Feast of Rejoicing

  • Cast Number: 17
  • Run-time: 90 minutes
  • Bible Reference: Luke 22
A Maundy Thursday drama including Last Supper scene, ends in congregational communion service. Mary, mother of Jesus and "The Woman at the Well" serve the Passover meal.

Cast: 15 speaking parts (Two female (both likely middle age) and 13 male characters)
Any number of non-speaking characters

Set: none The acting stage is broken up to be the main acting area with the Last Supper table at upstage center in this area, and the second area which is the kitchen area where Mary and Woman perform

Costumes: likely traditional

Props: traditional Passover dishes table and chairs Counter or table for kitchen

Samples of script:

Woman and Mary are busy working around in the kitchen area, humming, happily at work.

Woman: What an honour to be here with you Mary! Just think, me, a Samaritan woman, preparing the Passover for my Lord and his disciples!
Mary: But you are a disciple, just as am I.
Woman: How amazing!
Mary: Amazing? That you would be a disciple of Jesus?
Woman: Yes, that too, after all I am a Samaritan. And you know only too well what you Jews think of us Samaritans! (chuckles) I remember your reaction, and that of the other disciples when you found Jesus and I talking at the well in Sychar!
Mary, defensive, slightly annoyed: Woman, you must realize that old habits, yes, old prejudices, die hard. I and the other disciples had been sent into town; you can imagine our shock when we returned to the well to find Jesus alone with a woman, a Samaritan woman at that. I could just hear the stories buzzing around the temple, “Nazarene prophet caught alone with a Samaritan woman of questionable . . .” . . oh, sorry, Woman, but, I mean . . . .
Woman: Of questionable character. It’s fine Mary, I am fully aware of my past. Difference now is that my Lord has forgiven me. Strange you know, but after receiving his forgiveness I feel as though . . . as though . . all that sin and shame . . . just never happened, know what I mean?
Mary: That is God’s forgiveness: full, complete and ever-lasting!
Mary goes to pick up a heavy pot, Woman reacts
Woman: Please Mary, let me do that for you, it’s heavy and . .
Mary, annoyed: Look, I am not entirely ancient, I have not yet reached my fiftieth birthday I will have you know!
Woman: I know Mary, it’s not that, but somehow it just doesn’t seem right, you, being the mother . .
Mary: Yes, Woman, I am the mother of Jesus. But even more, I am his disciple.
Woman: But surely we owe you the honour of motherhood . .
Mary: You owe me the honour of allowing me to serve he who is not only my son . . . but my Messiah! But speaking of honour, I am appalled that you are still referred to as “Woman”! Surely you have a proper name, something better than . . Woman.
Woman: Yes Mary, I was given a name at birth. And I will always associate my first name with what I was, not with what I am today. I feel as though that day at Jacob’s well was a day of my re-birth, and it was there my Lord called me “Woman”.
Mary: Yes, yes, all this I know and I respect that, but just as Simon was renamed, so will Jesus give you a new name, I am sure he will. Please, let me talk to Jesus and . . . .
Woman, firmly: No! Please Mary! Mary, just as you see the honour in serving as a disciple to your son, so allow me the honour of holding to the name which represents, in my mind at least, the amazing happening of my re-birth.
Mary: Very well, as you wish.
Woman: You are really quite an incredible woman, Mary!
Mary: Thank you Mary, but I must correct you. I am a very ordinary woman serving a very extraordinary Messiah, one who just also happens to be my son! It is my pleasure to be his disciple. (chuckles) You know, I am still learning to stop acting so much like a mom, telling him to pick up after himself!
Slowly the other disciples begin to filter in to the main area where they mime talking quietly to one another, worried, concern on their faces and in their actions as they cautiously look out window.
Woman: The others are coming.
Mary: The worry is like a blanket, covering each one of us, you can see it in their eyes, their actions.
Woman: What does my Lord mean; he keeps talking about leaving, where is he going?
Mary: I’m not sure; he doesn’t say anything to me that he doesn’t say to all of you. But I do admit I am frightened.
Woman: It must be unreal, the mom to the Messiah!
Mary: Right at the beginning, the angel warned me that it wouldn’t be easy.
Some of the disciples come into the kitchen area with Woman and Mary. Depending on number of actors available these disciples with Woman and Mary may be unnamed minor disciples or they may be members of the 12, (in which case, after assisting Woman and Mary in meal preparations, these disciples will go to the table in their proper positions).
In the stage directions below we assume that those in the kitchen will be those from among the 12, if this is not the case you will need to rename the characters.
Mary: Well, don’t just stand there, there is a meal to be prepared!
Simon: Meal preparation? With great respect, dear lady, may I remind you that I am Simon, Simon the Zealot some call me? My past is hardly that of a culinary assistant.
Mary: And with equal respect, may I remind you that regardless of what you were, the only consideration which is of any importance is that in the now you are Simon, the disciple, chosen by my son, the Messiah. Do you wish to further debate or are you ready to wash dishes?
Simon, points to Woman: She is here, let her do it. After all it is Woman’s work.
Mary, annoyed: Woman’s work is it? I recall the Master mentioning that we, his disciples, were to be mutually supportive. Perhaps you and I Simon, should go chat with my son, allow him to decide if this is woman’s work?
Simon: The Master has much more on his mind than who will wash the dishes! Besides, I was not necessarily saying that the work was to be done by women; I meant this could be the Samaritan woman’s work. (to Woman) Is your name not Woman?
Mary: Woman has her hands full and more, and as for you Simon the Zealot . . .
Simon: Fine, I will wash dishes, not because I must, but because I wish to do my part.
Nathanael comes in as Simon is washing dishes
Nathanael: Behold, Simon the dishwasher!
Simon: Don’t start with me Nathanael!
Woman: Here Nathanael, can you help me lift this box of supplies?
Nathanael: I am pleased to help you in any way I can Woman.
Jesus and some others enter main acting area
Simon: He is here.
Mary, looking out: Oh my son! He is looking so tired!
Woman: The weight of all that is happening is dragging him down.
Nathanael: These last few weeks he has changed, I simply don’t understand what he is talking about.

another segment

scene switches to main acting area where Jesus and the three are speaking, Judas is off in the shadows, straining to listen.
Peter: . . . . but how can you be leaving Master, your work here . . ..
Jesus: I must go, I must prepare a place for you.
Peter: We can not be apart from you Master, we can not stand alone.
Jesus: Peter, dear Peter! You will be quite surprised to see all you will do without me!
Peter: But I will fail if you are not here, you know how I make rash statements and foolish moves.
Jesus: Yes, I do Peter. I also see, even more than you do, the great extent of your love and devotion for me and for all I stand for.
James, angry: This is simply unacceptable! We are making progress, we are accomplishing a great deal! It is simply ludicrous and unthinkable that you leave now, just when victory is in sight!
Jesus, smiling, ruffles James’ hair: Oh my dear hot head James! But you are right, victory is straight ahead. But the road to victory winds its way through Jerusalem, and through Gethsemane and Calvary.
John: But I don’t understand . . .
Jesus: No you don’t dearest John. But you will, I promise, you will understand, and soon.
John: You tell me of your love for me, yet you leave.
Jesus: It is because of my love for you that I must leave. Now I need to talk with the three of you, while there is still time.
James, seeing Judas: You, what are you doing skulking around here, move off while we talk with the Master!
Judas retreats, a sullen look on his face, hides in the shadows. Judas takes out his purse and counts the money while Jesus, Peter, James and John are talking, quietly and just enough movement to show activity but not enough to take attention away from the four actors who are speaking
James: I have a good mind to teach that leech a lesson he will not . . .
Jesus, holds up his hand: Leave him be! Judas will do what Judas must do. It is you three about whom I have greater concerns. Sit! All of you!
James gestures angrily in the direction of Judas, all sit down
Jesus: As leaders among my flock I have special need of the three of you. I will repeat my instructions when I return however . .
Peter: Return? I can not follow your logic! You are leaving, for where we know not, and returning, when we are not clear.
Jesus: Peter, you will be given all the knowledge you can handle, and more than you need.
John: I can not think of life without you here.
Jesus: I will not leave you alone and without comfort. The Holy Spirit will be your constant companion, and will minister to all your needs. Now then, while you, along with all of the believers, will all be involved in day to day activities, Peter, the building of my church will be your duty.
Peter: Build your church? What do you mean, build? I am a fisherman; I do not have no woodworking skills. How can you expect me to build a house when I can not even . . .
Jesus: Oh, dear, dear Peter, the man of a million questions! Trust me Peter, trust what I say. When the time comes I will tell you all you need to know.
James: What for me, master? What will be my task? I would gladly give up my life for you.
Jesus: Yes, James, early on you will be called upon to do just that.
John: I too, will go to my grave serving you.
Jesus: The importance is not the length of life’s service, but the life in the service. I fear for my mother, she is growing old.
John: You had best not tell her that to her face.
Jesus, smiles: My mother is a proud and wondrous woman; her misery will be great when I am gone. John, I want that you will be her son, and she your mother. Look after Mary well; treat her with dignity and love.
John: She will never want for anything, this I promise you Master.
Peter: I could assist in that, I am wise in the ways of women and older folk.
Jesus: Peter, again I ask you, be responsible for my church. I leave my followers in your hands, be strong, be kind, be resourceful. Feed my sheep.
Peter: Sheep? I don’t . . .
Jesus: Be the good shepherd to those whom I love, those who have given their love to me. Be the solid rock, Peter. You must not fail me.
Peter: Lord I will never leave or desert you, no matter how others may fall away, I shall always be there at your side, ready and eager to do your bidding. I am not weak like the others.
James: You know I will always be there for you Master.
John: And I.
Jesus: Oh dear John, James, my friend! Oh Peter, Peter! When later each of you remember this time together you will realize how frail is the flesh, and how capable of failure we are. And this will help mold each of you into leaders of my people, shepherds of my flock. Remember what I said, I will send a source of comfort to be your constant companion. My love will be with you in all you do, in every step you take.
Peter: Master, you must not leave! You will not!
Jesus, angry: Peter, would you try to prevent me from doing the will of my Father? Better that you were never born than to attempt to sabotage the plans of God, plans which were set into motion before the forming of the universe. I must do the will of my Father who sent me.
Peter: I only meant . . .

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