Pentecost: a dramatic reading for an assembly
Here is a simple dramatic script for the Pentecost narrative (Acts 2:1-21).
You'll need the script below, 12 readers, (optional) sound effects of wind and fire (you can find sound effects CDs in good record shops), (optional) stirring instrumental music as backing to the Joel prophecy. Fade these in and out where appropriate in the text.
Think about where you want the readers to read from: the front? In a line? Sitting? Standing? In pulpits or balconies for different heights? Spotted round the building? In among the congregation?
|1||On the Day of Pentecost all the Lord's followers were together in one place.|
|2||Suddenly there was a noise from heaven like the sound of a mighty wind! It filled the house where they were meeting.|
|3||Then they saw what looked like fiery tongues moving in all directions, and a tongue came and settled on each person there.|
|4||The Holy Spirit took control of everyone, and they began speaking whatever languages the Spirit let them speak.|
|5||Many religious Jews from every country in the world were living in Jerusalem. And when they heard this noise, a crowd gathered. But they were surprised because they were hearing everything in their own languages.|
|6||They were excited and amazed and said:|
|7||Don't all these who are speaking come from Galilee? Then why do we hear them speaking our very own languages?|
For the bit with the difficult place names that follows, think of it as a 'round' - let one reader (8) start reading, then (9) starts when (8) gets to '
- Others are from'' Then (10) starts when (9) gets to 'Others are from' and so on. The effect you're aiming at is a babble, but make sure everyone pronounces their own words clearly or it just sounds sloppy. You'll need to listen carefully for when (8) gets to the end of the speech - this is the signal for everyone to say the next line in unison
|8/9/10/11/12||( staggered) Some of us are from Parthia, Medea and Elam.
|ALL||( in unison) Yet we all hear them using our own language to tell the wonderful things God has done.|
|1||Everyone was excited and confused. Some of them even kept asking each other|
|2||What does all this mean?|
|3||Others made fun of the Lord's followers:|
|4 / 5||They're drunk!|
|6||Peter stood with the eleven apostles and spoke in a loud and clear voice to the crowd:|
|7||Friends and everyone else living in Jerusalem, listen carefully to what I have to say! You are wrong to think that these people are drunk. After all, it is only nine o'clock in the morning. But this is what God led the prophet Joel to say,|
The Joel prophecy is now read 'cumulatively' - try it out and listen to the dramatic effect as it builds up to the final wonderful line!
|8||When the last days come, I will give my Spirit to everyone.|
|8 / 9||Your sons and daughters will prophesy.|
|8/9/10||Your young men will see visions and your old men will have dreams.|
|8/9/10/11||In those days I will give my Spirit to my servants, both men and women, and they will prophesy.|
|8/9/10/11/12||I will perform miracles in the sky above and wonders on the earth below.|
|8/9/10/11/12/1||There will be blood and fire and clouds of smoke.|
|8/9/10/11/12/1/2||The sun will turn dark and the moon will be as red as blood before the great and wonderful day of the Lord appears.|
|ALL||And all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved!|