Praising With Palms

  • Cast Number: 6
  • Run-time: 20 minutes
  • Bible Reference: Luke 19:28
Palm Sunday. worshipping visually rather than emotionally. Depicting the triumphal entry into Jerusalem by Jesus. there is the waving of palm branches but does it come from the heart, will we have forgotten Him a few days later?

Made up of pre-service drama in foyer, opening the service in the sanctuary, as well as children’s story and a closing Choral Reading

Cast: 6 or more actors Off-stage voice storyteller 3 choral readers Sunday School children

Props: palm branches, (any size), for all children. This may be the children’s project to make the leaves.

Sample of script:

Any number of actors, (male and female, young and old), excitedly enter foyer from various doors, announcing to the congregation, urging them to go into the sanctuary. In larger churches you will have teams of actors, each team circulating through various parts of the congregation, saying essentially the same lines. (Note, due to numbers of actors or time limitations, all of the lines may not be used).
The actors will be thoroughly in character, including having a stage name. Realize that many people in the congregation will know the actor as “who she truly is” but the actor will not break out of character, will answer questions as though they truly are in the original “Triumphal Entry”. If a member of the congregation talks to the actor using their true name they will react, something like, “Melissa? Sorry, I am Joanna. And are you also here to see the Messiah as he enters the gates?”
These crowd actors will be urging the congregation to quickly enter the sanctuary, and nothing will fluster them. If someone comes in late to church treat it as though it is normal and expected, “I am so glad you could make it, come, the Messiah is about to enter the gates!”
Actor 1: He is on His way.
Actor 2: I heard He has passed the outer gates already.
Actor 3: He will be here in a few short minutes, come with me, let’s find a good spot where we can watch as He comes by.
Actor 4: I am so glad you are here, isn’t it exciting?
Actor 1, to someone in congregation: Good morning, I am (stage name), it is so good that you came, did you hear the good news, Jesus is coming into town.
Actor 2: I hear he is riding on a young colt! Let’s get ready, come with me please!
Actor 3: Can you see him?
Actor 4: Look, here he comes! Hail, Son of David!
Actor 1: He is coming down the hill from the Mount of Olives!
Actor 2: See his disciples coming behind Him. What I would give to be one of them!
Actor 3: Let’s find a good vantage point so we can see what happens.
Actor 4: Yes, quickly!
Actors will continue to work the crowd, ad lib if necessary, until all congregation are seated in sanctuary, at which point all actors enter and go on stage.
Judas and Thomas come on stage from side doors
Sunday School children have been lined up, ready, and now enter from rear of sanctuary, (while appropriate music is played/sung such as “The King Is Coming”), children are carrying palm branches, they sit or kneel in the aisles, spreading out to cover as much of all aisles as is possible. Note that while it is desirable to have as little commotion as possible during the next part of the drama, the excitement and activity from youngsters would not be inconsistent with the mood of the “palm parade”.
Actors speak from stage positions:
Actor 1: Here He is! Finally, someone to free us from the Roman butchers.
Actor 2: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. The prophet of Nazareth!
Actor 3: Oh, what a great day this is for Israel! The Romans will be crushed; we will be free once more.
Actor 4: Hosanna, Jesus is the King.
Judas: Look, Thomas, look at them, straining to see Jesus. And Jesus riding on a common donkey! I am beginning to wonder at His style of kingship.
Thomas: What are you saying, Judas? What is wrong with the Master riding a donkey. Throughout the centuries heroes and kings have entered Jerusalem riding donkeys. Just 200 years ago, Simon Macabbees, (mik-eb-Es), rode a donkey down this very street, to the delight of a crowd equally exuberant.
Judas: Thomas, I am aware of history, and do not need to be reminded! But that was then, this is now! People don’t want history, but rather release from Roman oppression! It is that kind of king which He must be!
Thomas: How can you say that Judas? You know He is not simply king, He is the King of Kings. He is the coming king prophesied throughout the ages, the mighty one spoken of by the prophets.
Actor 1: We will follow you and serve you King Jesus, be the King in our lives!
Judas: King in their lives? We must be the arrows in their bows, the swords in their hands if we are to overturn the Romans. Our window of opportunity is small and brief, we must seize it now, or it shall be lost forever.

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