Dramatised reading for Pentecost 3C

Here is a dramatised reading of Luke 7:36 – 8:3 with suggestions for performance for the third Sunday after Pentecost. Parts are for:

Narrator, Simon, Jesus, Guest, Woman


or just copy and paste this text:

Luke 7:36 – 8:3 dramatised

One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and took his place at the table. And a woman in the city, who was a sinner, having learned that he was eating in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster jar of ointment. She stood behind him at his feet, weeping, and began to bathe his feet with her tears and to dry them with her hair. Then she continued kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself,

If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him —that she is a sinner.”

Jesus spoke up:

Simon, I have something to say to you.”

Teacher,” speak.”

A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he canceled the debts for both of them. Now which of them will love him more?”

I suppose the one for whom he canceled the greater debt.”

You have judged rightly.”

[Jesus, turning toward the woman]

Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has bathed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.”

[to the woman] “Your sins are forgiven.”

But those who were at the table with him began to say among themselves,

Who is this who even forgives sins?”

[to the woman] “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Soon afterwards he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources.

Notes on performance:

To make this a multi-sensory experience, consider lighting some incense in the church during the gradual hymn, or other time, so that by the time of the Gospel reading there is a scent of the anointing ointment in the building.

A member (or members) of the congregation could call out the line “Who is this who even forgives sins?” (the whole congregation could echo it if prewarned).

It is appropriate to have a woman seated at the feet of Jesus and facing away from the congregation – long hair would be helpful! The woman could walk out of the church slowly while the reading is completed. It would be very dramatic for the woman to be the one to say “This is the Gospel of Christ” at the conclusion. (Narrator could lead in “Praise to Christ, the Word”.

NB: Make sure no-one reads out the bracketed directions!