Maundy Thursday

  • Cast Number: 14
  • Run-time: 20 minutes
  • Bible Reference: Matthew 26:17-56
A Maundy Thursday production based on the happenings in the Upper Room, going forward to Gethsemane scene where Jesus is arrested.

Cast: 13 men plus narrator

Set: Upper Room, bare with table, chairs. The action moves to Gethsemane which can be another part of the same stage or can be an area on the main floor of the sanctuary, (optionally Gethsemane could be a separate scene, depending on stage space available).

Props: Basin and towel for washing feet

Costumes: traditional costumes

Sample of script:

Disciples are sitting at the table, Jesus comes on stage, all others close in on Jesus, touch him. Jesus moves to the table
Judas comes on stage hurriedly, out of breath and appearing furtive, Jesus looks up

Jesus: Must that truly be done?
Judas quickly looks downward, moves away from Jesus
Jesus: Come, all of you, the feast has been prepared.
Jesus goes to center stage left position where he removes outer robe, ties a towel around his waist and pours a basin of water. Jesus invites each disciple in turn to come to have their feet washed. This can be done quickly and sensitively. Have disciple facing center stage in order that there is a good view of both Jesus and the disciple. When it is Judas’ turn, hold the pose for a moment as Jesus sadly looks directly up into Judas’ face, Judas looks away. After each actor has had feet washed they return to their position at the table. Narrator speaks of each person as their feet are washed
Jesus: Come first, that I may wash your feet, Simon Peter.
Peter, shock: Master, are you going to wash my feet?
Jesus: You don’t understand now what I am doing Peter, but it will be clear enough to you later.
Peter, offended: You are not going to wash my feet, ever!
Jesus: If I don’t wash you, you can’t be a part of what I am doing.
Peter: Master, not only my feet then. Wash my hands! Wash my head!
Jesus: If you have had a bath in the morning, you only need your feet washed now and you are clean from head to toe. My concern, you understand, is holiness, not hygiene. So, now you are clean. (looking at Judas who reacts by looking away) But not every one of you.
Jesus washes Peter’s feet, next Natahanael, and each as indicated below, off-stage narration pauses to allow time for each person’s feet to be washed. As they are washed they return to table.
Narrator: There was Nathanael, the guileless man, one in whom is no pretense, nor subterfuge, nor insincerity. A man transparently honest, his mind like an open book which everyone can read; his thoughts straight and not crooked.
And James, the son of Alphaeus, the patron saint of the unrecognized. One whose work was wrought in an obscure place, whose labor was unnoticed and unrewarded, but who rejoiced and was exceeding glad for great was His reward.
Andrew, the evangelist, the one who brought the little boy, and also Peter, to Jesus. Jesus fully understood the importance of those who would bring children and adults to Him.
Judas Iscariot, into whose heart the devil had already entered, that he would betray the Lord Jesus Christ. Judas, selected by Jesus, but who, for reasons we will never know, turned away from the Saviour.
John, the beloved disciple, who, in turn, loved Christ with a great and enduring love. John, the disciple whose love was an open book.
Thomas, the man given to questioning, but also blessed with loyalty to the end. Thomas, who gives us all the courage to question without being excluded.
James, son of Zebedee and brother of John, who shared many quiet and distinct moments alone with the Savior. James, growing up in the shadow of his brother, but firmly in the light of the world.
Phillip, to whom Christ said, “follow me”, the only one directly and personally called to discipleship. Phillip shows the importance of placing ourselves where we can be chosen, and used, of God.
Matthew, Levi, the tax collector who left his toll booth behind to travel lonely roads with He who gave without ever taking. A testament to what God can do with a life in which others see no value.
Thaddeus, or Judas, not Iscariot, the unknown disciple serving the known Savior. Most who serve in crucial roles will never be known or celebrated, but will be blessed and rewarded.
And finally, Simon the Zealot, hot headed mercenary whose soul caught fire with the knowledge of Christ Jesus. Simon proves how Jesus can redirect emotion into creation.
Jesus puts on his robe and moves back to table
Jesus: Do you know what I have done to you? You address me as Teacher and Master; and rightly so. That is what I am. So if I, the Master and Teacher, washed your feet, you must now wash each other’s feet. I have laid down a pattern for you. What I have done, you do. I am only pointing out the obvious. A servant is not ranked above his master; an employee doesn’t give orders to the employer.If you understand what I am telling you, act like it – and live a blessed life.
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