I haven’t written anything here for a long time. But I’m uploading a script that my current church used for Good Friday. It’s specifically written for Luke, which is used during Year C. I call it a no-rehearsal Lessons and Carols with dramatic readings. I’ve also used for Christmas Eve. I used prayers and hymns from United Methodist resources, but use whatever your denomination’s worship book calls for.
Here’s how I put it together:
1) Copy the entire passion story from Jesus’ triumphant entry to the crucificixion into a word processing document. Then break it into lessons according to the “scene.”
2) As you’re reading through the text, all you have to do is enter a return and “Narrator” or character name for speaking parts: (Jesus: “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.”) You’ll also have group parts (soldiers, leaders, disciples, etc.) and congregation parts (crowd, etc.)
3) I used eight lessons because I wanted to use the “gothic candelabras” we have at the church to extinguish a candle after each lesson, then the Christ candle during the last lesson. If you have a different number or something else you want to use, then let that determine your lessons.
4) Don’t finalize your lessons until you’ve gone through music selection! I thought I was going to be using one lesson, but had to change it because we couldn’t find an appropriate hymn.
5) After all of that is done, then you go through and highlight each of the characters. Then print just the pages they need and add a note saying how many lines they have. (Servant girl – 1 line) I leave them out on a table based on the size of the role. Let people who want to rehearse pick up the sheets ahead of time and sign-up. You’ll also want fresh copies just before the service in case people forget them at home.
6) I like to use two narrators because that is who will be doing most of the reading. Also, this way we were able to trade off extinguishing the candles at the end of the reading. You want to identify who that will be ahead of time and let each one have a copy of the script.
That’s really all there is to it.
What I like about doing it this way:
1) You are getting the story from one gospel, which helps tie things together.
2) It is very low stress since almost nobody has practiced. We’ve had early readers and visitors take a line. The group parts are great for people with learning disabilities to do with someone else.
Here’s a sample.