
To push Jesus into His rightful place
As King on David's throne.

The people all want it. They made that clear
When He rode the ass last week.
They'd rise up behind Him. So it must be right.
He's fulfilled all the prophecies except this one.
Yes, I'll go to them now and set it in motion.
I'll go this very night.

Judas stops pacing. Mary MOJ speaks from the organ side.
Mary MOJWell, who knows ? Certainly Judas changed his mind; after Jesus died, he tried to give the money back, and committed suicide. So now we'll never know. Poor Judas.
Mary MOJ returns to her seat.

Judas agrees to betray Jesus :

Matthew Chapter 26 verses 14-16

Judas goes hurriedly down the centre aisle, up the balcony stairs.
ReaderThen Judas Iscariot went to the chief priests and asked :
Judas ( from balcony )What will you give me if I betray Jesus to you ?
ReaderThey counted out thirty silver coins.
Priest, from balcony, counts out 30 "silver coins" as noisily as possible.
PriestOne, two, three, four ... ten ... twenty ... twenty eight, twenty nine, thirty.
Judas comes noisily down stairs; he stands for a moment at the back rattling the coins.
ReaderFrom then on Judas was looking for a good chance to hand Jesus over to them.
Priest comes quietly down from the balcony.

Jesus predicts His betrayal and Peter's Denial :

John Chapter 13 verses 21-27 and 30, and Mark Chapter 14 verses 27-31.

NarratorThere were twelve disciples but we only have four actors taking part so we invite each one of you to imagine that you are one of the disciples sitting round the table with Jesus at their last meal together.
ReaderJesus and His disciples were eating together.
Jesus, Peter with his sword, Judas, James and John come up centre aisle talking and sit on the chairs around the table, Jesus on the centre chair with John next to Him.
Once they are all seated :
ReaderJesus became greatly troubled, for He knew this was their last meal together, and He said :
JesusI am telling you the truth : one of you is going to betray Me.
ReaderThe disciples looked at one another, completely puzzled.
PeterIs it I, Lord ?
JamesSurely not me !
JudasNor I !
JohnI wouldn't do that.
ALLIt's not me either !
Peter ( to John )Ask Jesus whom He is talking about.
John ( to Jesus )Who is it, Lord ?
JesusI will dip some bread in the sauce and give it to him; he is the man.
Jesus mimes the action as the Reader continues.
ReaderSo He took a piece of bread, dipped it, and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.
Jesus ( to Judas )Hurry and do what you must !
ReaderJudas accepted the bread and went out at once. It was night-time.
Judas mimes taking the bread and eating it, stands up and hurries to the back down the centre aisle.
ReaderThen Jesus said to them :
JesusAll of you will run away and leave Me, for the scripture says, "God will kill the shepherd, and the sheep will all be scattered". But after I am raised to life, I will go to Galilee ahead of you.
Peter ( strongly )I will never leave You, even though all the rest do !
Jesus ( to Peter )I tell you that before the rooster crows twice tonight, you will say three times that you do not know Me.
Peter ( even more strongly )I will never say that, even if I have to die with You !
ALLWe will never leave You.
NarratorAs the meal ended Jesus and the disciples got up and went to the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives to pray.
Jesus, James, John, Peter with his sword stand up and go to the back.
NarratorPlease stand for the hymn

"Go to dark Gethsemane".

During this hymn Judas and the crowd with swords and clubs ready at back.
Stage hand and helpers remove table and chairs.

1.   Go to dark Gethsemane,
  You that feel the tempter's power;
  Your redeemer's conflict see,
  Watch with Him one bitter hour;
  Turn not from His griefs away :
  Learn of Jesus Christ to pray.

2.   Follow to the judgment-hall,
  View the Lord of Life arraigned;
  O, the wormwood and the gall !
  O, the pangs His soul sustained !
  Shun not suffering, shame, or loss :
  Learn of Him to bear the cross.

3.   Calvary's mournful mountain climb;
  There, adoring at His feet,
  Mark that miracle of time,
  God's own sacrifice complete;
  "It is finished", hear Him cry;
  Learn of Jesus Christ to die.

NarratorPlease sit.

Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane

( Mark Chapter 14 verses 32-37; Luke Chapter 22 verses 39-46 )

followed by

Jesus's arrest

( Matthew Chapter 26 verses 47-56; Mark Chapter 14 verses 43-52 ; ).

We invite all of you to imagine that you are sitting in the Garden of Gethsemane with the disciples.

We chose the reading from Mark's Gospel because he mentions the presence of a "young man" who was following Jesus, and this explains how we know what Jesus was praying in the garden. Many people believe that the "young man" was Mark himself, and we have supposed that that is true in our story.

Jesus, Peter, James and John come up centre aisle and stop by altar rail;

Mark, dressed in a linen cloth, starts creeping down the centre aisle, stopping half way down.

Jesus ( to the congregation )Sit here while I go over there ( pointing towards organ ) and pray.
ReaderHe took with Him Peter, James and John.
Jesus, Peter, James and John move over towards the lectern; Mark creeps up to the altar rail.
Jesus ( to Peter, James and John )The sorrow in My heart is so great it almost crushes Me. Stay here and keep watch with Me.
Peter, James and John sit near lectern; Mark creeps around behind the disciples, goes behind the altar, and peeps out at Jesus from organ side of altar.

Jesus goes over towards the organ and throws Himself face down and prays;

Peter, James and John fall asleep.

JesusMy Father, if it is possible take this cup of suffering from Me ! Yet not what I want, but what You want.

Jesus gets up and returns to the disciples.

Mark creeps further out to see what is going on.

Jesus ( to Peter )Simon Peter, are you asleep ? Weren't you able to stay awake for even one hour ?

( turning to the other disciples ) Keep watch and pray that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

Jesus returns to His praying position near the organ.

Mark darts away so Jesus doesn't see him.

The disciples fall asleep again.

JesusMy Father, if this cup of suffering cannot be taken away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.
Jesus gets up and returns to the disciples.

Mark creeps further out to see what is going on.

JesusAre you still sleeping ?
Disciples wake up; Judas and the crowd who have come to arrest Jesus, armed with swords and clubs, stand in centre aisle at the back.
JesusLook ! The hour has come for the Son of Man to be handed over to the power of sinners !
Jesus moves across to centre facing the back.

Judas and the crowd come up the centre aisle and stop at the altar rail.

Disciples and Mark come up behind Jesus.

JesusGet up ! Let us go. Look - here is the man that is betraying Me !
Judas turns to the crowd.
JudasThe man I kiss is the one you want. Arrest Him !
Judas turns and goes up to Jesus.
JudasPeace be with You, Teacher.
Judas kisses Jesus on His cheek.
JesusBe quick about it, friend.
ReaderThey arrested Jesus and hold Him tight.
Crowd 1 and Crowd 2 come up and grab hold of Jesus's arms.
ReaderPeter drew his sword and struck the ear of the High Priest's servant.
Peter grabs his sword, steps forwards, and takes a swipe at Crowd 1's ear. Crowd 1 holds his ear.
Jesus ( to Peter )Put your sword away. All who take the sword will die by the sword.
Peter puts the sword away.
ReaderAnd Jesus reached out and healed the man's ear.
Jesus reaches out and touches the man's ear.
Jesus ( to Peter )Don't you know that I could call on My Father for help, and at once He would send Me more than twelve armies of angels ? But in that case how could the scriptures come true which say that this must happen ?
Jesus to the crowdDid you have to come with swords and clubs to capture Me, as though I was an outlaw ? Every day I sat and taught in the Temple, and you did not arrest Me. But all this happened to make what the prophets wrote in the Scriptures come true.
Peter hides behind front pew; the other disciples run away.

Mark tries to creep past the crowd down the centre aisle past Crowd 2, Crowd 2 grabs hold of his linen cloth and Mark goes on down centre aisle in short swimming togs.

Crowd 1 and Crowd 2 march Jesus down centre aisle followed by the crowd; Peter follows a long way behind.

Jesus quietly goes up to the balcony.

Stage hand places camp fire in front of altar and turns it on.

When camp fire is on :


Jesus is denied by Peter :

Luke Chapter 22 verses 54-62.

ReaderThey arrested Jesus and took Him away into the house of the High Priest; and Peter followed at a distance.
Servants come up centre aisle and huddle around the fire.

Peter comes up centre aisle and stands on the edge of the group.

Servant 1 comes from near the fire and looks at Peter.

Servant 1You too were with Jesus of Galilee.
PeterI don't even know Him.
The rooster crows. Stage hand or computer person organises this.

Servant 1 goes back to the fire, Peter moves further away.

Servant 2 wanders up to Peter and looks at him closely.

Servant 2You are one of them, too.
PeterNo, I'm not.
Servant 2 goes back to the fire.
ReaderA little while later the bystanders accused him :
ALLYou can't deny that you are one of them because you are from Galilee too.
PeterI swear that I am telling the truth ! May God punish me if I am not ! I do not know the man you are talking about !
The rooster crows.

Jesus speaks from the balcony; as Jesus starts speaking, Peter looks up at Him.

JesusBefore the rooster crows twice tonight, you will say three times that you do not know Me.
Peter goes down the centre aisle weeping bitterly.

Mary MOJ comes from her seat in the front pew to the centre.

Mary MOJAnd so began the worst few days of my life. We knew the chief priests were seeking for ways to kill Him. But when I heard He had been arrested, it was terrible. We were all so upset. Peter had disappeared and we heard Judas had killed himself. We were so distressed and frightened. What could we do ? We locked all the doors and just sat looking at one another.

But, do you know what - looking back on it now, I realise that sharing our distress helped draw us closer together, and in some strange way drew us closer to God.

Then Peter came back. An older, penitent Peter, he had worked through his distress and was able to help us through our distress too. Now some years later I realise that if we are able to work through our grief we can emerge better, not bitter, and that God can then use us to help others in their distress. Seeking God's help in our distress surely made a difference.

Mary MOJ returns to her seat.
NarratorPlease stand for the hymn :

"Jesus in the olive grove".

Omitted for copyright reasons; further details.
During this hymn the servants return to the back down the centre aisle, Jesus returns to the back.

Stage hand puts cross base between lectern and altar.

NarratorPlease sit for the reading.
At the end of this reading members of the congregation are invited to follow Jesus to the cross; the actors will tell you when to move.

The Crucifixion.

This reading is taken from Mark Chapter 15 verses 1-2, 11-20, 25-26, 29-32.

Early in the morning the chief priests met hurriedly with the elders, the teachers of the Law and the whole Council, and made their plans. They put Jesus in chains, led Him away, and handed Him over to Pilate. Pilate questioned Him, "Are you the king of the Jews ?". Jesus answered, "So you say."

But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to ask that Pilate set Barabbas free for them. Pilate spoke again to the crowd, "What then do you want me to do with the One you call king of the Jews ?"

They shouted back, "Crucify Him !"

"But what crime has He committed ?", Pilate asked.

They shouted all the louder, "Crucify Him !"

Pilate wanted to please the crowd, so he set Barabbas free for them. Then he had Jesus whipped and handed Him over to be crucified.

The soldiers took Jesus inside to the courtyard of the governor's palace and called together the rest of the company. They put a purple robe on Jesus, made a crown out of thorny branches, and put it on His head. Then they began to salute Him : "Long live the King of the Jews !" They beat Him over the head with a stick, spat on Him, fell on their knees, and bowed up to Him. When they had finished making fun of Him, they took off the purple robe and put His own clothes back on Him. Then they led Him out to crucify Him.

Jesus comes up the centre aisle carrying the cross over His shoulder, followed by the crowd and the teachers of the Law ( all available actors come from their seats and follow Jesus, encourage members of the congregation to come too ) and stand in front of the altar. Jesus takes the cross up to the cross base and raises it ( stage hand may need to help ), then He stands in front of the cross with arms raised ( in the support loops ).

Mary MOJ, Mary's sister Salome, Mary C the wife of Clopas, Mary Magdalene and John come about half way up the centre aisle and stand watching.

ReaderIt was nine o'clock in the morning when they crucified Him. The notice of the accusation against Him said : "The King of the Jews".

People passing by shook their heads and hurled insults at Jesus :

Crowd 1Aha ! You were going to tear up the Temple and build it up again in three days !
Crowd 2Save yourself !
ReaderIn the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the Law jeered at Jesus :
Teacher 1He saved others, but He can't save Himself !
Teacher 2Let us see the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down from the cross now, and we will believe Him !
ALLGo on, save yourself !
The crowd and teachers of the Law stand on the congregation side of the lectern, Mary MOJ, Mary's sister Salome, Mary C the wife of Clopas, Mary Magdalene and John come up the centre aisle and stand around the cross.
ReaderJohn Chapter 19 verses 25-27, 30.

Standing close to Jesus' cross were His mother, His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas and Mary Magdalene, and John, the disciple who Jesus loved. Jesus saw His mother and the disciple He loved standing there; so He said to His mother :

Jesus ( slowly and painfully )He is your son.
ReaderThen He said to the disciple :
Jesus ( slowly and painfully )She is your mother.
ReaderFrom that time the disciple took her to live in his home.
John puts his arm round Mary MOJ and leads her off to the back down the centre aisle.

When John and Mary reach the back :

Jesus ( slowly and painfully )It is finished.
ReaderThen He bowed His head and died.
ALL INCLUDING THE CONGREGATION : Bow your heads and sigh;

Actors ( except the women ) and members of the congregation pause and return to their seats; Women stand just in front of the front pew.


Narrator ( if prompt needed for laggardly members of the congregation )Please return to your seats.

Jesus buried in the cave tomb.

Reading from Matthew Chapter 28 verses 57-61.
When it was evening, a rich man from Arimathea arrived; his name was Joseph, and he also was a disciple of Jesus. He went into the presence of Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate gave orders for the body to be given to Joseph. So Joseph took it -

Joseph and his servant carrying a sheet come up the centre aisle, 'take' the body of Jesus off the Cross.
Reader- wrapped it in a linen sheet -
They make a bundle up using the sheet.
Jesus creeps away assisted by Joseph and his helpers and hides behind the altar. While there, he makes "nail marks" on his hands and feet using the lipstick.
Reader- and placed it in his own tomb, which he had just recently dug out of solid rock.
Joseph and his helpers carefully place the bundle behind the altar.
Reader Then he rolled a large stone across the entrance to the tomb and went away.
Joseph and his helpers roll a large stone ( mime ) in front of the tomb and go to back down centre aisle.

The women watch all this from a distance, go up and 'touch' the 'stone' and go to the back down the centre aisle. Mary MOJ comes to the centre.

Mary MOJLooking back, I'm amazed at how God strengthened us as some of us stood at the foot of the cross. It was hard to watch it all happen, but I'm so glad I was there to share Jesus's suffering. Then He asked John to look after me; that meant a lot to both of us. We loved Jesus so much and now we were together to share our grief; and eventually the grief passed and we were able to live and work for Jesus. And, in time, joy came back into our lives, although it took me a long time for me to rebuild my life, but with God's help I did it.
Mary MOJ goes back to her seat.
NarratorPlease stand to sing the hymn

"At the Cross her station keeping".

During this hymn the women make themselves ready with their spices in front of the pews on the organ side, disciples also at organ side near front pew, the young man hides behind the altar.

1.   At the Cross her station keeping
  Stood the mournful Mother weeping,
  Where He hung, the dying Lord;
  For her soul, of joy bereavèd,
  Bowed with anguish, deeply grievèd
  Felt the sharp and piercing sword.

2.   O how sad and sore distressèd
  Now was she, that mother blessèd
  Of the Sole-begotten One !
  Deep the woe of her affliction,
  When she saw the Crucifixion
  Of her ever-glorious Son

3.   For His people's sins chastisèd
  She beheld her Son despisèd
  Scourged, and crowned with thorns entwined;
  Saw Him then from judgement taken,
  And in death by all forsaken,
  Till His spirit He resigned.

4.   O good Jesus, let me borrow
  Something of Your Mother's sorrow
  Fount of love, Redeemer kind,
  That my heart fresh ardour gaining,
  And a purer love attaining,
  May with You acceptance find.

NarratorPlease sit.

The women go to the cave tomb :

Mark Chapter 16 verses 1-8; Luke Chapter 24 verses 1-11.

Whilst this is being read, the women come to the centre stopping between the front pews.
  After the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Salome brought spices to go and anoint the body of Jesus. Very early on Sunday morning at sunrise they went to the tomb.
Mary CWho is going to roll away the stone for us at the entrance to the tomb ?
Mary Magdalene ( pointing to the tomb )Look ! It has already been rolled away !
SalomeWho has done that ?
They go up and look behind the altar ( Hospital side )
Mary CThere's no body there.
SalomeBut who is that young man dressed all in white ?
The young man emerges from the tomb; the women look alarmed and bow down.
Young manWhy are you looking among the dead for One Who is alive? He is not here; He is risen. Remember what He said to you in Galilee : the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, be crucified and three days later rise to life. Now go and give this message to the disciples, including Peter. Jesus is going to Galilee ahead of you; there you will see Him, just as He told you.
Mary MagdaleneCome - let us be going !
The women hurry to the disciples in organ aisle, the young man goes back behind the altar.

The women tell the disciples -


Mark Chapter 16 : 1-8; Luke Chapter 24 : 8-11; John Chapter 20 : 1-10.

Mary MagdaleneFirst thing this morning we went to the tomb where Joseph laid Jesus.
SalomeIt was empty, but there was an angel there.
Mary CHe asked us why we were looking among the dead for one who was alive. "He is risen", he told us.
SalomeThen he said that we should remember what He said to us in Galilee - that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, be crucified and three days later rise to life.
Mary MagdaleneHe told us to give you this message - ( looking at Peter ) especially you, Peter - that He is going to Galilee ahead of you, and that He will see you there just as He told you.
The disciples all look disbelieving.
PeterIt can't be true. Did this - angel ? - really say that?
JamesYou're mistaken ! You must be. Jesus died; we all saw it happen.
JohnI can't believe you.
PeterWell, something must have happened. I must go and look for myself.
Peter hurries off in front of pews and to the Hospital side of the altar and looks in the tomb behind the altar.
James and JohnWe'll come with you !
They hurry away too, following Peter and look behind the altar as the narrator reads.
NarratorThe disciples went to look for themselves and came back full of excitement. They had found the tomb empty, just as the women had said. Some believed that Jesus had risen, but others were still doubtful.
Disciples come back to the women ( in front of the front pew, organ side ) and they all move in front of the altar as the disciples say :
DisciplesYou're right, the tomb is empty.
PeterPerhaps He really is alive ! But how can we really believe that unless ...
As Peter speaks, Jesus comes from behind the altar and stands among them with the marks of the nails on His hands and feet.
JesusPeace be with you !
The disciples and the women look terrified, Mark joins them.
JesusWhy are you alarmed ? Why are these doubts coming into your mind ? Look at My hands and feet ! ( Jesus holds out His hands and feet ) Feel Me and you will know, for a ghost doesn't have flesh and bones as you can see I have.
They reach out and touch Him.
ReaderThey still could not believe, but they were also full of joy and wonder. So He asked them :
JesusIs there anything here to eat ?
JamesThere's a piece of cooked fish here.
James mimes handing Jesus a piece of cooked fish who mimes eating it.
JesusSee ? Ghosts don't eat real fish ! Look, these are the very things I told you about while I was still with you : everything that is written about Me in the Law of Moses, the writings of the prophets and the psalms had to come true.
ReaderThen He opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and said to them :
JesusThis is what is written : the Messiah must suffer and must rise from death three days later, and in His name the message about repentance and the forgiveness of sins must be preached to all nations, beginning in Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And I myself will send upon you what My Father has promised. But you must wait in the city until the power from above comes down on you.
Jesus "disappears" - hide behind altar;

The disciples, Mark and women look at each other.

Peter comes to centre front.

PeterHe really is risen !
Peter steps to front organ side;

The women come to centre front.

WomenHe is risen !
The women step to lectern side;
Disciples and Mark come to centre front.
Disciples and MarkHe is risen !
All should now be in a line on the altar side of the altar rail.
The following hymn begins with no announcement.
During first chorus the women, disciples, Mark and Jesus return to their seats;

During this hymn the pray-ers come to the lectern.

1.   To God be the glory, great things He has done !
  So loved He the world that He gave us His Son.
  Who yielded His life in atonement for sin,
  And opened the life-gate that all may go in :

Chorus :
  Praise the Lord ! Praise the Lord !
  Let the earth hear His voice !
  Praise the Lord ! Praise the Lord !
  Let the people rejoice !
  O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son :
  And give Him the glory - great things He has done !

2.    O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
  To every believer the promise of God !
  And every offender who truly believes,
  That moment from Jesus a pardon receives :


3.   Great things He has taught us, great things He has done,
  And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
  But purer, and higher, and greater will be
  Our wonder, our rapture, when Jesus we see.


NarratorPlease sit.
Mary MOJ comes to centre front; she speaks with joy and excitement.
Mary MOJJesus alive ! - it was all worth it; for God through His Son Jesus had done something amazing, something for all of us - something for all mankind.

I'm so glad and thankful that Jesus chose to take the hard road -
that He endured the pain and humiliation of the Cross that we might be redeemed.

He opened the way for us to come to Him for forgiveness and showed us the way to live for God.

It was a hard road for me as well, but I'm so glad I followed Jesus's way. I pray that you will follow it too.

Let us also choose to take the hard road that God lays before us, knowing that as we do this God will give us the strength we need.

Mary MOJ returns to her seat.


NarratorPlease sit or kneel for the prayers, which we shall conclude by singing the Lord's prayer.
Pray-er 1Lord God, help us to dedicate our lives to loving and serving You.
You love us so much that You gave us Your Son to die on the Cross for us.
We thank You, Jesus, that You carried out Your Father's will in Your life.
Teach us, Lord God, to follow Your will for our lives so that we may truly live for You. Amen.
Pray-er 2Father, we pray for all who are finding life difficult at this time. We pray for the sick, the hungry, the homeless and those in pain; help them in their distress. Teach us how to offer our help wherever it is needed.

Together we sing -

ALLOur Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come, Your will be done,
in earth, as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread;
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil,
for the Kingdom, the power, and the glory are Yours, now and for ever.
NarratorPlease stand for our final hymn :

"Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia !"

Pray-ers return to their seats.

1.   Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia !
  Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia !
  Who did once, upon the Cross, Alleluia !
  Suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia !

2.   Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia !
  Unto Christ, our heavenly King, Alleluia !
  Who endured the Cross and grave, Alleluia !
  Sinners to redeem and save. Alleluia !

3.   But the pains that He endured, Alleluia !
  Our salvation have procured; Alleluia !
  Now above the sky He's King, Alleluia !
  Where the angels ever sing. Alleluia !

NarratorPlease remain standing for the Blessing.



Those taking part :

Crowd ( 2 speaking ), Mark, Disciples ( up to 7, apart from those explicitly named ), James, Jesus, John, Judas, Mary C ( wife of Clopas ), Mary Magdalene, Mary MOJ ( Mother of Jesus ), Narrator, Peter, Pray-ers ( 2 ), Priest, Reader, Salome, Servants ( 2 ), Teachers ( 2 ), Women, Young man.

Numbers given are those identified in the script. These are often flexible; adjust them according to your resources.