Sample Dramatised Gospel Reading: Easter 3

You can copy and paste this reading if you want to use it!

Jesus Appears to Seven Disciples

Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way. Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. [Simon told the others what he had decided to do]:

‘I am going fishing.’

‘We will go with you.’

They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.

‘Children, you have no fish, have you?’

‘No.’

‘Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.’

So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish.That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter,

‘It is the Lord!’

When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the lake. But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred metres off.

When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread.

‘Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.’

So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. [Jesus called out an invitation to the disciples:]

‘Come and have breakfast.’

Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ because they knew it was the Lord.* Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus spoke to Peter:

‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’

‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’

‘Feed my lambs.’

‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’

‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’

‘Tend my sheep.’

‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’

Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’

Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’

‘Feed my sheep. Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.’

(He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) [Jesus gave Peter one more instruction:]

‘Follow me.’

THIS IS THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST

* If you want to be very creative you can adapt the text to provide a little more dialogue here, such as

“Shall we ask him who he is?”

“No, we daren’t – surely it is the Lord!”

or similar


Incorporating Dramatised Readings is easy to do

Yesterday at a team meeting we were discussing the use of dramatised readings in our liturgies. This is a great way of giving people who are not on the readers’ roster an opportunity to dip their toes into the water, and it adds colour and interest to your services.

It is not necessary to have any rehearsal for such readings, as long as the Narrator has a little preparation. In practical terms, the Narrator can be the person rostered on to do the reading, and then it is his/her responsibility (or the Worship leader’s) to find people to read the other parts (which will often be only one or two).

At our meeting one member mentioned a large tome called “The Dramatised Bible” which was certainly useful in its day. With the advent of free Bible texts online it is now redundant to purchase such a book.

Here is what you need to do (not much!):

  • Look up the relevant passage (usually one with some lively dialogue in it!)
  • Make sure to check the “remove verse numbers” box if that will be helpful (and note the other options here)
  • Use CTRL + a to select all the text, or use your mouse instead (click and drag)
  • Use CTRL + c to copy the text into your computer’s clipboard
  • Open your word processing program. (If you don’t have one, you can register for Google Docs for free, or download the free software package OpenOffice (a big download, but it rivals Microsoft Office for features)
  • Paste the text into a new blank document (CTRL + v) or right-click, select paste
  • Decide whether to print out the text in a larger font. 14 or 15 point is great for reading aloud
  • Now do some judicious editing: Make sure the beginning of the reading makes sense in context – if not, you could write in a few words to provide context. Remove unessential linking phrases like “After these things” and edit out all the “then he said” (and similar) text that you wouldn’t normally read in a script.
  • Make sure that you create enough paragraphs for legibility
  • Now there are some options for indicating who reads what:
  1. Print out the copies you need, and use a highlighter to indicate each person’s lines OR
  2. If you have only a small number of parts, you can select the text for each part and use underlining for one voice and bold for another voice and italics for yet another voice (&c) – leaving the narrator’s part in plain type
  3. If you are using a colour printer, you can use different colours instead or even as well – but check for colour legibility.

Once you get used to this, it is a ten-minute job.

TIP: If you are having problems getting readers of scripture to stop fumbling about in Bibles and reading the wrong bits and including paragraph headings and other crimes of liturgy, providing nice big print lections (readings) can save your remaining sanity and that of the congregation!!!

See the next Posting for an example dramatised reading for Easter 3

A weekly cartoon for your bulletin for free!

Yes, you can use Agnus Day cartoons for free in your bulletin, with acknowledgment, and they are linked to the RCL as well:

Snippets originally from:

http://www.agnusday.org/comics/26/john-2019-31-2005

John 20:19-31

2005-03-18 — Poor Thomas…He’s makes one mistake and it blows his whole reputation.

comic
line
BIBLE PASSAGE — When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”

A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name. — Second Sunday of Easter, Series A