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Tenebrae Plays and Services
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Bible Book
A Tenebrae presentation for Maundy Thursday
By: Carol Feickert
(Duration: 20-25 minutes; Speaking Cast: 2 females, 3 males, 5 total cast)
The quiet, the darkness, Communion, music… it’s all these elements working together to create solemn and focused Maundy Thursday worship. The evening may start with an optional light Lenten meal. This variation on theatre-in-the-round features four podiums placed around the sanctuary. In silence a figure clad in black lights a candle at each one. The action...  read more
A Tenebrae drama based on the seven last words from the cross
By: Ronald D. Vaughan
(Duration: 30 minutes; Speaking Cast: 3 females, 5 males, 1 either, 9 total cast)
The darkened atmosphere of this Tenebrae service makes distractions fade into the shadows. All attention is focused on Jesus, as biblical characters share how their lives were touched by him. Each mini-monologue corresponds to one of Jesus' last words on the cross. Featured are the woman caught in adultery, Joseph of Arimathea, Mary and John, Simon of Cyrene...  read more
A colophonic Tenebrae service.
By: Mary Ann Smith
(Duration: 60 minutes; Speaking Cast: 8 either, 8 total cast; 
     Flexibility: gender flexible)
When it comes to our human nature, are we really that different from those in Bible times? This Tenebrae service shows just how parallel our lives really are. It features a varied contemporary cast, each with a biblical counterpart. Included are: A workaholic businessman with bankrupt morals (Judas), an overzealous activist (one of the mob), one who denied Jesus...  read more
A Tenebrae service for Maundy Thursday
By: Norman H. Wiegel
(Duration: 15 minutes; Speaking Cast: 2 females, 7 males, 4 either, 13 total cast; 
     Flexibility: gender flexible)
No memorization is needed for this easily presented service. Several readers relate the history of the Tenebrae service, or "service of shadows," as an introduction. Then they, with several players, tell of the tragedy of Jesus' last hours. The Christ Candle is strategically placed to correspond with the key points of the story: The Last Supper, the Agony in the...  read more
A Tenebrae service with three voices
By: Renae Meredith
(Duration: 25 minutes; Speaking Cast: 1 female, 2 males, 1 either, 4 total cast)
Your pastor or a narrator reads the Gethsemane narrative from Mark as the Tenebrae candles are extinguished. Out of the darkness, three voices—Mary Magdalene, Peter and the Centurion—grapple with the reality of Jesus' imminent crucifixion. Mary Magdalene feels her life ebb away, just as Jesus is about to lose his. Peter is bitter, feeling that he wasted the...  read more
A Tenebrae service for Maundy Thursday
By: Mary Lu Warstler
(Duration: 45-60 minutes; Speaking Cast: 1 female, 4 males, 5 total cast)
This Tenebrae service is based on the gospel of Mark. It is structured in four parts: Misunderstanding, Betrayal, Desertion and the Cross. The woman who anointed Jesus' feet, Judas, Jesus, Peter and Pilate tell of betrayal and unrest in Jesus' final days. One by one, the seven lit candles on the altar are extinguished as the tale of darkness unfolds through...  read more
A Tenebrae service of monologs
By: Myra Shofner
(Duration: 60 minutes; Speaking Cast: 3 females, 3 males, 3 either, 9 total cast; 
     Flexibility: gender flexible)
These compelling first-person narratives will transport your audience back to the era of Jesus’ crucifixion. Those whom Jesus ministered to share their past and confide their hopes and fears for the future. Included are: Girl, Pharisee, Woman Who Followed, Secret Disciple, Roman Slave, Carpenter, Sign Maker’s Wife and Grieving Woman. Each carries a prop...  read more
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